by Mitchell Brown, Reporter
As Christmas Day draws closer, a group of close knit friends in the Warrensburg, Mo. area are preparing for a charity event.
The group of friends, connected via a love of music and the arts, have created a benefit at The Bay for Survival House, scheduled for Friday night. Survival House is a Warrensburg-based outreach organization that is primarily dedicated to helping those who are survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
A longtime connection between The Bay and Survival House has been forged over the years. Many Survival House benefits have taken place at The Bay, with one of the more recent being a school supply drive in August. Friday’s benefit is a toy drive, and patrons are encouraged to bring toys to donate for children who are receiving services from Survival House. Those who attend will also be able to contribute monetary donations to Survival House.
Bradley Schulte, volunteer coordinator at Survival House, explained that a toy drive is a way for those seeking help to have a happier holiday season.
“During the holiday time, we get more people who come into our emergency shelter, and with that we don’t always have the means to provide a Christmas or whatever they celebrate,” Schulte said. “We don’t have the means to provide gifts or make that holiday enjoyable. With The Bay helping us out, we can fulfill those needs.”
“If you’ve had a good run at life, it gives you even more reason to think about the people who haven’t,” Kirstie Uchiha, bartender at The Bay, said. “There is a dichotomy between the two — you’re lucky, you’re awesome, you’ve gotten through life with great blessings, but think about the people who haven’t been as lucky as you.”
The musical entertainment scheduled for Friday is the acoustic sounds of Brie Herrick and also the band Harvest Season. Uchiha became acquainted with these musicians through the weekly Thursday night open mic nights she’s organized.
“Harvest Season, they’ve contacted me for open mic nights before,” Uchiha said. “They’re wonderful. It’s this great group of people that feel passionate about the other artistic people in the community as well as events like this.”
Both Schulte and Uchiha spoke of a close sense of community fostered at The Bay, which is able to extend its reach to the community at large with an event like the upcoming Survival House toy drive.
“I personally am all about giving back to the community,” Uchiha said. “I feel like a lot of the patrons that come in, it’s a birds of a feather flock together type of thing.
“We like giving back to the community, we like helping out the artistic community, and we like giving our help where it’s needed.”
The event begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23, at The Bay, 130 W. Pine St. A Facebook event can be viewed here.