Boone County Pay It Forward hosts new fundraiser every Wednesday

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STEPHENS - Boone County Pay It Forward, a popular local Facebook group, will host its Basic Needs Fundraiser at Stephens Community Center on Wednesday.

The fundraiser allows people to stop by the community center and fill either an entire grocery bag or kitchen trash bag with clothes for $1 or $5, respectively, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“Tomorrow we are raising money for Project Homeless Connect,” Sylvia Sprinkle, the founder of the Facebook group, said.

Sprinkle posted a list of acceptable donations for Project Homeless Connect on the Boone County Pay It Forward Facebook page. She says if anyone brings in any of the listed supplies, they get clothes for free.

Sprinkle started the fundraiser the first week of August. Every week the proceeds go to a different local charity.

Sprinkle said the fundraiser helps people not just locally, but throughout Missouri.

“They come from down by the lake, Pettis County, Warrensburg, they come up from past Moberly. One came from Memphis, Missouri by the Iowa border. They come from everywhere,” she said.

“I think it’s a very good thing for the people that come. They have children, they are young, and in this day and age it’s really hard to raise a family.  All these good clothes, we don’t want to waste them,” Linda Daly, Sprinkle’s friend and volunteer, said.

Sprinkle says many other local charity organizations have recognized her efforts.

“Once Upon a Child has been amazing with what I’m doing. Harmony’s Treasure in Columbia just called me, and Rainbow House. If they get an overthrow of donations they will throw it over to me,” she said.

Sprinkle started the Facebook group in 2014. Since then, the page has gained thousands of followers, and Sprinkle has started 38 additional groups for other regions throughout Missouri.

She started her charity by hosting a free store after the group became increasingly popular.

“I bought four acres about a half mile away.  I noticed their community center here and it wasn’t being used as much as I would have liked. So, I approached Linda about the community center and stated a free store a little bit of a year ago,” Sprinkle said.

The fundraiser also goes toward Sprinkle’s new project “All Kids In Crisis,” which is a branch off of her Pay It Forward group. Sprinkle said she deals mostly with fire victims and helps local agencies get supplies to help children.

Some of the proceeds from the fundraiser will also help her build a new storage facility on her property. Sprinkle says the storage facility will give local law enforcement, the fire department and others 24/7 access to emergency supplies.

The Pay It Forward group also hosts a free store every second and fourth Monday of the month from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.