Yesterday was the first Friday of December. Here in McHenry County, Illinois that meant that it was one of the Community Resource Days serving the homeless and housing insecure at Willow Crystal Lake, 100 S. Main Street in Crystal Lake. Compassion for Campers, Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation’s long-time ministry, was on hand to distribute essential camping gear and equipment including tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, tarps, camp stoves, propane fuel tanks, flashlights plus personal hygiene items, and non-perishable food.
The need was great. The past few days were the coldest, yet this season and high winds damaged or destroyed some camp sites. New clients including women and children are showing up more frequently. We see those who never expected to be homeless but tumbled over the edge because of a job loss, medical emergency, family crisis, or legal problems along with long-time, hardcore folks.
The all are offered aid, comfort, and hope by the many agencies, government services, and community organizations on hand. And they can get a good warm meal, showers, haircuts, and laundry facilities.
We will have another Compassion for Campers distribution at the Community Resource Day on Friday, December 16. You can help bring a little holiday cheer to folks in need.
Money donations can be made to Tree of Life UU Congregation, 5603 Bull Valley, McHenry, IL 60050 by check with Compassion for Campers on the memo line or donate online at https://treeoflifeuu.breezechms.com/give/online designating Compassion for Campers in the drop-down menu.
Compassion for Campers has a special dedicated account with the church cannot use for any other purpose and Tree of Life donates all administrative expenses, so all donations go directly to assisting our clients—the most bang for your charity buck!
We can also accept direct donations of some items. Tents, sleeping bags, mats, and tarps should be new or completely clean in original bags or totes. Propane tanks, hand warmers, gloves as well as mini-flashlights with batteries are in constant demand. No bags of clothes or dirty or damaged equipment please. Contact Patrick Murfin at 815 814-5646 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how you can get the items to us.
And at Tree of Life’s 10:45 multi-platform worship service Religious Education students will present An Unhoused Christmas as their annual pageant. They are asking those in attendance to bring items for Compassion for Campers to distribute including:
High protein canned goods, with pop open tops.
Men and women’s deodorant
Larger body wipes
Coloring books and crayons for the children we have been seeing
Rope for tent tie downs
Non aspirin pain relievers
Canned tuna or chicken
back packs/ cloth tote bags
Wrapped toilet paper rolls