(As posted by the Northwest Herald on May 16, 2016)
McHenry County’s generosity continues to amaze me.
On a bitterly cold, windy night Saturday at The Church of Holy Apostles in McHenry, about 200 area residents gathered to sleep outside in cardboard boxes, tents and their own cars to raise awareness about homelessness in the county and to raise much-needed funding for PADS, Pioneer Center’s homeless services division. More than 60 others participated at LifeSpring Community Church in Spring Grove, and others slept out in their own backyards.
Temperatures dropped to the 30s, but the compassion and camaraderie of those who participated maxed out at a full 1,000.
As of Saturday, SleepOut for Shelter 2016 has raised more than $160,000 for PADS’ homeless services. More donations are expected to come in. The money raised includes a $100,000 match from the McHenry County Community Foundation, the second consecutive year it provided such a generous donation.
All foundation funding comes from community donors. No taxpayer dollars are used. So 100 percent of the money raised from SleepOut for Shelter comes from the charitable spirit of local residents.
• Dan McCaleb is executive editor of Northwest Herald and a member of the Pioneer Center for Human Services’ board of directors. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_McCaleb.