News & Events

Random act of kindness – North West Herald

For once, some good news for a social service agency.

I received a call the other day from Nancy Hiatt, executive director of Home of the Sparrow, a shelter for homeless women and children. The agency, like all social services agencies, has been hit hard by the economy.

Home of the Sparrow receives less than 1 percent of its funding from the state, but is feeling the ripple effects of pending state budget cuts. The agency’s local sources of funding, such as the McHenry County Mental Health Board, are facing cuts.

The agency stands to lose more than $50,000, Hiatt said, which "is big" because the agency’s budget is smaller than some of the larger agencies. As other agencies suffer and even close doors, more people are and will be turning to Home of the Sparrow.

And donations are down drastically.

So it came as a surprise when, as Home of the Sparrow Development Director Chris Cressler put it, "an angel appeared."

"Out of the blue yesterday, a lady came in and wanted to leave an envelope," Hiatt said. 

She told the person at the front of the office, "I just wanted to give this to the organization."

She then turned and walked out the door.

Wrapped up in a piece of paper inside the envelope were eight, $100 bills, Hiatt said. 

"Thank you," the note read. "Keep Doing Good Things."

"Things like that rarely happen at this agency," Hiatt said. "I just think that in this day in age when money is so hard for all of us, for somebody to come in with eight, $100 bills…"

It might not seem like much, but the money can go a long way for the agency, which not only provides shelter, but  numerous services, such as financial management and budgeting, life skills training, job readiness and career planning, parenting skills education and trauma recovery.

So the agency is sending out a big thank you to this anonymous donor, wherever she might be.

"It is this personal generosity on which Home of the Sparrow was built and endures today," Cressler said.


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