STERLING – Twin Cities PADS is now open during the day on Sundays.
During the other days of the week, residents have jobs to work, or to pursue, if they haven’t landed one yet. Sundays are different.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Myles Newberry, the shelter’s executive director. “It’s one thing to have them out of the shelter when there’s things they can do. It’s quite another when they have absolutely no place else to go.”
Typically, residents are allowed to stay in the shelter from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., then the doors are locked.
He’s already been keeping the shelter at 111 E. 29th St. open Sundays for the past 6 weeks, given how cold it got in January. It might have been the shelter’s busiest January on record, he said, which he attributes to the cold, and word of mouth about what the shelter has to offer.
Newberry said he’s consistently heard from folks who’d like to volunteer.
“This is going to give an opportunity to people who’ve always wanted to volunteer at the shelter, but just couldn’t make the schedule work because of their commitments.”
There’s some light training – where stuff is, what residents do and don’t have access to – but nothing so challenging that someone couldn’t get started right off the bat this Sunday.
If you’re gung-ho for all 12 hours, that’s fantastic, but as long as you’re willing to put in at least 4 hours, Newberry wants to hear from you.
Expect to have about a half-dozen residents at the shelter while you volunteer.
“Most of the time, you’re kind of waiting for something to happen,” Newberry said. “We don’t mind if you read your book or play on your phone. You’re there so that if residents need something they can’t take care of themselves, they’ll ask.”
HOW TO HELP
The shelter closes for the season March 31.
The shelter is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 1 through April 30, and is now open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays, too.
To volunteer for a Sunday shift, contact Executive Director Myles Newberry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-535-6886.
Don't have the time, but want to make a donation? They can be brought or mailed to Twin Cities PADS, 111 E. 29th St., Sterling IL 61081. It's a good idea to call first before coming in, at 815-626-2210.
Donations also can be made at twincitiespads.org, where you can sign up to volunteer, too.