About 10 years ago, the worst of circumstances for some Hurricane Katrina victims allowed New Lenox REALTOR® Dale Taylor to put his best foot forward, as he prepared an empty building for their temporary shelter.
Residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and several other states who’d lost their homes and belongings were relocating to an area 40 miles southwest of Chicago with shelter provided by the nonprofit organization named South Suburban PADS. Taylor had joined the organization after hearing about the victims’ circumstances and their needs.
Once the building was ready for new occupants, PADS and Taylor helped the new residents adapt to their new home and community. The organization seemed to be such a good match for Taylor that he was later invited to become a board member and a shelter site manager. Today, he uses a blog to help spread the word about PADS and encourage others to volunteer for the organization.
“I have stayed with PADS for so long because I had been longing to serve an effective organization in my marketplace,” says Taylor. “I was not satisfied with just making good things happen for my valued clients. I felt a calling for a higher purpose. Every week serving as a shelter-site-manager, I get to connect with people with a real need, and there is nothing like the basic need for emergency shelter. I see my direct actions creating good for those who really need someone to show them they are loved, valued, respected and have a connection to change their lives for the better.
“As a board member, I’ve stayed with the charity for more than a decade because I see my fundraising efforts employ social case workers who help those willing to receive their guidance,” he says. “The homeless can turn their lives around.”
Since 1990, South Suburban PADS has given emergency overnight shelter to more than 16,000 men, women and children in the south and southwest suburbs of Chicago. More than 20,000 volunteers have helped provide these individuals and families more than 500,000 nights of shelter. It also has programs for transitional and permanent supportive housing as well as wellness, life skills training, behavioral/mental health services and employment services. Learn more about South Suburban PADS.
Taylor, a broker for Re/Max 10 New Lenox, started his real estate career in 1987. He is a member of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® (MORe), its past president (2006) and its 2010 REALTOR® of the Year. He’s been involved with numerous IAR committees since 1999, and currently serves on five including vice chair of the Housing Opportunity Working Group.
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