Thursday, July 7, 2022

Devastating Storms a Disaster for the Un-Housed—Emergency Supplies Need Now


The series of drenching thunderstorms and gale-force winds that swept McHenry County this week and are expected to continue struck the homeless population especially hard.  “We know from experience that many camp sites were destroyed and ruined,” said Compassion for Campers coordinator Patrick Murfin.  Compassion for Campers is the program that provides basic gear, supplies, personal items, and non-perishable food to those who must live all or part of the month outside.

The program distributes supplies on the first and third Fridays of every month at the recently renamed Community Resource Days hosted by Willow Crystal Lake, 100 South Main Street.  The next event is scheduled from 10 am to 2 pm on Friday, July 15.

“We will not be able to meet the huge demand this time without immediate help from the community,” Murfin said.  “We are ordering what we can from our available funds from Amazon for delivery next week.  But it will not be enough.”

Compassion for Campers is appealing for direct donations of certain critically needed items from the public.  These include:

Two and three person easy to erect tents.  Must be new or gently used and clean and in original carrying cases with all parts.  No heaps of fabric and frames please.

New or like new single and double sleeping bags in their carrying bags.

Waterproof Camping Tarps 7.5’ x 9.5’.

16 oz.  Propane fuel tanks for single burner camp stoves.

Bug spray—High DEET content wet and dry.

Please, no bags of clothing.

Items can be dropped off at Murfin’s Crystal Lake residence, 522 West Terra Cotta Avenue (Rt. 176).

Compassion for Campers will also need monetary donations to continue our purchases over the summer.  The program is a ministry of the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry.  The program has a special dedicated account which the church cannot use for any other purpose and the congregation donates all administrative expenses, so all donations go directly to serving our clients.  “It’s the biggest bang for your charity donation,” Murfin said.

Donations can be made by check to Tree of Life UU Congregation, 5603 Bull Valley Road, McHenry, IL 60050 with Compassion for Campers on the memo line.  Give by text from your cell phone to 815 332-0643. Enter the dollar amount you wish to give along with designating Compassion for Campers.  Give online at  You can choose to give by credit card or authorized ACH bank transfer.  Again, designate donation to Compassion for Campers.

For more information contact Patrick Murfin at 815 814-5645 or e-mail


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