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Letter: How deeply our communities care

Published: Monday, July 21, 2014 10:55 p.m. CST

To the Editor:

On the Fourth of July, as our great nation celebrated our founding, our blessings and the freedom we value so highly, our local communities came together to celebrate our spirit of caring for our neighbors most in need.

Almost 450 of you – men and women, infants through the elderly – gathered in the early morning mist at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve to run and/or walk in support of the important challenge of sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry and offering hope and a future to those who feel they have none.

Seventeen years ago, we could hardly believe that the homeless were among us. Today – with the realization that lives can be re-directed with professional staff and compassionate care – Lazarus House offers comprehensive services through our Emergency Shelter, Center for Transitional Living and outreach programs, all which are focused on either prevention of homelessness to begin with, or re-integrating the formerly homeless back in to their community with new skills and changed lives.

Often I am asked, “Isn’t the work of Lazarus House hard or depressing?” Certainly it can be challenging seeing the most vulnerable and challenged in their darkest hour.

However, we at Lazarus House also believe we have the best vantage point in the world for witnessing how deeply our communities care and how dedicated you are to supporting this important work we all do together.

Thank you for every meal you cook, every supply you purchase, every hour you volunteer and every dollar donated. Thank you for being with us that beautiful summer morning of July 4.

Thank you for your dedicated care and compassion, which continue to sustain this “Miracle on Walnut Street” known as Lazarus House.

Liz Eakins

Executive director of Lazarus House

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