Holiday homes tour combines cheer with giving

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MISSION HILLS, Kan. – From Leawood to Hyde Park, the owners of one-of-a-kind mansions with incredible seasonal decorations are opening their houses to the public for the annual Kappa Holiday Homes Tour. 

The tour showcases holiday inspirations from area interior decorators and florists, but also raises thousands of dollars for area non-profits. 

The designers and homeowners will be on site during tour hours to answer questions and show off the finer points of their concepts. 

Proceeds from each ticket purchased go to charities throughout the Kansas City area. Over the 67 years of the tour, the Kansas City alumni chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority has raised more than $2 million. 

Thousands of dollars from this year’s tour will benefit Sheffield Place, Healing House, and the Kappa Foundation. 

Sheffield Place is a shelter for single mothers and their children who are homeless. Located in an old YMCA building on 12th Street in the northeast section of Kansas City, Sheffield Place requires all its residents to attend daily group activities, therapy and either work or go to school. 90 percent of women who complete the program become self-sufficient. 

“They need to address the underlying problems of trauma, the underlying problems of addiction and then they’re able to move forward and avoid homelessness from that point on,” said Nate Vander Hamm, the president of the board of directors at Sheffield Place.

The organization says it has seen the number of women in need increase every year since 2012. It will use money from the Kappa event to keep its programs running and buy more houses in the neighborhood to use as transitional living for families as they reach self-sufficiency. 

Healing House is also in the northeast neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. It is a support services agency for people recovering from substance abuse. The group currently provides shelter to 180 adults and 30 children in a variety of homes throughout the neighborhood. 

The founder says the organization turns away more than 100 people every week because it doesn’t have enough space to house everyone who needs the help. Healing House will use money from the Kappa Homes Tour to purchase and renovate a home to expand the number of people it can help. 

“Hope is a game-changer. Just a little bit of hope that something could change in your life and you could come out of this despair and agony changes everything,” said Bobbi-Jo Reed, the founder and director of Healing House. 

The Kappa Foundation puts money toward college scholarships and literacy initiatives. 

Indian Hills Country Club will host a Holiday Shop where you can buy some decorations and items you’ll see on display in the homes. 

To see which homes are on this year’s tour and to purchase tickets, click here.