By Tom Siebert
Assistant Director for Community Relations
Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) of Kendall County
“I was homeless for two years in Aurora when I was a teenager,” recalled April Morsch, who now lives in Yorkville with her husband, son, daughter, and three grandchildren. “I know what it’s like.”
Many years later, in 2012, her husband Robert was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, forcing him to take leave from his job at Caterpillar in Montgomery and receive disability benefits.
The couple had to move in with relatives, while their daughter and her three children took refuge at one of the seven homeless shelters that Kendall County PADS operates during the cold months of the fall, winter, and early spring. Fortunately, Robert’s cancer has been in remission for two years, he has returned to his job repairing tractors, and the family is back together living in a two-bedroom apartment in Yorkville.
“God has always kept his hand on us,” said April, exuding gratitude.
She now runs a Facebook page called April’s Awesome Attic, which is sort of an online garage sale––only without any junk. She collects and sells good clothes, coats, shoes, boots, jewelry, toys, baby equipment, and other items.
Thirty percent of the profits go toward helping to support her family, while the remaining 70 percent is directly donated to PADS, the Kendall County Food Pantry, the Caring Hands Thrift Shop in Yorkville, and the 3:11 Project nonprofit charity.
Ms. Morsch washes, mends, and irons all the clothing as well as sanitizes the toys, jewelry, and baby items.
“I just get sheer joy out of it,” said April, who all together has three adult children and six grandchildren.
These are four of April Morsch’s six grandchildren, just a handful of the many who are helped
by April’s Awesome Attic, a Facebook “garage sale” of good items whose sales go to Kendall
County PADS and other nonprofits.
April’s Awesome Attic is located at Facebook.
PADS of Kendall County is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) group funded by donations received from grants, gifts, individuals, organizations, and businesses. Those who wish to donate or volunteer may call (630) 553-5073 or visit the website at kendallcountypads.org.
Anne Engelhardt, executive director of Kendall County PADS, said that April and her family were helped in a severe time of need and are now survivors.
She added: “PADS could not have helped them or others without our 600 volunteers. It takes a large collaborative and reliable effort to be able to offer shelter and food and kindness so that others can find help and hope.”
The nonprofit organization still needs about 75 more people to volunteer for four and a half hours one night per month in order to open the seven shelters starting next Sunday, October 21, and operating through April 20, 2019.
The nights and sites are as follows:
Sundays, Cross Lutheran Church, 8609 Route 47, Yorkville
Mondays, Yorkville Congregational United Church of Christ, 409 Center Parkway, Yorkville
Tuesdays, Harvest New Beginnings church, 5315 Douglas Road, Oswego
Wednesdays: Parkview Christian Academy, upper campus, 202 East Countryside Parkway, Yorkville
Thursdays: Trinity United Methodist Church, 2505 Boomer Lane, Yorkville
Fridays, Church of the Good Shepherd, 5 West Washington Street, Oswego
Saturdays, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 53 Fernwood Road, Montgomery
Since its founding in 2010, Kendall County PADS has served a total of 428 homeless guests, provided 9,725 overnight stays, and served 29,209 meals including breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Homeless guests also receive help with employment, personal issues, and permanent housing.