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A Resident, a Mentor and a Hero

Location : St. Charles

"A mentor, a hero, entered into my life and our community recently. We had never met before but as I listened to her story told by her caring and mildly worried family, I felt an instant bond, a respect and a fascination with her. Tears rolled down my face as I welcomed her and invited her into future conversations about who she is and how she accomplished so much in her life. She was a kindred spirit instantly.

M was not doing well when she came to join our St. Charles family and we knew she had a rough couple months, but we also knew that we are a home of hope, change, dignity and respect. What we didn’t realize was how fast-acting such values were to her. Honor is one of her best medications and we have it readily available for her!

From being bedbound in a floppy, faded hospital gown to sitting up in her own clothes and playing Tenderly on the piano within 48 hours of her arrival, I saw one of my first Silverado miracles happen and dignity played its part.

M had a career as a counselor and distinctively is one of the founders of Hesed House in Aurora, IL. To the Fox Valley area, Hesed House is well known, but to those who have not yet heard, Hesed House exists, 'because everyone deserves dignity.'

Hesed House's mission is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless and give people the chance to hope again.

Hesed House is a national model for ending homelessness - one person, one family at a time. It is the culmination of nearly three decades of strategic evolution from a formerly acceptable model of 'eats and sheets' to a Comprehensive Homeless Resource Center - a campus of centralized highly skilled professionals collaborating to provide the tools necessary to help individuals and families break free of the shackles binding them to homelessness

Within two weeks of M’s arrival to our St. Charles community, she was helping pack up care kits to donate to those who utilize the services at Hesed House. I have served at the Hesed House in the past and upon getting a tour of the organization, was shocked at the breadth and beauty of how many people in the Fox Valley community have been touched and blessed because one woman, one mother, one faith saw an unmet need. Before I even met M, I knew there was intention and skillfulness behind this organization. M is the kind of leader that I aspire to walk after. She is the kind of woman I am proud to be in association with. Rather than getting swept up by all the wrong in the world, I want to spend my days like M, adding to the good of our families, friends, churches and neighborhoods. M has set the bar high for me and I look forward to following her lead."

- LaVon Engbers, Director of Resident and Family Services at Silverado St. Charles

If you would like to contribute to the Hesed House, click here for donation opportunities!

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