Holt\'s Summit Woman Grants Wishes Through Wheels

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HOLTS SUMMIT - A Holts Summit woman has dedicated her life to making a positive difference for people in need in Callaway County. 

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Connie Cashion, or 'Miss Connie' as her friends know her, runs what she calls a free "flea market" out of her car. 

"People will tell me or call me, 'I need this'," said Cashion. "Then I just go out and look for it if I don't have it."

Cashion started taking in donations from anyone willing to give about 10 years ago. She stores them either in her car or storage units she has outside her home.  Everyday, Cashion drives around visiting and giving out the items she collected to those who need it most.

"I just thought it'd be a few people in a small town and pretty soon it became Callaway County and Cole and Boone," said Cashion.

One place where she finds plenty of people who can use her help is the soup kitchen out of the John Harris Community Center in Fulton.

Anne Johnson is the executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Fulton and she knows she can count on Miss Connie to get them whatever they need.

"She gives smiles, she gives hugs," said Johnson. "She's there everyday for people, checking on them making sure they have what they need."

Every year, Cashion organizes a Christmas giveaway at the community center for low income Fulton community members. Cashion said when the giveaway started two years ago, she had about 100 people show up to receive her donated goods. Last year, she had 545 participants. 

"I know what it was being a mom and have worked maybe two full-time jobs and your husband working and you couldn't buy Christmas," said Cashion.

Cashion does not receive any funding or government aid for her work but said she hoped to leave a lasting impact on her community.

"The ones who I give to, I encourage them to give back," said Cashion. "It's not only those who have helping those who don't, now it's each of us." 

If you would like to donate or volunteer or need assistance in the Callaway County area, call the Fulton Housing Authority at 573-642-7611.