This is a MUST READ about our current PADS mission in the community this past week:
"Last night was one of our first really cold nights, with lows predicted in the high teens. This shelter season has already broken the record for highest consistent attendance, and we have been bracing for more when the weather finally turned downward. Last night, we had 14 people stay at the ICC meeting house. Normally, that is not a terribly difficult number to manage, but it was the make-up of that group that made it difficult. We had a family of 5 and a new family of 3 with a very young child.
It has been our practice to try to allow families with children to stay in a room together as we feel it provides comfort for the children to know both of their parents are near them. The ICC meeting house has 4 rooms that can potentially be used for sleeping, but usually only 3 of them are used because the fourth room is the living room where the volunteers are located. When the new family arrived we had to do some re-arranging of people who were already settled. When I asked the ladies who were already settled in a room if they would mind moving to the living room to allow the family with the young child to stay together, I was so touched by their reactions. They were so kind and enthusiastic about letting the family stay together, they did not care if it meant they were in a less cozy sleeping area.
Throughout the night, although there was very little space to move, it was heartwarming to see the guests smiling and laughing with each other, playing games and continuing to support each other through what is a difficult time for all of them. While I know that the efforts I make are helping them to have a warm, safe place to stay, what most people don't realize is that through volunteering for PADS, the ultimate beneficiary is the volunteer. At a time in this world where it seems that kindness and decency have all but dried up, it is so rewarding to see strangers who find themselves in a bad spot do whatever they can to help each other. That kind of reassurance is a true gift."
Thank you so much Denise Gaska for sharing about your experience the other night at PADS. Also, due to the rise in guests we are working to find additional space to accommodate families & guests during these cold nights. If you are able to assist with our mission, please consider donating today: