Kansas City, MO (PRWEB) March 18, 2014
The Kansas City Blues Rugby Team scored big for homeless families with their recent charity event, Rooftop Blues, a unique fundraising effort in partnership with River of Refuge, a non-profit ministry founded by Pastor John Wiley.
In the recent fundraising event, the 15 team members set up tents on the roof of the River of Refuge Transitional Living Center. The Division 1 athletes planned to camp out on the rooftop until a goal of $25,000 was raised, broadcasting their activities via live webcam as they worked to raise the money by text, tweet, and other electronic means.
Before the players even went up on the roof at 2 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon, they had already raised $2,500. By 3.30 a.m. the next morning, they were up to $5,000. The team had been on the roof for just 24 hours when they passed the $15,000 mark. And by 6.30 p.m. Saturday, the Blues had blasted through their goal and raised a total of $29,498.35.
The Rooftop Blues event was part of Pastor John Wiley’s commitment to help the working poor and homeless in the Kansas City area. The money raised will benefit the city’s first-of-its-kind comprehensive transitional housing complex, dedicated solely to homeless working families currently residing in motels.
River of Refuge had developed a strong relationship with the Kansas City Blues Rugby Club during the off season, and there was widespread support throughout the community for the Rooftop fundraiser, with several restaurants pitching in to help. The event was sponsored by Johnny’s Tavern, who also provided food for the team on Thursday night. A number of other restaurants and individuals donated meals on subsequent days, including Classic Catering, Fire and Spice BBQ and Catering, Carla and Mick Caldwell, Noodles and Company and Grinders.
“This response has been phenomenal,” said Wiley. “We have had lots of calls from people wanting to partner with us in the long term, and so many new volunteers that have gotten plugged into River of Refuge. I can’t express how grateful and excited we are. This is going to help change lives.”
The River of Refuge has been changing lives since 2009, when Pastor John Wiley witnessed a group of children boarding a school bus from the parking lot of an old rundown motel in Raytown, MO. He immediately began searching for a way to ensure that working homeless families could escape the pay-by-week motels in which they had become trapped, and move to permanent housing.
In addition to opening the Transitional Living Center on the site of the former Park Lane Hospital, the money raised from Rooftop Blues will also allow River of Refuge to offer programs to assist those transitioning from homelessness to self-sufficiency. This will include financial counseling, and resources to help families find their own home, and find their feet in the community.
In equipping these working families with the tools to start afresh, River of Refuge provides new hope, opportunity and dignity for those whom Pastor John Wiley describes as “the invisible homeless”.
For more information on Pastor John Wiley or River of refuge, go to PastorJohnWiley.com.
About Pastor John Wiley
John Wiley is the founding pastor of the River Church Family in Raytown, Mo.; an ordained pastor of the Foursquare Church International; and the current Divisional Superintendent for the Kansas City Metro Foursquare Division.
Wiley’s ministry call to his community was ignited by a direct vision from the Holy Spirit that he is to be accountable for the spiritual climate of his city. His River Church Family congregation started with 15 teens and grew to be around 300 at present. Wiley bought the vacant Park Lane Hospital building on faith and turned it The River of Refuge making it a home for the working families trapped in single-room motels. A product of a broken home, troubled childhood, and identity crisis-filled adolescent years; Wiley can identify easily with those around him suffering and in need.
Wiley has been married to Mary Jo since 1982 and has three children and four grandchildren.