Give Generously. Spread the Word.

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.
—Albert Camus

We honor the spirit of giving this season, enhancing the present and providing hope for the future. Design is process and creation. It is empathy, flexibility, and growth. At its essence, it is caring — in the possibility of our daily lives, the potential of our communities, and the health of our planet. We must use our passions, skills, and time to improve lives through our work.

Here we highlight BNIMers who have acted on this generosity in their lives and communities throughout the year.

Give generously. Spread the word.

Laura Lesniewski and I have been a part of a multi-year relationship with a community in Pokot, Kenya, leading the design and construction, administration, and startup efforts of a new secondary school in the community. The campus currently consists of a classroom building, maintenance building, and teacher’s housing. Sam De Jong, Project Architect

The next classroom building of this long-range vision is currently under construction and they’re eager to welcome the second class of freshmen students at the beginning of the new year. Among many other notable attributes, the school is filling a major gap in providing access to education for both boys and girls in this rural region of Kenya. Sam De Jong, Project Architect

The Keals volunteer at the Kansas City Zoo by making art and planting gardens. Joe Keal, Principal

HopeBUILDERS is a volunteer-run nonprofit that offers home repairs and modifications with the mission “to help others live in safety, comfort and dignity.” They offer three service types that serve the elderly and those with disabilities: accessibility ramps, home repairs and modifications, and bathroom modifications. I volunteer with HopeBUILDERS because they have a tangible impact on Kansas City citizens, allowing people to age in place or stay in their beloved homes. Anastasia Huggins, Project Architect

I’ve been involved for 10 yrs with the City of Fountains Foundation. The fountains are located throughout the city and are available to all. They inspire us, provide beauty and a place of calm, and are a symbol of Kansas City across the nation. Casey Cassias, Principal

Through AIA Pillars, I organized and ran a couple of community service events last year, including creating new, multi-use urban trails at Cliff Drive with Urban Trail Co. Mark Neibling, Project Architect

We also worked with HopeBUILDERS to build a ramp for a child with Cerebral Palsy in Kansas City, Kansas. Mark Neibling, Project Architect

I have served on the Iowa Environmental Council, representing AIA Iowa, because the organization helps unify the public voice needed to create policies that protect Iowa’s water and air, and promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. Kevin Nordmeyer, Principal

I volunteer as a leader with the US Green Building Council because it makes an impact on so many Kansas City communities — professionals and residents, young and old, rich and poor — all while improving the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil in which we garden. Jeremy Knoll, Project Manager

My family and I support Children’s Mercy Hospital in many ways throughout the year, including delivering gifts during the holidays. After my grandson had numerous surgeries and hospital stays as an infant, it is fun for him to learn to give back to those little patients who have to spend the holidays in the hospital. Kristin Atkinson, Principal | CFO

Every Saturday and Sunday during the growing season, you’ll find me and my children growing and distributing veggies at the St. James Communal Garden. The Garden not only distributes free, fresh produce to members of the inner city parish but also ministers to its large immigrant community by growing vegetables from their native countries. Sarah Hirsch, Associate Principal

Also posted to Medium.