Updated: Dec 28, 2019
GIFT OF GIVING BACK It’s this time year that truly reminds me about the gift of giving back. This month’s issue focuses on crafty neighbors which got me thinking about the creative lunch bags that can be made for DuPagePads “Learning through Lunches” Initiative. This new volunteer program allows for even the youngest of volunteers to help prepare sack lunches for the Interim (Overnight) Housing program, which provides homeless families and individuals access to shelter, safety and meals 365 nights a year. Kids and their families can help obtain all the food and supplies necessary to pack approximately 75 bagged lunches, and then are encouraged to be creative by drawing or writing a note of encouragement on the outside of the lunch bags! www.dupagepads.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/LTL501.pdf
As my kids have grown older, the volunteer opportunities at DuPage Pads have expanded into helping to setup beds; as well as, prepare and serve a meal for guests of the shelter. It’s a meaningful and humbling experience to create a comfortable and reliable bed for someone else for the night – a fresh mattress with clean sheets, a fluffy pillow and warm blanket, housed in a safe place.
Several area churches send groups of volunteers throughout the west suburbs to setup interim (overnight) housing sites in Glen Ellyn at First Congregational Church; St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Winfield; Trinity Episcopal Church in Wheaton; Redeemer Lutheran Church in Hinsdale; First United Methodist and St. Mary Gostyn Church in Downers Grove; Community UMC, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Celebration Campus, and St. Margaret Mary Churches in Naperville. Each are always in need of food donations, as well as plenty of volunteers to setup home base for the night. The spirit of hospitality and respect for each person flows deeply as volunteers assist staff in providing dinner, a sleeping space, breakfast, and a bag lunch to go the next day. www.dupagepads.org/solutions/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities/
The gift of giving back is by far the greatest adventure Mom’s Little Black Book goes on each year. Regardless of age, both young and old can serve their community through DuPage Pads.
Overview In DuPage County, we can all do something incredible; we can work together to offer people hope and possibility to end homelessness in our community. Volunteers make DuPagePads an agency of positive change in the lives of people in crisis in DuPage County.
DuPage Pads 601 West Liberty, Wheaton (630) 682-3846, www.dupagepads.org
Hours: Hours vary depending on volunteer opportunity selected
Price $: Priceless
ABOUT THE WRITER Naperville mom Kristen Kucharski graduated from Illinois State University in 1992 with an International Business Degree. She is married and has two energetic daughters and her house is always full of children. Kristen’s column titled, Mom's Little Black Book, is a monthly feature written for moms who are looking for ways to keep their kids busy.