All due respect to Haiti, but KC needs disaster relief too, says longtime homeless activist

It seems like just a few weeks ago when our friend Richard Tripp was putting on his annual Thanksgiving-weekend party for poor people in Kansas City. Twice a year, Tripp — a cab driver who used to be homeless — organizes a festive event where people can come eat a hot meal, listen to some live music and, most importantly, stock up on warm clothes and hygiene supplies to take a little of the edge off of life on the streets.

Tripp didn’t wait too long before the November event was over before he started planning his annual spring event, scheduled for April 3. It takes a lot of volunteers, a few thousand bucks in cash and a warehouse full of donations to pull off one of Tripp’s events. But he’s good at rallying churches and he knows how to work the media, and eventually everything works out.

Right now, though, Tripp’s nervous. April 3 is right around the corner, and he says generous Kansas Citians are tapped out, having sent all of their donations to Haiti.

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