Why volunteer for the BEDS overnight shelter shift?
For most, it's because that is when the need is the greatest.
Tim Albores is a 3rd shift volunteer at St. Louise De Marrilac in La Grange one Sunday night a month. He chose the shift because it was identified as the most needed. "I feel it's important to serve where there is a need," he said. "It is only one night a week; our clients have a much more difficult struggle daily."
Richard Lauterbach isn't bothered by waking up at 2:30 to do a job. "Mind over matter - if you don't mind, it doesn't matter," he says. And he enjoys cooking the breakfast for shelter guests.
3rd Shift Our Lady of the Ridge, Palos Hills, volunteer John Walsh is matter-of-fact about it. "I signed up for this shift simply because it's the hardest one to fill. Someone has to do it and since I'm retired it might as well be me."
Volunteers use the quiet time from 11pm to 3am to catch up on paperwork and read. Rebecca Russow, who volunteers at St. Barb's in Brookfield two to three nights a month, likes that she can still have her typical social evening activities without interfering with her volunteer commitment. BEDS Board President Mark Laubacher, calls the time on his 3am shift until breakfast "the quietest 2.5 hours of my month, and every month I look forward to the chance to catch up on all my business and personal to do lists." One of the reasons Mike Pabian likes the 3rd shift is for the long period of quiet time he uses to catch up on reading. "There's something peaceful about listening to the clients' soft breathing," he says. "I like the volunteers I work with. And it's good to be a little helpful in trying to give our clients a good start to the day with a tasty breakfast."
Patrick Murphy, who describes himself as "someone who can get up early but can't stay up late" has volunteered for the overnight shift for 28 years. "This is a way for me to put my faith into action."
Frank and Helen Clarke are both retired and don't mind the 3am shift. "We know it is a hard one to fill, and its only once a month." Helen goes to bed early on Sunday before getting up at 2am and goes home at 7. "I play Mahjong at 9 on Monday morning then go home and take a nap."
Please consider signing up for the 2
shelter shift. The need is great – and not as bad as you may think! Go to
to sign up!