Yesterday evening all the volunteers arrived to begin their week of service in Aurora, IL. After everyone got settled in, we shared a meal together and then had an orientation to the work we would be doing for during the week. We wrapped up the evening with the PV Commissioning Service. One of our long time PVs recently moved close to the area, so she will be joining us for most of the week and she brought her husband and 18 month old daughter with her for dinner and commissioning. Starting them young!
Today we headed out for our first day of service. We went to Hesed House, the second largest shelter in the State of Illinois, and the largest shelter outside of the city of Chicago. Shelter doesn't do this organization justice, it also provides many, many other services to those in need. Check out their website if you get a chance, www.hesedhouse.org. Today we divided into two groups for different projects around the building. One group painted an office that is used for legal assistance for those that need it. The other group cleaned out a storage area, and scraped and cleaned the walls to improve the air quality of the women's shelter that is adjacent to it. After we finished up our projects, we were given a comprehensive tour of the facility as well as all that Hesed House does, it was quite impressive.
Dinner tonight was a wonderful chicken and/or shrimp fried rice with a raspberry pudding dessert. It was all scrumptious. We had a guest for dinner from World Relief and organization that we will be working with later in the week. He shared with us a bit about the organization and explained what we would be helping with on Thursday.
We wrapped up the evening with a reflection on the meaning of hesed and shared an experience from our day at Hesed House that stuck with us.