Category Archives: Do Some Good

L&P Donates Masks to Local Students

Leggett & Platt recently made a donation of 200 medium respirator masks, 725 large respirator masks, and 250 filters to Franklin Technology Center Adult Education and High School students in Joplin, Missouri.

Attending the donation are (from left) Vanessa Gile, Commodity Manager at L&P; Nikki Medley, Effectiveness Coordinator at FTC; Dave Rockers, FTC Director; Joe Flynn, Tech Teacher at FTC; Doug Donnel, Collision Repair Instructor at FTC; and Dustin Riner, Maintenance Supervisor at L&P.

This photo and article were originally published by The Joplin Globe | Roger Nomer.

L&P Credit Department Collects Donations for Local Organizations

L&P’s Corporate Credit Department selects a charity each holiday season to sponsor. This year, their team chose to support the important work of both the Joplin Humane Society and Bright Futures-Carthage. Their decision to collect donations for Bright Futures was made in memory of Sherrie Lasiter, who worked in their department for many years and passed away in October.

Their team met at the L&P Corporate Office parking lot last weekend to collect donations of pet food and supplies, snacks, socks, and gift cards for the programs. They had a great response and the organizations were very grateful for all of the donations the received. The Credit team wants to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated!

United Way Spotlight: Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri

Leggett & Platt fosters a culture of giving, encouraging our employees to Do Some Good. Throughout the course of our local, Southwest Missouri campaign, we will shine a spotlight on several of the incredible agencies that United Way serves in our community. Times may be difficult, but we have witnessed communities rising to meet these hard moments. If in a position to give this year, we encourage you to support your local agency, too.


For nearly three decades, Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri has been providing quality, affordable healthcare to the children, families, and seniors in our communities. Their facility operates four days a week, providing a wide variety of medical and dental services to their patients – including medical diagnosis and treatment, prescription assistance, vision services, women’s preventative health exams, dental services, and mental healthcare.

Many of the services they provide are made possible through the efforts of dedicated volunteers. In 2020, a team of over 40 volunteer physicians, dentists, nurses, counselors, and pharmacists provided compassionate care to over 1,900 patients. Our community saved an estimated $8,883,181 as a result of their charitable efforts.

“The United Way funds we receive help support our primary care services,” says Stephanie Brady, Executive Director. “They are used to cover the costs of testing supplies, prescriptions, lab supplies, flu and pneumonia shots, medical equipment, and even for the purchase of glasses for individuals in our vision program. We work hard to stretch those dollars and they benefit a lot of people.”


During the pandemic, Community Clinic received targeted funds for Covid. They are now one of the primary vaccination sites in the area and have administered over 3,500 vaccines to local patients. Their facility partners closely with other United Way agencies and have provided testing and vaccinations for Covid and the flu on-site at their facilities. Unfortunately, they’ve also had an increased need for medications, inhalers, and nebulizers to treat Covid patients.

“It would be a significant detriment to our organization if we did not have the United Way funds we have come to rely on,” said Stephanie. “I love knowing that we have the support of their network and the donations help us meet the healthcare needs in our very own communities.”

United Way Agency Spotlight: Art Feeds

Leggett & Platt fosters a culture of giving, encouraging our employees to Do Some Good. Throughout the course of our local, Southwest Missouri campaign, we will shine a spotlight on several of the incredible agencies that United Way serves in our community. Times may be difficult, but we have witnessed communities rising to meet these hard moments. If in a position to give this year, we encourage you to support your local agency, too.

As a teenage volunteer in a behavioral disorder classroom, Meg Bourne witnessed students who struggled with learning, focusing, or expressing themselves begin to respond when given a creative outlet. Quickly realizing how art can be a tool for children to express their feelings and develop social-emotional skills, Meg made it her mission to help kids thrive full-time.

That vision was realized when Art Feeds was introduced in southwest Missouri in 2009. With a belief that all children are curious, imaginative, creative, innovative, and our greatest resource, Art Feeds creates programming in partnership with schools and children’s organizations to develop these valuable attributes. Their success has allowed them to expand nationwide and abroad – with operations across seven states and six countries.

“We provide everything – training to in-classroom teachers, art teachers, and school counselors as well as access to Art Feeds Online with over 400 lessons they can use as classroom resources throughout the year,” Meg, Founder and CEO, shares. “We also provide art supplies so that students have access to the tools they need to express themselves creatively.”

The Art Feeds curriculum includes art of all kinds: dancing, painting, drawing, photography, and music. They support in-classroom teachers by providing everything they need to focus on the students, including lesson plans, teaching videos, PowerPoint presentations, supply lists, and more.

This year, contributions to our local United Way will help fund art packs for the Carthage 6th Grade Center, which includes a tote bag filled with a sketchbook, markers, crayons, watercolor palette (a student favorite), glue stick, pencil, and pencil sharpener. Art Feeds will provide around 2,200 art packs for Carthage alone.

“We’ve traditionally served most Carthage elementary schools since 2015. The 6th Grade Center was added to their district recently, so it’s been a priority for us to get them art packs this year. The art packs are important not only so they can participate in Art Feeds activities, but because some students may not have access to basic school supplies at home,” says Meg.

By working with creative art therapists, child trauma specialists, and certified art teachers, they’re able to deliver a more effective curriculum, which includes training in trauma-informed care. These partnerships were particularly helpful throughout the pandemic – providing a much-needed creative outlet to children struggling with the anxieties that accompany loss and change.

When asked why they’re passionate about what they do, Meg shared, “We care about children. We want them to feel seen, known, and loved – and our vehicle is through art and creativity.”

To learn more about Art Feeds, visit artfeeds.org.

United Way Agency Spotlight: Joplin NALA Read Celebrates 40 Years

Leggett & Platt fosters a culture of giving, encouraging our employees to Do Some Good. Throughout the course of our local, Southwest Missouri campaign, we will shine a spotlight on several of the incredible agencies that United Way serves in our community. Times may be difficult, but we have witnessed communities rising to meet these hard moments. If in a position to give this year, we encourage you to support your local agency, too.

More than 36 million American adults struggle to read, write, do math, and use technology above a third-grade reading level.

For 40 years, the Joplin Neighborhood Adult Literacy Action, also known as Joplin NALA Read, has strengthened the skills of adult learners throughout our community.

Their mission is to provide tuition-free programs to improve the self-sufficiency of families by supporting adult learners to increase their literacy skills. Founded in 1981, NALA offers classes and one-on-one tutoring in literacy-related subjects, including reading, writing, math, computer literacy, and English as a second language (ESL).

“At NALA, we want to close the book on illiteracy,” explains Executive Director Grace Clouse. “In the local communities of southwest Missouri, there are roughly 11,000 adults with low literacy levels. We want to be involved in our communities, providing support, resources, and assistance to help address this generational literacy gap.”

Joplin NALA Read celebrated their 40th anniversary this year. This photo shows a marketing display at the local mall during the 1980s.

NALA works hard to evaluate the needs of each learner to identify their personal literacy goals. Classes are free of charge for adults over the age of 17, and NALA provides computers, textbooks, and curriculum. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve adapted their programming to assist students in a safe, remote way. At the onset of the pandemic, NALA staff spent several months developing virtual programming to be able to offer online learning opportunities.

The cost of student and tutor resources, supplies, and program management is approximately $15 per hour of student instruction. NALA is a United Way partner agency and receives about 22% of its funding from the United Way. The remaining funds come from grants, community organizations and foundations, individual contributions, and an annual fundraiser and literacy awareness event.

“Ultimately, we believe literacy should be within everyone’s reach – empowering adults to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by acquiring the skills they need to succeed,” says Grace. “If we can help adults reach their full potential, their efforts will give them access to a better life and will make a positive impact on our community.”

A clip from The Joplin Globe in honor of Joplin NALA’s 40th anniversary.

If you’d like to learn more about the mission of Joplin NALA Read or you’re interested in volunteering, please visit joplinnala.org or call 417-782-2646.

United Way Agency Spotlight: Lafayette House

Leggett & Platt fosters a culture of giving, encouraging our employees to Do Some Good. Throughout the course of our local, Southwest Missouri campaign, we will shine a spotlight on several of the incredible agencies that United Way serves in our community. Times may be difficult, but we have witnessed communities rising to meet these hard moments. If in a position to give this year, we encourage you to support your local agency, too.

Lafayette House

Founded in 1978, Lafayette House is a sanctuary for individuals and families who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault or who struggle with substance use disorders.

Through their residential facility in Joplin and outreach office in Neosho, Lafayette House offers a full range of services to support individuals and their families: domestic violence intervention including shelter and support; residential and outpatient treatment for substance use disorders; advocacy, support and counseling for sexual assault; onsite child care; and a variety of support services from counseling and case management to court advocacy and job training.

Last year, Lafayette House was able to serve 1,167 adults and children in our local community. They also provided 10,283 bed nights and 18,545 meals to affected families with nowhere else to turn.

During the pandemic, their computer systems were also upgraded to support videoconferencing, which enables them to provide services virtually. This technology allowed them to serve a greater number of families, particularly those who had found someplace safe to go but could still benefit from counseling services and other resources.

Many of the grants Lafayette House receives are targeted to very specific positions or programs. However, the donations they receive from United Way allow them to diversify their funding and cover crucial operational expenses which might otherwise have gone unfunded.

“The donations we receive from United Way really allow us to keep our shelter running day-to-day,” says Louise Secker, Director of Development. “They also demonstrate the strong local support our organization has – which is important when applying for grants from other sources.”

For more information about the services available at The Lafayette House, visit lafayettehouse.org

United Way Agency Spotlight: Legal Aid of Western Missouri

Leggett & Platt fosters a culture of giving, encouraging our employees to Do Some Good. Throughout the course of our local, Southwest Missouri campaign, we will shine a spotlight on several of the incredible agencies that United Way serves in our community. Times may be difficult, but we have witnessed communities rising to meet these hard moments. If in a position to give this year, we encourage you to support your local agency, too.

Legal Aid of Western Missouri

Since 1964, Legal Aid of Western Missouri has provided dignity, self-sufficiency, and justice through quality civil legal aid for those who may have nowhere else to turn.

Many low-income individuals are denied the basic rights to which they are entitled under the law simply because they can’t afford an attorney. The availability of free civil legal aid can make all the difference to those fighting to stay in their homes, escape domestic violence, secure veterans’ benefits, or address many other legal challenges that go to the heart of their security and well-being.

Contributions to our local United Ways help fund two specific programs at Legal Aid of Western Missouri – Access to Healthcare and Voices in Court.

When members of our community become sick and cannot work, they may be unable to afford the treatment they need to return to good health. If Medicare or Medicaid benefits are unfairly denied or terminated prematurely, those without insurance are left with very few options. The Access to Healthcare program works with these individuals to ensure they receive due process in fighting for the benefits to which they are entitled.

“We get many referrals from partner agencies and local hospitals,” says Pam Roychaudhury, Managing Attorney. “By helping patients qualify for benefits they need to receive medical treatment, we can actually save lives.”

The Voices in Court program supports local victims of domestic violence, with legal representation that is often vital to their safety. A local study found that only 50% of protective order requests are granted if the victim does not have an attorney, while 98% are successful if they have representation.

Victims of abuse are often afraid to leave their abuser because they don’t want to leave their kids in the home with the abuser. The Voices in Court program also helps to protect children in these households through temporary custody orders. In some cases, the child is also a victim. By partnering with other organizations in the community, these families are able to leave an unsafe environment.

“Our clients truly need a voice in court – or someone to represent them,” says Pam. “These cases are often very intimidating and can last for months. It’s important that victims have someone to support them through that difficult process.”

L&P and Hammond Firefighters Join Together for Family in Need

The Hammond Firefighters Association in Indiana recently responded to an emergency call and found several children sleeping on the floor with only blankets. Their team brought the situation to the local Union’s attention.

After reaching out to the community for donations and support, they contacted L&P to inquire about a discounted price on new beds. Understanding the circumstance, Leggett & Platt chose to donate four twin mattresses to the family. The donations collected by the firefighters were then used to purchase bed frames to lift the children off the floor.

We are very grateful for the opportunity to give back to this family in such an important way. Everyone at L&P would like to wish their family a good night’s sleep for years to come!

Community & Culture: Spiva Center for the Arts

Last week, we introduced you to one of the exhibitions currently on display at the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts. L&P has a long history of supporting the arts in our community and are a corporate sponsor of their organization. The show, scheduled to run through March 13th, is a perfect representation of the importance of this philanthropy — educating all of us about the history of the Joplin community, while also highlighting the accomplishments and work of African American artists, musicians, athletes, and poets.

Spiva’s Main Gallery exhibit, Route 66: Crossing Cultural Lines, showcases more than 100 works by some of America’s premier painters, sculptors, textile artists, poets, and photographers. These works highlight the significant role that Route 66 played in cross-pollinating cultures throughout our country.

“The artists are presenting their interpretations of the stories associated with the highway,” says curator Sara Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin. “These experiences include professional baseball, territory bands, jazz musicians, civil rights crusades, military bases, or hopping in that big red truck to search for that perfect place to go camping and fishing. Art is a powerful tool of the truth, and these artists serve as our custodial documenters of our past.”

Fiber artist and designer, Kim Newton, is one of several artists featured in the exhibit. Kim has been recognized as one of the top 100 African Americans in corporate America, having served as Senior Vice President of Consumer Experience of the Hallmark Brand, where she’s enjoyed a 20-plus year career. She’s also been named to the 2017 class of The Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute and serves as a member of The Executive Leadership Council, The Network of Executive Women, African-American Artist Collective, The Links, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Kim Newton is an accomplished Fiber Artist and Designer. She is featured above with two of her textiles – a depiction of Langston Hughes, a Joplin native and poet, novelist, fiction writer, playwright, and Harlem Renaissance pioneer (left); and a depiction of an African American woman using real jewelry as a 3D element of the piece (right).

Kim’s grandmother taught her traditional quilting when she was 22. She evolved to a modern approach to the craft, putting herself and her experiences into the storytelling. Instantly recognized as unique, she had the opportunity to feature her quilts in her first show at 28, and eventually secured her first solo show in May of 2020. She works almost exclusively with Indonesian batik fabric because of their color vibrancy, symbolic meaning, and workmanship. She believes the variation of the fabric brings movement to and enhances the emotion of her pieces.

Click here to take a virtual tour of the Spiva Center for the Arts exhibition.

Community & Culture: Spiva Center for the Arts

This textile by Sara Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin, titled “Outside My Picture Window / Mayfair 33502”, is displayed with a list of the streets of East Town, Joplin. The artwork represents the historic African American community where the artist was raised and nurtured. The exhibition at the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts is open through March 13th.

Anyone who has visited L&P’s Corporate Office has seen the extensive collection of paintings which grace our hallways. Two of our former CEOs, Harry Cornell and Felix Wright, were passionate collectors of fine art. This appreciation led to Leggett & Platt’s long history of supporting the arts within our local community. The current exhibition at the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts is a perfect representation of the importance of this philanthropy — educating all of us about the history of the Joplin community, while also highlighting the accomplishments and work of African American artists, musicians, athletes, and poets.

The show, scheduled to run through March 13th, features three unique exhibits, curated by nationally acclaimed fabric artist and Joplin native, Sara Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin. Her own work is featured in one of those exhibits, entitled Journey: Legacy, East Town.


According to Ms. Thompson-Ruffin’s artist statement, East Town is an exhibition curated in a mixture of textiles designed to engage the viewer in a visual conversation. Many of these textiles are accompanied by poetry written by Sonia Sanchez, a writer and educator considered by many to be the leading female voice of the Black Revolution.

“This collection is a touchstone of accounts, experiences, and contributions of Joplin’s East Town,” says Sara. “It shares a people’s journey, facing the hardships and adversities of building a viable community during a time when African Americans were not welcomed to live in or around Missouri and its surrounding areas.”

The work also highlights the rich resiliency of Joplin’s historic African American community, where she was raised and nurtured.

“The African American residents of Joplin persevered through all adversities. They used their talents, gifts, and education to build a strong and vibrant community in spite of all the challenges that besieged them,” shares Sara. “We are all the legacy of their gifts.”