Dedicated DuPagePads Volunteer Tony Makes Unexpected Friendships
Tony Melton has a long history of making a difference in the community. Throughout his dedicated years of service, he has created unexpected friendships by bonding with DuPagePads volunteers and clients over football.
A 5th grade teacher at Madison Elementary in Lombard, Tony has been making a difference in the lives of his students for 23 years. On top of shaping young minds, he has been a volunteer for DuPagePads for over 10 years.
As the site coordinator at First Church of Lombard, Tony has many responsibilities. On top of securing food and volunteers, Tony also ensures the site has all necessary supplies, like toiletry items, underwear and seasonal weather gear. You are also sure to find him at the site every Wednesday morning before school helping with the breakfast and clean-up shift.
With Tony’s hard work, DuPagePads provides food, safety and shelter for families and individuals who are homeless in DuPage County.
Recently, Tony was nominated as a 2018 DuPagePads Exceptional Volunteer by his peers. One of his nominators said that “Tony is truly an amazing man on a mission to better the lives of the people we serve.”
When asked what keeps him coming back to volunteer, Tony said “The volunteers are incredible people and the clients are always grateful and inspiring. I’m continually motivated by clients who are able to overcome their obstacles.”
Through his volunteer position, Tony developed unexpected friendships.
Tony and his friends participate in a fantasy football league. While volunteering, clients overheard them talk about the league. Each week, the clients and volunteers bonded over football. Tony invited those clients to join the league.
Each time a client who was a member of the fantasy football team moved into their own apartment, the group would gather in the member’s new home for a celebration. Tony said, “I no longer view these people as DuPagePads clients, but as my friends.”
“DuPagePads IS making a difference,” Tony shared. “They are helping people who don’t always believe that they matter. The agency sees things in clients that the clients don’t see in themselves. I am proud to be a part of that.”