Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Black and Veatch engineer makes World of Difference for local domestic violence shelter

What started more than 20 years ago with the donation of two outdated appliances has blossomed into one Black and Veatch employee making a world of a difference for one local domestic violence shelter.

Brent Rupp, a project electrical engineer at Black and Veatch, has donated his time, goods and financially to Kansas City metro domestic violence shelter, Hope House.

Now, through Rupp’s dedication to helping the non-profit, Black and Veatch Building a World of Difference Foundation awarded Hope House a $5,000 grant to help alleviate the negative effects of domestic violence and inform the public about the issue.

“Hope House has always been appreciative of any help they receive,” said Rupp. “It makes it a real joy to help in anyway. So, I’m very happy to be able to present the donation to Hope House from Black and Veatch’s Building a World of Difference Foundation.”

Rupp stated that throughout his involvement with the non-profit, it is the positive attitudes of the staff and volunteers that keep him coming back to help and made him want to do more through the Black and Veatch Building a World of Difference Foundation.

“We are so grateful for supporters like Brent,” said MaryAnne Metheny, CEO of Hope House. “His volunteerism and dedication serves as encouragement for our team. The fact that he’s taken his efforts that extra mile and acquired this grant shows his commitment to the issue, and the survivors who need our services.”

Rupp has been a financial supporter of Hope House after donating the kitchen appliances. And, for the past several years, Rupp and his wife began volunteering. They have participated in Hope House’s Starlight and Chilifest fundraisers. And, his wife, Mary, volunteered her own time and encouraged their daughter’s Girl Scout Troop to donate time at the shelter as well, while Mary served as troop leader.

“When I was looking to donate the appliances, I didn’t know Hope House existed,” said Rupp. “But, my friend encouraged me to work with them, and since then, Hope House has always been a place we support. The relationship has really strengthened over the years.”

And, it strengthened despite a year on a different continent. Between 2011 and 2012, Rupp was in South Africa working on a Black and Veatch coal plant project. It did not take long for him to reach back out to Hope House upon his return. After making it back to the States, he began working with the Lee’s Summit Knights of Columbus and served as an acting spokesman for Hope House.

“It is my hope that, in addition to the help the donation will provide to Hope House and its mission, we may also raise domestic violence awareness and the role Hope House plays to combat the issue,” said Rupp. “I look forward to further involvement with Hope House and hope to build a relationship with Black & Veatch and the professionals who may not be aware of Hope House and the good they do.”

The Black and Veatch Building a World of Difference Foundation was established with the aim of providing a platform for the company and its professionals in supporting a variety of philanthropic organizations like Hope House and other programs worldwide.

“Last year, Hope House provided more than 41,000 safe nights in shelter, answered more than 5,400 domestic abuse hotline calls and provided therapy to more than 420 survivors,” Metheny said. “The foundation grant will go a long way to ensure we continue to help the survivors who have taken that courageous first step to leave an abusive relationship.”


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