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Travis: Neighbors helping neighbors

Community voice

Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 4:06 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 4:13 p.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
Melissa Travis

Great storms blew through recently and I couldn’t help but think about the figurative storms that often blow through people’s lives: health emergencies, job loss, death of a spouse, mental illness, divorce.

Some families have all the resources they need to weather the storms of life. Their houses are built on strong foundations, their financial future isn’t based on the next paycheck, they have a comprehensive health insurance policy that covers everything from a bout with the flu to a full-blown mental health crisis. But other families don’t have these resources to help see them through a crisis – this is where organizations like People’s Resource Center can help fill the gap.

Built on a model of neighbors helping neighbors, People’s Resource Center has offered a variety of programs to stabilize DuPage County families that are caught in the storms of life. A visit to our food pantries can ease the strain of a too-tight budget. PRC’s clothes closet can help a mother make sure her children have coats and hats to face the cold. A computer class may give an unemployed worker an edge in finding employment and an art class may offer a much-needed respite in a chaotic day.

Neighbors truly are helping neighbors at the People’s Resource Center. 1,900 volunteers last year provided the bulk of service delivery; thousands of donations from people all over DuPage support the myriad programs we offer; and congregations, service organizations, community groups and other social service organizations are partnering with People’s Resource Center to assist our neighbors in need.

Because of this strong network, DuPage County and its nearly 1 million residents can face the storms of life knowing that our neighbors will help us when we are tested; that we are a community of caring, ready to roll up our sleeves and help our neighbors in need. Helping one another is not only the right thing to do, but it is what our community and our neighbors do each day. I’m proud to call DuPage County home – I hope you are too.

Melissa Travis is senior director of programs for the People's Resource Center.

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