2022 Community Excellence Award

Missouri Community Service Commission

2022 Show Me Service Awards: Community Excellence Award

Caring Hearts of Peculiar displaying their 2022 Community Excellence Award.
Pictured are board members Larry Dobson, John Kant, Mary Fay, Kathy Obley, Kay Oldham, Cathy Wansing, Rev. Richard Riepe.
Not pictured are Rev. Wendy Minshall and Shauna Stephenson.

We were honored to receive a 2022 Community Excellence Award as a part of the Missouri Community Service Commission (MCSC)’s Show Me Service Awards. The Show Me Service Awards are held each May on Missouri Service Day to highlight individual volunteers, businesses, and community organizations that serve others and strengthen their communities. Below we include the letter that accompanied our award.

Caring Hearts of Peculiar was created by a group of citizen in Peculiar who recognized the lack of a social welfare organization that could be responsive to local needs and bring support to agencies that served area residents.

A governing Board was organized, consisting of local church ministers, business leaders, city officials, and other residents. As a result, goals were developed and projects planned. From this beginning, several major events have become reality. Financial support is growing for agencies that served the area, such as paying the rent for the local Thrift Store for many years and supporting the Cass County Dental Clinic which serves low-income children in need of dental care.

Caring Hearts of Peculiar currently sponsors two major projects annually: a Street Clean-up Day and a Christmas season fundraising event. The Street Clean-up Day has a hundred volunteers working to pick up bags and bags of trash!! The Christmas season fundraiser is considered a great way for citizens to donate and support the needs of local agencies. This project runs from Thanksgiving until the new year, and has taken place for the past several years. In 2021, Christmas tree light bulbs were decorated and given as a token of appreciation when a donation was made at the grocery store. These were hand-decorated by local Girl Scout Troops. Donations totaled approximately $14,000, an extraordinary amount for a small town.

Along with these projects, the Board is always aware of future considerations and partnering with other groups to help residents of the Peculiar area.

The logo on the front of the brochure for Caring Hearts of Peculiar states: “Because We Care About Peculiar.” This organization believes that statement and practices it with every project dedicated to benefit the residents of Peculiar, a wonderful Missouri small town.