Debbie McWatters (front and center) and her team of volunteers at Heart and Soul.

Leawood Finds Its “Heart and Soul”

Local thrift store opened in support of hospice organization.

Local thrift store opened in support of hospice organization

By Glen Vaughn-Peterson

At Heart and Soul Resale Shop in Leawood, and its sister shop Story Boutique also in Leawood, unique and eclectic goods are resold for a good cause–supporting the organization known as Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care . Despite only being open since December, the volunteer-run store has seen much success, earning around $50,000. 

Heart and Soul came about as a result of an unexpected need. At Story Boutique, 95th and Mission, some of the donations didn’t meet that store’s primary focus on clothing. 

“There were a lot of things that would come in, like a lot of vintage things, that didn’t really fit with the aesthetic of Story Boutique or what we could accomplish there,” says Caryn Hohnholt, chief development and communications officer at KCH. “But there is a market for them and it’s a lot of great stuff!” 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At Heart and Soul, 12904 State Line Rd., not only do the volunteers at the shop sell used items, but they also refurbish and repurpose. As Debbie McWatters explains, “We’ll paint things, fix things, change what it was meant to be,” citing examples such as converting a dresser into a buffet or converting a china cabinet into a bookshelf. 

None of this could have been achieved without McWatters, a long-time volunteer at KC Hospice. After many experiences with family in hospice care, she began to work as a volunteer with KCH, and has been doing so for about 20 years. She also helped Heart and Soul start up in a warehouse before moving to its current location through connections with a friend. Now McWatters heads up the various volunteers who keep the shop running and keep the things they sell looking great. 

Kansas City Hospice is a nonprofit organization that provides hospice and palliative care to patients regardless of their ability to pay, as well as other free services like grief support groups. Grants, donations and all profits from the two resale stores support the organizations. 

At Heart and Soul shoppers can browse antique furniture, ornate blown-glass decorations, art pieces of varying ages and more. The store is open twice a week on Tuesdays from noon-8 pm and Saturdays from 10-3. 


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: