Support those who support PADS

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Giving away goods, space, and services for an evening is not generally thought to be a formula for long-term financial success in the business world.

It might surprise Oak Parkers then, to learn that several local businesses did just that for the recent West Suburban PADS annual Progressive Dinner. Both Maya del Sol and Winberie's (for the 11th time) opened their doors to 210 rotating guests who enjoyed appetizer and entree courses. Then Cucina Paradiso and Caribou Coffee provided a sweet ending to the evening in space provided by Scoville Square. As a result, $12,000 was raised — 100% of which will be invested in PADS' Homeless Prevention program.

As grateful as we are to everyone involved in this wonderful event (and it's a long list), we are also very aware that down the street at First United Church, a team of dedicated volunteers was providing a meal, a place to stay and basic medical care to about 60 men, women and children. The need for this vital safety net has been steadily growing during PADS' 21-year history.

It should not escape anyone's notice that the location of PADS' overnight shelters also rotate nightly. We also thought about the people who visit the PADS Support Center in Maywood for additional support, job training and housing assistance. And then we thought about the people whose homelessness may have been prevented altogether as a result of the help of people they do not even know.

In gratitude, our family will be making a conscious effort to patronize the outstanding businesses listed above all year long because they — along with organizations like West Suburban PADS and the people who support it — make our community a place where we look after each other.

Steve & Carrie Bankes

Board member, West Suburban PADS, Progressive Dinner co-chairs

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