Noticing Neighbors Pass It On KC
She loves Kansas City, and is looking to pass on a little kindness.
Today’s Noticing Neighbors comes as a nomination from the community, and we get to highlight Jessie Resch. Jessie is the owner of Pass It On KC, which is an active community that supports each other through kindness projects. One way she does this is through Front Porch Drops, where thoughtfully selected gifts are left on people’s front porches when they need it most.
Good morning! Aw. I love that this was nominated.
This is a really cool chance for us to hear about what you do. Can you explain Pass It On KC? They specifically mentioned Front Porch Drops?
Well, I also run a group also called Lee’s Summit Play Crew. It is a group for moms and dads which provides support and acts as a resource. Sometimes we do events, stuff like that. It started when I would see a mom or dad that were maybe having a bad day, struggling with something, or just randomly I would throw gifts in a bag and anonymously leave it on their porch. That's how it started, and it grew from there. Hayley: So Pass It On started as just you? Jessie:
Yes, then the group latched onto it really quickly and started doing it. I have a couple of friends that will come over, and we will pick from my stack of donations and gifts I've bought and “shop” my collection so they can do porch drops as well. It's really cool how it's caught on. Because who doesn't love just a random kind of pick me up, you know? A mug, or a face mask, or whatever it might be, I think it means a lot to people.
What certain items do you look for?
Well, they will all tell you. I do love my Rae Dunn! I don't know if you have any, I'll send you one! (Laughs)
I love Rae Dunn mugs. My obsession started a few years ago, but it's not just coffee mugs. A lot of it is based on what I can get together for the drop—either through donations or in my personal budget. I try to make it fit the person as much as I can. If I know they are teachers, there might be some candy, but it just comes out of whatever I have.
So there’s a level of thoughtfulness that you have, and it shows in what you’re selecting. But then the other side to it is that it’s really perceptive of you to be looking for who to give it to. How do you know that someone needs to pick me up like that? Like, what do you typically see?
Sometimes I see it on Facebook, and if someone posts about it. In that case, I flat out know what's going on. Or sometimes I can just tell that somebody hasn't spoken in a while or seems a bit off, and I can read people in that way. What's awesome, too, is sometimes people will come tell me: “Hey, this person just lost their mom, (or whatever it might be) can we do something for them?” So that's great.
Hayley: That takes a lot of trust in the community. Jessie: I have always said, Pass It On KC is not my page, it's not me. It's so many people. Because so many people have stepped up and have done so many cool things with it.
Hayley: It's beautiful to hear how everyone is looking out for each other.
We have a lot of great people in our community, that's for sure. You know, one of the reasons why I started it was the people in the area. I moved out here for grad school, and really fell in love with Kansas City. I mean, truly. It’s the pride people show in this community, and how they support the Chiefs and the Royals, it's all just so fun. It was the first place I felt at home. I remember when I came up here to audition and I stepped off the plane, and hadn't seen the city at all.
I just had that gut feeling of: this is where I'm supposed to be. Hayley:
So this is a really broad question, but you’ve had a very cool perspective on everyone’s thoughtfulness. How have you seen goodness throughout all of this? What comes to mind?
You know, it’s little moments. We just recently celebrated Pride Month, which I'm a huge supporter of, and I left a bin of mugs and stickers and pins and just fun Pride stuff out on my porch and made a post. I said, Hey! If you guys want to come by, grab one!
Just because porch drops do get tiring, just all the driving! (Laughs) Hayley: Yeah! Jessie: I'm like, you know what? Just come on by. Here's my address, grab what you want. And, you know, a lot of people see it as though it's just a mug, or it's just a sticker. But I have had so many parents reach out and just say thank you. My daughter or my son came out and I wasn't sure how to handle it, and this gave us a positive experience for them. It’s those moments when you've seen something small, like a little sticker has done something. I remember we had one of the FedEx delivery drivers come by and she wasn't one of our normal gals. I just happened to be outside and she asked me what the bin on the porch was.
So I explained and she was like, we can just take it? That's allowed? And she actually started crying. And told me: “Thank you for supporting our community. Like, you don't even know me.” And it's moments like that when people are taken aback. Hayley: Wow. Jessie: For me, it's just sort of obvious. Like, right now I have a sign on my door for the delivery people: It's super hot. If you need to drink, just knock. Then moments where it catches on. I'll see the hashtag #PassItOnKC on other stuff that I didn't have anything to do with, which is super cool. Hayley: People believe in it.
Jessie: I absolutely love my daughters, who are 6 and about 5. I actually have to watch them because they will go into my gift bag stash and put in their toys. Or they will porch drop and go give them to the neighbors! Hayley: Aw!
This whole thing started because I knew the world needed more kind people. But that’s my why: my two girls. It all changed when I became a mom and I thought, this is where we begin the change. It comes from that foundational empathy and kindness.
Our family gets involved, and I’m so thankful for my husband. He's very supportive and lovely, and my hauler of everything.
Hayley: If somebody wants to get involved with Pass It On KC, how can they jump in and join?
Well, for one, you can do any kindness project. I mean, I’d love to talk with anyone and welcome them in, so just reach out! I’d love to hear from you.
All media originally published by Pass It On KC via their online platforms.