Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Youth Learn About Homelessness at Tree of Life’s Camp Compassion

In McHenry county many of the homeless have to camp while PADS church shelters are closed May through September.  They are often harrassed by the police who destroy or confiscate their geer and possetions.  Some of the homeless choose to camp through the winter or are forced to if they a banned from PADS shelter for drinkning or disruptive behavior.  Many of these have serious mental health issues.

Camp Compassion is a special opportunity for the children, youth, families, and community of the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 5603 Bull Valley Road in McHenry to learn about the realities of homelessness through experience. The over-night experience will begin at 6 pm, Saturday, October 27.
Like many of the homeless, participants will sleep in no-frills tents or in cars regardless of the weather.  They will share a campfire for warmth and cooking.  They are requested to bring their own food for dinner and breakfast that can be eaten and prepared under those conditions.  Children and youth will each be accompanied by an adult supervisor—parent, guardian, or designated care provider—who will share the experience.

The Tree of  Life building on Bull Valley Road in McHenry.  Campers will sleep on the grounds behind the church.
The church building will be opened at designated times for bathroom access and will be opened by a key-carrier as needed in-between those times.  During the evening a movie will be shown in the church before the participants return to the campsite on the grounds.
Camp Compassion is co-sponsored by Tree of Life’s Social Justice Team and Religious Education Committee.  It is also a fund raiser for Compassion4Campers, the congregation’s signature social service project that provides a weekly meal and much needed supplies to the homeless from May through September when the rotating PADS church shelters are closed.  Participants are signing up sponsors for their participation.

Sunday morning participants will stay to participate in a special worship service at 10:45 focusing on homelessness in our communities.
To inquire about participating or sponsoring a participant calls Heather Madaus at 815 509-7862, Sue Rekenthaler at 815 678-7072, or Janet Burns at 847 542-7678.

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