Thursday, July 5, 2012

I am Begging for Food, Outright Donations, and Volunteers for Compassion for Campers!

Note:  This plea is from Lisa Jacobsen, coordinator of Compassion for Campers for the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry.  The program is providing needed supplies for homeless PADS clients, who have to camp out over the months when the church-based rotating homeless shelters in McHenry County are closed from April through September.  Recently Lisa and her helpers have been trying to provide a good lunch at the PADS office at 14411 Kishwaukee Valley Road in rural Woodstock every Monday.  The need and demand is overwhelming.  If you can respond to Lisa’s plea, call her at 815-337-0075 or e-mail ourlocalgurl@gmail.comThis is Lisa's plea.

I’m begging for hamburger meat—or any meat—because there’s a 7 year old boy who ate 3 giant burgers on Monday morning, and for the 9 other kids who weren’t far behind him.

I’m begging for fresh fruit and salads, because there’s a 3 year old who grins with delight at the sight of fresh blueberries on the table—and she can’t get enough.

I’m begging for outright cash donations, so we can continue to provide lunch on Mondays for the PADS campers who show up. We went thru 60 cheese hamburgers, 10 hot dogs, 7 lbs. of potato salad, 10 lbs. of grilled onions, a huge green salad, chips, cookies, brownies, pop, water, and juice—all in 70 minutes.

People rode their bikes, they walked, they used whatever gas they had to come for lunch on Monday and I have weeks ahead where I have no idea where the food is going to come from. 

For those of you who have volunteered with PADS in the past, our “guests” are looking pretty ragged and frazzled. They’re living in tents or their cars in this horrendous heat and drought. They’re freezing old plastic containers of water at the day center as fast as they can, so folks can have something cold to help preserve food, and then something to drink when it melts. And, by the way, we’ll take any plastic containers you have in your kitchen—clean cottage cheese/yogurt containers, old Tupperware, clean milk jugs—anything with a top that still seals to use for this.

People are hungry, they’re thirsty, and they’re suffering right here on our doorstep. It may be the guy ahead of you buying two tomatoes and a bottle of water with a LINK card at the grocery store; it may be the mother walking down the side of the road, with two kids in tow, and a jug of milk in her hand; it may be the sweaty guy at the gas station waiting to use the men's room.

There are only 7 of us doing this so far. We’re buying all the groceries and we’re cooking all the food. We can’t continue at this rate and desperately need your help—any help—all help. You can bring food to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 5603
Bull Valley Road in McHenry and we will stash it in the fridge.  Call ahead for hours when the church is open, 815 322-2464. You can put some dollars in the can in front of the minister’s office mail a check made out the Unitarian Universalist Congregation with “Compassion for Campers” on the memo line.

If you have a food donation, or camping supplies, you can call or email me and I’ll come and get it from your house.

And if you can come on a Monday at 10:45 we will change your life thru the service you provide and your chance to meet and dine with the remarkable people of all ages and genders who gather for these meals.

I know the call for help is overwhelming at times. I am overwhelmed by the need.

But jeez—there’s a 7 year old who ate 3 big cheeseburgers.

 —Lisa Jacobsen

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