‘Cop and Convict’ share message of hope over dope to Chicago suburb

By Tom Siebert
Community Contributor

“My name is Tim, and I’m a grateful recovering alcoholic and heroin addict.”

With those sobering words, Tim Ryan introduced himself not to a 12-step meeting Wednesday night but to an audience of more than 200 people gathered at the Naperville Municipal Center, west of Chicago.

“This is a great community but I’m sick and tired of burying people,” Ryan said, explaining that he has attended more than 113 funerals for those who have died from drugs during the past three and a half years.

But the founder of the A Man In Recovery Foundation said that he has also steered more than 3,000 addicts into treatment during that period, some into Transformations, a south Florida rehabilitation center for which he works as national outreach director.

Ryan, who was sent to prison twice for drug- and alcohol-connected offenses, spoke at a community forum entitled “The Unforgettable Drug Program: The Cop and the Convict,” cosponsored by the local nonprofit group KidsMatter and the Naperville Police Department.

The “cop” in the forum’s title is Naperville police detective Rich Wistocki, who was contacted by Ryan shortly after he was released from prison in late 2013. The recovering addict was seeking the assistance of the law enforcement officer in his crusade against drug addiction.

Wistocki, a 27-year police veteran, was skeptical of Ryan’s motives. But after conducting his own investigation, he was convinced that the ex-convict had truly turned his life around. So the two teamed up to begin presenting their “cop and convict” seminar to communities throughout Illinois.

At the Naperville forum, Ryan captured the attention of the audience with his riveting story of alcohol abuse, drug addiction, and near death.

He grew up in Crystal Lake, spent much of his teens and twenties under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, but did not get hooked on heroin until he was 32. Still, he was a functioning addict, able to make big bucks as a “headhunter” for a tech-industry executive recruiting firm.

However, much of his lucrative salary went to support his $500-per-day heroin habit, rather than his wife and four children. He flirted with death every day. “I overdosed eight times and was pronounced clinically dead three times,” Ryan recounted.

In December 2010, Ryan had just shot heroin into his veins on Chicago’s West Side when he passed out in his mini-van, crashing into two vehicles. Paramedics administered two doses of the life-saving medication naloxone, which reverses the effects of heroin.

Ryan was charged with aggravated DUI, bailed out of jail, but continued to use heroin during a long, protracted court fight. It was during that time that he learned his teenage son Nick had also descended into drug addiction.

The father and son soon began using heroin together.

“I know it sounds crazy but that’s how Nick and I bonded,” Ryan told the incredulous crowd. “I was his friend when I should have been his father.”

In late 2012, Ryan was convicted and sentenced to prison. At that time there were 28 prisons in Illinois and only two offered residential drug treatment, one of them Sheridan Correctional Center.

So in his cell at the prison reception facility in Joliet, he prayed: “God, Higher Power, or whatever You are, please take away my obsession and compulsion, and I swear I will turn my will and life over to You. And please let me get to Sheridan!”

Ryan’s prayers were answered and he wound up at the treatment center, where he and other inmates became well versed in the Bible and the book Alcoholics Anonymous during his 13 months in prison. They went to meetings, participated in group therapy, and looked out for each other.

He was released in December 2014, and eight months later, his 20-year-old son Nick died of a heroin overdose. Ryan went to a 12-step meeting that night, and a month later, the grief-stricken father founded A Man In Recovery in memory of his late son.

Since then he has been getting addicts into treatment, running recovery groups, and teaming up with Wistocki to raise community awareness about drug abuse and prevention.

Ryan, a Naperville resident, has been featured in many publications such as Newsweek and USA Today. He also has appeared on several television programs, including Fox and Friends and The Steve Harvey Show. And his recovery story was the subject of an A & E documentary called “Dope Man.”

Wistocki’s segment of the forum was highlighted by tough talk to the many parents in the audience.

“There’s no such thing as privacy with children,” the detective told them. “All of you parents here tonight are responsible for your children. You are responsible for their devices.”

In an elaborate PowerPoint presentation, Wistocki showed the parents how to monitor their kids’ cellphones and computers to determine if they are purchasing and using drugs. He also suggested searching their rooms for other tell-tale signs of drug use.

“If your kids have a scale, it’s not because they are really smart in science,” the detective quipped, eliciting nervous laughter among the crowd.

But there was nothing funny about the statistics read to the audience by Naperville Deputy Police Chief Jason Arres. The police department has responded to 104 overdose calls so far this year, doubling the numbers of 2015 and 2016.

Arres said further that as of Nov. 8, there had been 29 heroin overdoses and five heroin deaths in the city this year. He added that thus far in 2017, there have been 56 prescription drug overdoses and no fatalities.

The good news is that 23 times this year drug users were saved from overdoses after receiving a dose of narcan, an antidote that was administered by either Naperville police or paramedics.

The deputy police chief also updated the community on a recently enacted department policy that allows drug addicts to turn themselves and avoid arrest, stating that 32 people have taken advantage of the treatment-alternative program.

“It’s not just about arresting people; it’s about helping them,” Arres asserted. “We are going to help them get treatment whether they can afford it or not.

“We cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem.”

Tim Ryan





Posted in Addiction, Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Naperville, Police, Recovery, Tom Siebert | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Democrat Howard Dean and Republican Newt Gingrich to keynote 2018 World Leaders Forum at Judson University

By Tom Siebert

Hoping to generate less heat and more light in the global political debate, Judson University has scheduled ex-Vermont Governor Howard Dean and former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to speak, not spar, at the Christian college’s seventh World Leaders Forum next spring.


“In a world that is becoming increasingly politically divided, Judson University is honored to host a conversation highlighting the importance of civility in political discourse,” said university President Gene Crume. “We believe in presenting our campus and our community with a balanced approach to understanding divergent ideologies by fostering respectful dialogue.”

Mr. Dean and Mr. Gingrich, both of whom were once front runners for their respective parties’ presidential nominations, are set to keynote the 2018 World Leaders Forum, entitled “A Bipartisan Conversation About Leadership in Divided Times.”

The event is slated for April 19 at Judson’s campus in northwest suburban Elgin, followed by a VIP reception and photo opportunity in Chicago. The two political leaders will be sharing a stage for the first time since 2011.

Howard Dean served as governor of Vermont from 1991 to 2003, gaining a national reputation for fiscal responsibility as well as promoting equality and opportunity for the state’s residents. Governor Dean was named public official of the year by Governing magazine in 2002.

He ran for president in 2004, coming in second place for the Democratic nomination behind Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. Mr. Dean then ran the Democratic National Committee from 2005-2009, helping his party take control of the House of Representatives in 2006 and the Senate in 2008. He is a frequent guest on political talk shows.

Newt Gingrich was first elected to the House from Georgia in 1978 and served until 1999. He was House minority whip from 1989-1995 and speaker from 1995-1999. Under his leadership, the House passed welfare reform, the first balanced budget in a generation, and the first tax cut in 16 years. In addition, funding was restored to strengthen defense and intelligence capabilities, an action later lauded by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.

Mr. Gingrich ran a surprisingly strong campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, which was eventually won by Arizona Senator John McCain. He has published 35 books, including 15 New York Times bestsellers. He is currently a Fox News contributor and senior advisor at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm.

Previous keynoters at the World Leaders Forum were former President George W. Bush, ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, and Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan.

The forum affords Judson students and the Chicagoland community an opportunity to be inspired by significant thought leaders. Proceeds fund Judson leadership scholarships, innovative entrepreneurial activities, and ongoing operations of the World Leaders Forum.

Judson University offers a Christian liberal arts and sciences education through its bachelor of arts degrees for more than 60 majors, minors, and graduate programs. Also offered are online certification and accelerated adult-degree programs. For more information, visit www.JudsonU.edu.


Posted in Howard Dean, Judson University, Newt Gingrich, Tom Siebert | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Famed illusionist tells Christian college audience that it was not magic but a miracle that cured his cancer

By Tom Siebert

World-known illusionist Jim Munroe wowed a Judson University crowd with sleight of hand Monday night but asserted that it was the hand of God that healed him from a fatal form of leukemia.

“Modern medicine was a huge part of helping me be well,” said the Christian magician, keynoting the World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series at the college in Elgin, Illinois. “But, for me, it’s more than the medicine. I am overwhelmingly convinced of who this Jesus is now.”

Mr. Munroe was a standout pitcher for the University of Texas but his prospects for a career in major league baseball were derailed by an injury, prompting him to pursue a living as an illusionist.

The world of magic, with its “trapped doors” and “smoke and mirrors,” made him skeptical about the Christian faith in which he had been brought up.

“I was a self-proclaimed agnostic, borderline atheist,” he told the audience of several hundred at Judson’s Herrick Chapel.

But just as Jim was increasingly questioning the existence of God, he was faced with his own existential crisis, a deadly diagnosis of blood cancer in 2009 when he was only 29.

Mr. Munroe had good health insurance so he was fortunate to become a patient at the prestigious University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. However, his doctor told him: “We do not have a medical cure for you in this hospital.”

The one-time top athlete was ravaged with pain as his red blood cells were literally blowing up and damaging his bones. The only treatment was radical chemotherapy that would destroy Jim’s existing red cells and replace them with bone marrow that could produce healthy blood.

His oncologist said that he needed “the perfect blood of a perfect match” that would make him “a new creation.” That kind of talk reminded Mr. Munroe of his church upbringing, specifically, “the perfect blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ” that was written about in the New Testament of the Bible.

“It was like a Christian episode of The Twilight Zone,” he told the hushed crowd.

There was only one problem. He desperately needed a bone marrow donor. A check of an international donor database turned up just one person out of 9 million whose bone marrow matched his.

That person was Jennell Jenney, then 20, of Milwaukee.

The audience erupted into cheers and applause as Ms. Jenney, now 29, walked onto the stage, displaying a tattoo of a jigsaw puzzle on her inner right arm––the exact spot where a needle was injected to draw her bone marrow so that Jim could live.

“I was the missing piece in his life,” she explained, encouraging everyone there to consider enrolling in the Be The Match National Marrow Donor Program.

Mr. Munroe, who is now 38, added: “I stand here today one hundred percent completely cancer free because of that perfect blood of a perfect match.”

The World Leaders Forum offers Judson students and the Chicagoland community an opportunity to be inspired by significant thought leaders. In previous years, the Christian university has hosted former President George W. Bush, ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Mexican President Felipé Calderon, ex-Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Queen Noor of Jordan, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Olympic Gold Medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton, and Life Without Limbs founder, author, and motivational speaker Nick Vujicic.

All proceeds from the event fund Judson leadership scholarships and innovative entrepreneurial activities as well as supporting the ongoing operational purposes of the World Leaders Forum.

In addition to financial aid, Judson leadership scholars have access to unique opportunities for cultivating their skills through the forum and via monthly meetings with university president Gene Crume.

Student scholars receive leadership training and financial aid based on their academic merit and financial need. To be eligible, a student must demonstrate entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership, faith, and sense of mission.

“It’s an honor to collaborate with an organization that is important to this community and our keynote speaker,” Mr. Crume said of the Monday night event. “We hope Be The Match’s presence on campus will help students and visitors learn more about the organization and ways they can help.”

Jim Munroe is author of the The Charlatan: The Skeptical, Mysterious, Supernatural True Story of a Christian Magician. He has taken his show, called the MAZE, throughout the world, recruiting more than 14,000 donors to the national registry. He lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with his wife and two children.

Prior to telling his testimony, Mr. Munroe warmed up the crowd by performing clever tricks of his trade. One of those included divining the last name of Abby Jungels, a Judson senior majoring in marketing and business management.

He then beckoned Ms. Jungels up to the stage, where he had her randomly pick out ten playing cards from a cut deck. When he turned over the cards that she had selected, they just happened to match her cellphone number.

Asked later how the magician was able to pull off such a feat, she responded: “He’s talented. It’s a God-given talent.”

World Leaders Forum.jpg

Posted in Cancer, Chicago, Christianity, Judson University, Tom Siebert | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Homeless group facing critical shortage of volunteers

By Tom Siebert
Assistant Director for Community Relations
Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) of Kendall County, Illinois

Unless Kendall County PADS can recruit about 100 more volunteers in less than a month, the nonprofit group will be unable to start its eighth season of providing nutritious meals and overnight housing to the area’s homeless community.

“We depend entirely on volunteers to provide a shelter program for men, women, and children experiencing homelessness,” said Anne Engelhardt, executive director of Kendall County PADS. “Without a full staff of volunteers every night of the week, that site would not be able to open.”

Anyone interested in learning how PADS has been helping their homeless neighbors is invited to attend a new volunteer training session from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 21, at the Yorkville Congregational United Church of Christ, 409 Center Parkway, on the northwest corner of Illinois Routes 34 and 47.

The two-hour training session will include an overview of PADS––how it operates each night and the integral role of volunteers. Attendees will learn general operational procedures, how to address health issues, and the importance of kindness to guests.

New recruits will also receive a volunteer manual and be assigned to an experienced shelter coordinator who will serve as a mentor to them. The hope is that each person attending will be informed and would feel comfortable with their role in Kendall County PADS, should they be inspired to serve. The session is free, refreshments will be served, and there is no commitment obligation.

During the colder months of the year, nearly 600 volunteers provide safe shelter, nourishing meals, and caring hospitality to PADS guests. Most volunteers serve one or two times each month for four and a half hours. Some of the site coordinators serve every week.

One of those is Sandy Lindblom, head site coordinator at Yorkville Congregational, who has volunteered at PADS for the past seven shelter seasons.

“What I find most rewarding is how much it means to those who have received our hospitality, and how much it means to them when they are able to find jobs and housing,” Ms. Lindblom said. She added that it is particularly heartening when guests “come back as volunteers.”

Ms. Engelhardt said serving at a PADS location is “like being part of a track rally team. Shift one with four volunteers needs to pass the baton to shift two with four volunteers and then pass the baton to shift three volunteers. If any one shift is missing volunteers, that night is incomplete and cannot host.”

Speakers at the training session will also discuss the services provided by food teams, laundry exchange drivers, shift volunteers, and site coordinators. There will also be a representative from the Guest Assistance Program offered by social work interns from Aurora University. The GAP helps guests with employment, permanent housing, and personal issues.

RaeAnn VanGundy, operations manager for the Kendall County Health Department, will talk about how that agency assists PADS guests by assigning a counselor to a shelter site once per week.

“Homeless people are under a lot of stress. We try to lift their burdens in any way that we can,” Ms. VanGundy said. “If we can provide a link or a referral, that can be life changing.”

Safety issues will be addressed by representatives from local police departments and the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office.

Each of the seven Kendall County PADS shelters are scheduled to be open one overnight per week from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. starting on October 15 and ending on April 14, 2018. The nights and sites are as follows:

· Sundays: Cross Lutheran Church, 8609 Route 47, Yorkville

· Mondays: Yorkville Congregational United Church of Christ, 409 Center Parkway, Yorkville

· Tuesdays: Harvest New Beginnings church, 5315 Douglas Road, Oswego

· Wednesdays: Parkview Christian Academy, upper campus, 202 East Countryside Parkway, Yorkville

· Thursdays: Trinity United Methodist Church, 2505 Boomer Lane, Yorkville

· Fridays: Church of the Good Shepherd, 5 West Washington Street, Oswego

· Saturdays: St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 53 Fernwood Road, Montgomery

Overnight guests at PADS receive a hot meal, a safe place to sleep, breakfast, and a packaged lunch to go. They also receive help with employment, social services, and housing referrals.

PADS of Kendall County is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) group funded by donations received from grants, gifts, individuals, organizations, and businesses. Those who wish to donate or volunteer may call (630) 553-5073 or visit the website at http://www.kendallcountypads.org

“We are very grateful for the generous monetary donations that help to support the program needs,” stated Ms. Engelhardt. “But without volunteers, the shelter program cannot operate, cannot exist.”

She describes PADS volunteers as “amazing” and said that for many, service is its own reward. “Giving another human being the most basic things––a warm place to sleep and meals––is a privilege and an opportunity to learn more about others and about yourself.

“Volunteers and guests often eat together and share in conversation. Beginning to understand the life of a person experiencing homelessness can be both eye opening and personally transformative.”



Posted in Christianity, Kendall County, PADS, Tom Siebert | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Christian school set to open its doors and hearts to the homeless in the suburbs west of Chicago

By Tom Siebert
Assistant Director for Community Relations
Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) of Kendall County, Illinois

Parkview Christian Academy in Yorkville, a rustic suburb west of Chicago, will be joining six area churches this fall in providing nutritious meals and overnight housing to the homeless as Kendall County PADS starts its eighth shelter season.

“We’re excited,” said Parkview Superintendent Deborah Benson, explaining that she has been receiving favorable feedback from parents about the school’s new mission. “The responses have ranged from very positive to ‘that’s awesome.’”

The need for a new Wednesday night shelter arose earlier this year when the United Methodist Church of Plano announced that it was unable to continue in the PADS program after six years of service. At the same time, Parkview was in the process of purchasing the building that formerly housed the Club 47 fitness facility at 202 East Countryside Parkway to accommodate its expanding enrollment, which has grown to about 350 students.

“God had blessed us with this facility so how could we not share it with the community?” Ms. Benson asked. “We want to teach Christ to our students.”

The private academy went through “a very careful process” before bringing the PADS proposal to its board of directors for consideration, she said. That included contacting representatives of the churches that have been hosting homeless shelters in partnership with Kendall County PADS since 2010. “It was all positive,” she said.

The school’s board voted unanimously to approve the measure earlier this month, to the delight and relief of the nonprofit group, which had been reaching out to the community for a replacement shelter site.

Superintendent Benson said PADS guests will be able to walk directly into the school’s gymnasium, which houses kitchen facilities and a dining area as well as separate bathrooms and sleeping quarters for women and men.

Being able to take a mid-week shower will be an added blessing to the overnight guests of Parkview. The two churches that open shelters on the weekends have shower facilities but the ones that operate during the other four days of the week do not.

The Parkview shelter site will be completely separate from the academy’s classrooms, which are occupied during the day with middle and high school students. “We wanted to make sure that it is safe for all parties,” Ms. Benson added.

The Christian academy, founded in 1997, continues to operate its prekindergarten-through-early elementary school at 201 West Center Street. The rustic building once housed the old Yorkville School and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Each of the seven Kendall County PADS shelters will be open one overnight per week from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. starting on October 15 and ending on April 14, 2018. The nights and sites are as follows:

· Sundays: Cross Lutheran Church, 8609 Route 47, Yorkville

· Mondays: Yorkville Congregational United Church of Christ, 409 Center Parkway, Yorkville

· Tuesdays: Harvest New Beginnings church, 5315 Douglas Road, Oswego

· Wednesdays: Parkview Christian Academy, upper campus, 202 East Countryside Parkway, Yorkville

· Thursdays: Trinity United Methodist Church, 2505 Boomer Lane, Yorkville

· Fridays: Church of the Good Shepherd, 5 West Washington Street, Oswego

· Saturdays: St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 53 Fernwood Road, Montgomery

Several volunteers from United Methodist plan to continue their service to the homeless at Parkview. One of those is Diane Morris, who was the PADS head site coordinator at the Plano church for four years.

“I want to thank all the volunteers who supported and worked with me to provide shelter and hot meals for the homeless,” Ms. Morris stated. “I am also thrilled to hear the new site for Wednesdays will be at Parkview Christian Academy in Yorkville. They will be a wonderful shelter to provide a safe, warm place for the homeless to lay their heads on Wednesday evenings. I look forward to helping out in a new capacity with the PADS program.”

Dick Velders, who served at United Methodist for six shelter seasons, will also be volunteering at the new site at Parkview.

“I was thrilled when Parkview Christian graciously offered their new site at the former Club 47 fitness center, where I had been a member for 18 years,” said Mr. Velders. “I was permitted to view the site after the academy had begun major remodeling and reviewed the facilities, which I strongly believe will work well for the PADS guests. Now we will vigorously reach out to volunteers to help at PADS and especially the new site.”

Overnight PADS guests receive a hot meal, safe place to sleep, breakfast, and a packaged lunch to go. Kendall County PADS is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) group funded by donations from gifts, grants, organizations, businesses, and private citizens. Those who wish to donate or volunteer may call 630-553-5073 or visit the website at kendallcountypads.org.

The homeless community is also invited to avail themselves of the PADS Guest Assistance Program. The GAP is filled by social work students from Aurora University who help guests with employment, healthcare, personal issues, and permanent housing.

Brittani Dahlman interned at Kendall County PADS during the last shelter season and is looking forward to volunteering during this school year while she studies for her master’s degree in social work at Aurora University.

“I am very excited to be a part of the team working at our new site and am grateful to be working alongside many of our dedicated volunteers in making Parkview our new safe haven for guests on Wednesday nights,” Ms. Dahlman said. “I am very thankful for the wonderful people who have offered this space for the K.C. PADS program, as well as their generosity in supporting our PADS mission and working with us to provide our services to those in need.

“Parkview is truly a blessing.”

Parkview Christian Academy

Posted in Christianity, Homeless, Jesus Christ, PADS, The Church, Tom Siebert | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jerry Lewis leaves legacy of humor and humanitarianism

By Tom Siebert

Jerry Lewis was a comic genius and visionary movie maker. If laughter is indeed the best medicine, he healed millions. Moreover, his decades of service to the Muscular Dystrophy Association helped prolong and improve the lives of countless people with physical challenges. He leaves an aching void in the world.

Jerry Lewis


Posted in Comedy, Jerry Lewis, Movies, Tom Siebert | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Homeless group reaches out to community as shelter season nears

By Tom Siebert
Assistant Director for Community Relations
Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) of Kendall County, Illinois

Volunteers from Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) of Kendall County will be blanketing the community over the next two months, sharing how the nonprofit group is helping their homeless neighbors and how they can help, too.

The volunteers will be hosting informal get-togethers at coffee shops, colleges, and libraries as PADS prepares for its eighth season of providing nourishing meals, kind hospitality, and overnight housing at seven shelter sites, each open one day of the week, from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. from October 15 through April 14, 2018.

Those who attend the community outreach gatherings will hear how PADS assists its homeless guests with not only basic needs but also employment, healthcare, social services, and the ultimate goal of securing permanent housing. There will also be time for questions and answers but no one will be under any obligation, according to Anne Engelhardt, executive director of Kendall County PADS.

She explained, “We want people to not feel like they are signing up for anything, just a time to come and find out about PADS from the people in our community who make it work.”

One of those is Caren Farrell, who has served for the past six shelter seasons at Cross Lutheran Church in Yorkville. “I enjoy the people,” Ms. Farrell said. “So many of them are cheerful. It’s always a positive experience. What is most inspirational to me about the guests is their sense of community and how they look out for each other.”

Gregg Wehrs was a PADS volunteer for three years at United Methodist Church of Plano. “I love doing it,” he said. “You get to make friends.” He feels a special kinship with the guests, having once become homeless himself. “I know where they are coming from. You think you have it all and then you don’t.”

The first community outreach will take place on Saturday, Aug. 26. A PADS booth will be set up at a volunteer fair co-hosted by Aurora University and the city of Aurora. The fair will be held from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Avenue.

PADS will also be represented at two upcoming student involvement fairs at Waubonsee Community College. The first will be a two-day event held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5, and Wednesday, Sept. 6, at the main campus, Waubonsee Drive and Illinois Route 47 in Sugar Grove. The second fair takes place from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Aurora campus, 309 N. River Street.

A PADS gathering will also be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 11, in the lower-level meeting room of the Plano Community Library District, 15 W. North Street. And on Tuesday, Sept. 12, a volunteer will be on hand at Starbucks, 1246 N. Bridge Street in Yorkville, from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. in the back meeting room.

The Montgomery Branch of the Oswego Public Library District, 1111 Reading Drive, hosts a PADS get-together from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the meeting room on Tuesday, September 12. The Oswego Public Library District, 32 Jefferson Street, has scheduled a similar event from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in their meeting room on Wednesday, September 13.

On Thursday, September 14, the Village Grind coffee house, 19 S. Main Street in Oswego, opens its doors to PADS and interested parties from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. And on Saturday, Sept. 16, Panera Bread, 1206 N. Bridge Street in Yorkville, will reserve a PADS table in their back meeting room from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m.

More than 600 volunteers are needed to serve on food teams and as laundry drivers, site coordinators, and four-hour shift workers once per week at six area churches and a new shelter site to be named later. Most of those will be returning volunteers but PADS always needs new recruits, who will be invited to a training session from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, at Yorkville Congregational United Church of Christ, 409 Center Parkway.

All volunteers will also be invited to a presentation entitled “What I Don’t Know and Need to Know about Homeless People.” The workshop will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, at a location to be announced soon.

PADS also wants its elected officials to know what they are up to. So a PADS volunteer will take part in the public comments session at the Yorkville Village Board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 8, and again on Tuesday, August 22. The board meets at 7 p.m. at 800 Game Farm Road.

A speaker is also planned for the Plano City Council meetings on Monday, Aug. 14, and Monday, Aug. 28. The council meets at 6 p.m. at 17 E. Main Street. And another PADS volunteer will be at the Oswego Village Board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 15. The board meets at 7 p.m. at 100 Parkers Mill Place.

Kendall County PADS is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization funded by donations received through grants, gifts, private donors, organizations, and businesses. Those who wish to donate or volunteer may call (630) 553-5073 or visit the website kendallcountypads.org.


Posted in Christianity, Homeless, Kendall County, PADS, The Church, Tom Siebert, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment