DYA Chicago – Setting Up PADS for a Temporary Shelter

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Dave Morawski and DYA Chicago member Michelle Schultz helping out!

On Monday, November 26, 2012, seven young adults from the DYA Chicago group entered into an experience not quite knowing what to expect.  We knew we were being invited to do service by setting up an overnightshelter for the homeless of Oak Park, IL.  The site was at the First United Methodist church, which sets up a temporary overnight shelter each night of the week for homeless through an organization called West Suburban Pads.  Upon arrival, we started helping set up the sleeping pads for the guests that night.

Dominican university students
Geric DelaPeña, Axel Vargas-Irlanda, and Erik Virden help in the kitchen.

We made sure the mattress pads had pillows, sheets, blankets, and towels.  There were to be about 60 guests that night.  After the pads were set up, we assisted the dinner crew in various tasks to ensure that the guests would have enough food and drink.  The other volunteers (who seemed to do this regularly) were a well-oiled machine,each providing food and drink and each completing their assigned duties (preparing salad, heating up lasagna, making the vegetables, pouring out the milk, juice, or water into pitchers, etc.).  Then the guests began arriving as we brought out the meal.  The people we were serving were so appreciative.

Axel and DYA member Sean Mundy helping with the beverages

“I didn’t think ‘you’re welcome’ was an appropriate response for the many thanks that the people we were serving were offering.  I just wanted to tell them that I appreciated their company as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ,” said DYA member Sean Mundy.

The night was about much more than a temporary bed, a hot meal, or a game being played.  It was about relationships, human dignity, and love.  This is certainly not a service trip we are likely to forget.  For more information about how tohelp this amazing organization (especially on this Giving Tuesday) visit http://www.westsuburbanpads.org/volunteer/ten-things-you-can-do-to-help

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About dyausa

Dominican Young Adults, U.S.A. is a national organization of people aged 18-30ish who follow in the footsteps of St. Dominic to preach the truth of God's word. We are made up of local chapters and together we are part of the International Dominican Youth Movement (IDYM), comprised of groups representing nations from all over the world.
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