KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City bakery owner says a new initiative is giving his business a greater purpose. And it all started with one gesture for a customer who happened to live in of one of the homeless camps nearby.
“It just made me think about what could I do being a part of the community,” said John Synder, owner of Ridgewood Donuts and Bakery, located at 4309 Blue Ridge Blvd. in Kansas City.
Synder said it wasn’t uncommon to see someone looking for shelter or food around his building, but in the past year, he’s seen more than he can count.
“I see them almost about every night,” he said, “around the building, out back.”
Looking to lend a hand, Synder said he has given out shoes, coats and other items to those he sees in need.
But as the requests for winter gear came in, the inventory ran out. So his wife posted a call to action on social media for donations.
Synder said what happened next gave him a newfound faith in humanity. The coats, socks and gloves came pouring in.
“I really didn’t think we would get the traction that we got. I noticed a lot of people started reaching out,” he said.
But he knows soon he’ll need more. Synder said more coats, hats and pants can help change a life.
“Even if it’s got the knees out or something, that’s still better than what these folks have,” he said.
Synder said drop-off is quick and easy — any night after 6 p.m., or every Wednesday-Sunday morning, donations will be accepted.
And even if it’s just a hat to one person, or a coat to an entire camp, Synder said it keeps him motivated that he’s giving back more to the community than just delicious doughnuts.
“It’s not about what you say; it’s also about what you do,” Synder said. “That’s where you get the results from.”