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TO GIVE, TO INSPIRE | Helping to Fill Home with Happiness


SHARING CONNECTIONS “Tonight, everyone eats at a table and sleeps in a bed.” This is the vision statement that inspires many in Downers Grove and the surrounding neighborhoods to get involved with Sharing Connections, an organization that tries to make a difference with local homelessness. The organization began in 1986 when their founder, Leanne McGrath, heard about a woman with a baby and no crib or baby items. She took up a collection from her neighborhood to get what she needed, and a mission was born.

Thirty plus years later, Sharing Connections is continuing to collect used furniture and household items from the community, bringing it back to their warehouse in Downers Grove to clean, treat and place on their “showroom floor”. The organization partners with social services agencies that serve populations dealing with homelessness, general poverty, domestic abuse and veteran transition. “As they move out of homelessness, we provide the items they need to create stability in their new home,” explains Deb Rickert, CEO of Sharing Connections.

In 2016 alone, over 6600 individuals were served through the foundation, over 3,700 of them were children and 51% came from DuPage County. “None of this could work without the dedication of our volunteers,” says Deb. “Coming to work each day and seeing these people who give so much of their heart to people who have so little is really inspiring.”

There are so many ways you could get involved including donating slightly used furniture and household items, working at the warehouse, at events or working directly with clients. Sharing Connections has a very small staff so they rely heavily on their volunteers. If you are a runner, Midwest University will be holding the 28th annual Groovin’ in the Grove 5K and one mile fun run on May 13th in Downers Grove. All the proceeds benefit the Sharing Connections. In September, the organization’s annual golf outing will be held at the Seven Bridges Golf Course. “It’s great to have events like these,” says Deb, “where people can have fun while still making a difference and serving the needs of those less fortunate in their own community.”

Mindy’s May Giving Inspiration: Try complimenting the first three people you see after reading this.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Mindy Kyle is the owner of Be Inspired Studios and is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Masters in Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dog in the land.

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