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TO GIVE, TO INSPIRE | Local Mom Creates Non-Profit to Help Families After Losing Her Daughter



by Mindy Kyle


NORMAL MOMENTS

NAPERVILLE–Oh my gosh. We were all so busy over the holidays, and now we are hustling to get a leg-up on a new year, whatever that means to you- organizing, cleaning, planning, finding time to tackle a project. There is hope in the air that this will be the year it all gets done, but if you have ever had a critically ill family member, especially a child, those lofty goals are put on the way way back burner as you struggle just to keep up with everyday tasks.


Patricia Fragen, Founder and President of Normal Moments in Naperville, knows this all too well and created an organization devoted to supporting parents with critically ill children, so they can spend as much time as possible with their child and family. Their core services are providing housekeeping, lawn maintenance, and snow removal, and any tasks they are able to take off the parents’ plates.


David Orlicz


Patricia lost her daughter Melissa in 2007 after battling cancer for two years. David Orlicz, a family friend, became their support at home while they were with Melissa in the hospital. “He was the person we relied on,” says Patricia. “He looked after our dogs and our plants, read our mail to us, and was there to talk and listen if we wanted. Melissa said to me one day, ‘Everyone deserves a David’. So, in her honor, that is what we are creating for these families.” The process is extremely personal because they train and embed one or two volunteers into a family to be their “David” – and yes, the volunteers are called Davids.


Between all their services, they serve around 250-300 families, including providing over 100 holiday meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas with the help of First Trust Cares Foundation in Wheaton. Their #1 favorite program for both donors and recipients is their Adopt-A-Family program for the gift-giving holidays.


Normal Moments is always looking for volunteers to be new “Davids” as well as donations. Since there aren’t always volunteers close enough to the families they serve, professional providers are hired until a volunteer can be found. While most providers discount their services, fees still need to be paid. 100% of donor dollars go directly to serve families. Not being able to hold their fundraisers during the pandemic, has unfortunately, lowered donated funds to the organization.


If you would like more information about donating to or volunteering with Normal Moments, please visit them at www.normalmoments.org


ABOUT THE WRITER

Mindy Kyle is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and is a veteran of Chicago’s theater and commercial world as well as a graduate of the Second City Improv School. Mindy lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dog in the land.








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