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CNN Heroes Join Forces to Provide Beds for KC-Area Children and Homeless Veterans

Operation BBQ Relief Volunteers prepare meals for those In need this week in the aftermath of the Dallas Tornado

Charity Groups Co-sponsor Effort to Promote Dignity and Independence

Our leadership and volunteers are very pleased to get to be a part of this special day.”
— Stan Hays, CEO Operation BBQ Relief
PLEASANT HILL, MO, UNITED STATES, October 24, 2019 / -- Three charity groups, each led by a CNN Hero, announced today that they have joined forces for an upcoming special day of service. On October 26th, Operation Barbecue Relief, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, and the Veterans Community Project will work together to build beds at an event at Central Bank in Lees Summit, MO.

The assembled beds will be distributed both to the Veterans Community Project as well as others in the Kansas City metro area in need of a bed. Volunteers from all three organizations will work with leadership to build, assemble, and deliver the beds. Operation BBQ Relief will also provide a hot BBQ lunch for all the volunteers.

“The tragedy of homeless veterans happens all across this country,” noted Chris Stout, co-founder and CEO of Veterans Community Project. “Our organization builds tiny homes for homeless veterans that will provide dignity, safety, sanctuary and emotional space. Working with these two fantastic other organizations will be extraordinary as we will end the day with high-quality beds and satisfied volunteers.”

The Veterans Community Project also provides specially trained case officer to help the veterans make the transition from the streets to a home of their own. All the tiny homes are fully up to code and connected to city utility services.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a group of volunteers dedicated to providing comfortable beds to children and families in need with 173 chapters in 46 states. “We are thrilled to be a part of this day,” commented Luke Mickelson, executive director. “Helping veterans get off of the streets and into the safety of their own home is worth everyone’s time. By working with these groups, we can ensure that our beds are perfectly sized and designed for the unique challenges of a tiny home.”

Operation BBQ Relief is a national charitable organization that got its start in 2011 when a couple of pitmasters cooked up BBQ meals for the victims of the Joplin, Missouri tornado. Since then, it has expanded to focus attention on serving other communities in need such as the homeless or veterans, as well as its deployments after a disaster. “Our leadership and volunteers are very pleased to get to be a part of this special day,” stated Stan Hays, CEO and co-founder. “Everyone will get a wonderful meal to help them stay fueled up for the hard work, but our volunteers will also be helping with the construction process. They are looking forward to it!”

Chris Stout, Luke Mickelson, and Stan Hays were all recognized as CNN Heroes in recent years. Each year, CNN acknowledges individuals who have worked to make a difference and help others.

The media is invited to attend this event. It will be held at 608 North 291 Highway, Lee’s Summit, MO. It starts at 9:00 AM and will last all day. Leadership from all three groups will be in attendance and available for interviews and comments.

OBR was established in 2011, following a devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo. Since then, the organization has deployed to disasters including Hurricane Michael in the panhandle of Florida, Hurricane Florence Wilmington, North Carolina, and the Carr fire, all in 2018. Through deployments in 60 disaster-stricken communities and 26 different states across the country, OBR has served 3million meals, with the help of more than 14,000 volunteers.

In 2017, president and CEO Stan Hays was recognized by CNN as one of their “CNN Heroes” for his work with OBR. In May 2019 Operation BBQ Relief was recognized as The Volunteer Organization of the Year by the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference for their work. Operation BBQ Relief Connects, Inspires, Serves, Educates and Feeds Those In Need.

OBR depends on donations and volunteers to make a difference. Please visit to learn how to help.

David Marks
Operation BBQ Relief
+1 610-564-0885
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