LLC Gives Back: Local. Family. Fun. It isn’t just the mission. It’s Little Lake County’s vision. What can we do to help our local families? Every month LLC explores a local nonprofit organization, introduces them to our readers, and provides examples of ways to make a positive impact in our community.
PADS Lake County is our second quarter charity partner as part of our Little Lake County Gives Back program, a community outreach effort to connect not-for-profit organizations with our readers. For more information on the program, please contact Melissa at [email protected].
Today we are highlighting personal stories from volunteers who work directly with PADS Lake County. If you missed the previous two articles in this series, you can catch up here: Meet PADS and How to Help. To set the stage, volunteer Diane describes the room to me:
Imagine a blank room, volunteers begin setting up by placing clean sheets on the pads for the floor. Dinner begins to cook and fill the room with the scent of roast chicken. Volunteers arrive in shifts, first with their children to set up the room, then later adults stay with the homeless through the night. In the morning, breakfast is served and the visitors are sent on their way with a sack lunch filled to the brim with two sandwiches, snacks, juice, chips and cookies.
Some night are quiet. Some nights, the visitors move around. Volunteer Jennifer recalls learning how to play chess from a man named John. It was 2:00 a.m. John couldn’t sleep, so he came into the cafeteria area and taught Jen how to play chess with his own set. It was one of very few possessions he still had, and he loved sharing it during a special moment that will be treasured by Jennifer for years to come.
Another volunteer, Katherine, shops for PADS meals each month and her children. When her children became curious who this food was for, she brought her kids to the set up one month and showed them where people sleep, where they clean up in the restroom, and explained how they have no place else to go. It’s a nice visual for children to understand how lucky they are and how much they have to be thankful for in their own lives.
Volunteer Tara helps behind the scenes and organizes the volunteers for one of the sites. She coordinates how many people are needed for each task and each shift. Tara also cooks many meals, and her daughter’s girl scout troop made the sack lunches for PADS last month as their service project.
If your family has a sense of adventure, consider attending the SleepOut for Shelter. By sleeping outside for one night, you can raise money and awareness for the PADS mission. The event takes place at Six Flags Great America, and your family will be able to enjoy after hours rides and other perks.
There are many ways to help PADS Lake County. Please share this article with others in order to get the word out about this amazing organization. Thank you!