I’ve never met Scott Lamaster.
Social media had introduced to me the man from Greenwood who was making more of a difference in the community than most of us could dream of.
Like many of us, I have, from afar, admired what Lamaster did for homeless and first responders across the Kansas City metro area.
It seems as if any emergency, crisis or severe weather event — from the chilliest of nights to the streaks of heat waves — were answered by Lamaster’s organization, Taking it to the Streets, in swift and impressive fashion.
Lamaster was constantly on the scene, equipping firefighters with food and water, passing out gloves and hats to those who make an underpass their home, and putting hot soup in the hands of homeless men and women who may not have otherwise had a meal that day.
It’s easy to look at the breadth and depth of what Lamaster organized and delivered and almost be overwhelmed by the gravity of it all. Then you remember that, in the beginning, he was (and still is) one man driven by a calling to make a difference in this world.
This week, Lamaster was prepping a gas grill so he could cook up, and ultimately deliver, sandwiches around town when something went terribly wrong. He suffered severe burns over his hands, face and arms.
Now, for the man who put so much of himself into simply being there for others, the community rallies on his behalf.
We have to believe in this crazy world that when you put good in, you get good out. Call it karma. Call it balance. Whatever it is, every bottle of water, act of kindness, and moment of compassion Lamaster acted on himself and inspired in others should come back 10-, 100-, 1,000-fold for him during this time of need.
Lamaster and his outreach team have touched the lives of many in Kansas City, outside of our metro area and worldwide.
Included in that team is his daughter, Janna Jensen, who manages international operations for Taking it to the Streets and has set up a Go Fund Me page at https://www.gofundme.com/medical-bills-for-scott-lamaster to help alleviate the inevitable onslaught of medical bills that come with such procedures and surgeries.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 169 people had donated in excess of $18,500 to ease Lamaster’s financial burden. It’s truly been more than a gesture of appreciation for what he has done and for the organization he has built.
All of us could take just one page out of Lamaster’s massive giving playbook and put it in to effect in our own lives — one meal, one pair of gloves, one act of giving.
Lamaster shows us that it all matters.
And when the man behind the help becomes the man in need of help, the community who has watched his good deeds steps up immediately, in a way saying, “Thank you, Scott. We’re here for you now.”
Lee’s Summit resident John Beaudoin writes about city and civic issues, people and personalities around town. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.