Longtime Supporter and Former SAVE, Inc. Board Member
When asked to describe SAVE, Inc. in one word, longtime SAVE, Inc. supporter and volunteer Jim Mercer sums it up simply: hope.
Jim remembers the early days of SAVE, Inc., when he, his late partner Karl Cropsey, and a handful of guys sitting around a kitchen table decided that they needed to do something. They had learned about a man battling AIDS who had been dismissed from the hospital with no resources and nowhere to go. He had no hope.
With the vision of compassionate founders like Jim and Karl, SAVE, Inc. became that hope for so many. Jim and Karl played a key role in transforming SAVE, Inc. from a grassroots movement into the organization it is today, including the building of two of SAVE, Inc.’s main properties – Cropsey Place and Cropsey Terrace. Jim recalls that when Cropsey Place was built back in 1996, the KC Star ran color photos and gave it excellent coverage. “I was so proud that Karl’s dreams had been realized,” says Jim.
Jim is also proud of the many services and facilities that SAVE, Inc. provides today, and of the reputation the organization and those involved have in providing quality service for those who need it most. Says Jim, “It’s been interesting to watch and learn from the other people involved in SAVE, and it’s been wonderful to meet others who care about the clients and SAVE’s mission.”
After 25 years, Jim still feels very connected to SAVE, Inc. As he says, “being involved with SAVE, Inc. has enriched my life as a way of honoring my late partner Karl.” He dreams of a day when a cure for HIV is announced. Until then, he knows that the staff of SAVE, Inc. will continue to serve as “missionaries right here at home,” working to enrich the lives of hundreds of individuals in Kansas City, and continuing the vision created at the kitchen table 25 years ago to bring hope to so many of our friends and neighbors in need.