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‘Project Change’ Uses Competition To Make A Difference

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Making a difference in Kansas City just got a little competitive.

"Project Change" is all about getting teams of people together to help local charities, but there's also some bragging rights involved.

The volunteer team from Burns and McDonnell recently tackled a big problem: a vacant lot next to Operation Breakthrough.

"It was run down, lots of trash, and our team decided to tackle it and turn it into an outdoor classroom and give them a place to play outside," said volunteer Melanie Luttig.

The team built fences out of recycled doors and then built an outdoor learning center with play areas and gardens.

"It's really great to see how it continued," said Luttig, "they actually use it and kids enjoy it."

Beverly McAuley started Project Change in 2008 and says so far it's helped give food and clothes and support to more than 30-thousand people and pets.

"It changes lives because it inspires people to see such unique and creative projects," says McAuley.

Teams put together at least two projects to help local charities, and the teams can consist of whoever you like: any size, one person or two hundred people, and from companies to neighborhood groups.

When the projects are done, teams submit photos to compete for bragging rights and a check for the charity of their choice. Burns and McDonnell won the competition in 2010 and 2011.

"We do get into the competitive aspect a lot," says Luttig laughing, "most of us aren't doing it to win the competition but we choose our projects wisely and make sure it makes an impact and then we enjoy winning."

McAuley says the friendly competition keeps the creative juices flowing and inspires teams to push the limits.

"So the nonprofits were blown away by it, we were blown away by it, and then community was changed by it," says McAuley.

Project Change teams also participate in one big group project every year that everyone in the community is invited to take part in. That big project will be announced Tuesday night at the official 2013 launch party. Find out all the details on the Project Change website:


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