MORRIS – Grundy Area PADS recognized volunteers at its 2014 volunteer appreciation breakfast Saturday morning in Morris.
“What a spectacular group of people to spend their time month after month making sure someone else is cared for,” said Brent Newman, president of Public Action to Deliver Sustenance. “It’s a great service for the community.”
He told those in attendance how they showed love to the people in the community, making sure the homeless have somewhere to sleep and to eat.
“Thank you, thank you, a million times, thank you,” he told the volunteers gathered for breakfast at the Eagles Hall in Morris.
The Rev. Doc Newcomb, former pastor of First United Methodist Church in Morris and current pastor at Good Samaritan United Methodist Church in Addison, was an overnight shelter leader when PADS first opened in Morris. He attended as the featured speaker for the event.
“When we started, we opened up, and no one showed up,” he said. “We practiced putting the pads out and making sure the breathalyzer worked.”
By the time the second year started, more people showed up and volunteers were there every night, he said.
“This past winter was especially cold. You had to get up and go out. Good for you,” he said to the volunteers. “What you did was serve God.”
Those in attendance were told that PADS wants those who need the shelter to be able to have their own home, and how just this year one woman was able to go from the shelter to her own home.
Four awards were presented for contributions to the organization.
Chicago Pizza Department was given the Award for Outstanding Kindness. After a mix up in schedules one Saturday night, volunteers realized they needed to get the guests dinner and the owners of Chicago Pizza Department stepped up and delivered pizzas at no cost – and then continued to do so every Saturday for the rest of the PADS season.
Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers was presented the Award for Outstanding Service for its dedication in laundering the bedding used by the guests and providing dinner nightly as needed.
Peace Lutheran Church was presented the Award for Outstanding Hospitality for opening its doors originally two nights a week, and then taking a third night when Immaculate Conception Church had plumbing issues, welcoming not only the guests but the volunteers from the other church.
Ron Logsdon, owner of 2 Guys Design in Coal City, was given the Award for Outstanding Contribution for designing and creating the organization’s website at no cost.
“It’s such a great worthy cause, I’d feel ashamed if I took any funds from other people in need,” Logsdon said. “I had to think hard to get it right.”
A drawing was held for the volunteers who got to choose from gift cards to local establishments as a way to say thank you, in addition to the breakfast of biscuits and gravy, eggs, and fresh fruit.