Why it’s All Worthwhile, Tom’s Story
Tom came to DuPagePads 20 years ago. Even though decades have passed, he still remembers how the agency helped him at a time in his life when he had nowhere to go. Hear Tom’s story as he explains why DuPagePads services are all worthwhile.
Here is a video and excerpt from letter he wrote to DuPagePads in July of 1996:
“I would like to say thank you to all Pads supporters, volunteers and staff members. On February 10th, 1996 I found myself suffering from addictions, a former homeowner now homeless, living in my car, with only twenty dollars to my name. At the time I was too ashamed to contact my family for help. I was going down and going down fast.
This was when I was blessed with the Pads organization. They took me in, fed me, gave me shelter from the cold winter weather, and gave me clothing when I needed it.
After six days, I stopped the drug and alcohol use for good.
Later that month I received word that my mother was sick. After much soul searching, I was given the courage to face my parents, fears and my sins. On March 1st I saw my parents for the first time in a year and a half. I explained to my parents and brother where I had been, where I was living, and why. During this time I also asked for their forgiveness and vowed never to go back to drinking or using drugs. After receiving my mother’s forgiveness, I sat with her another half hour and then she passed away.
Shortly after I returned to Pads I met a couple looking to have some repair work done to their investment home: painting, plumbing, electrical, etc. I submitted a bid, they accepted and this was the start of my business, For-Hire, Enterprises.
A few months have passed since then. I’m no longer homeless, I have my own business, I manage the Elmhurst Hotel on York, employ two other formerly homeless people and am strong with my recovery.
This, I believe, is the whole purpose of Pads, to be used as a stepping stone out of homelessness and into the future. I learned a lot at Pads. I’m sure that I wouldn’t be as far if Pads wasn’t there for me. The Pads organization works.”
Here is an update we recently received from Tom, who also spoke at last year’s Wake Up Your Spirit Breakfast, when we reflected on 30 years of services to the community:
“Tomorrow will mark the anniversary that I graduated from Pads. I learned a lot about myself and what the world had to offer while I was there. I learned that sobriety was my key to the future. I mark my sobriety date on my calendar as well.
I would like to THANK YOU again for the love and support I received while I was there. Even years later, it still stays with me. I was amazed that so many people cared about me in a time in my life that I didn’t care about myself. I started a new life when I left there with a new outlook on the future.
For now, all is good in my life. I am a homeowner again, pay too much in taxes, living life to the fullest and am happy with the world around me. And this is all with the economy in the shape it is in. Life is GOOD. It could always be better, but I will continue to be happy with the blessings that I have and not covet the things I don’t have.
Just thought I would send a quick note of thanks and let you know that your efforts are appreciated…I’m sure that sometimes you wonder if it is all worthwhile. I would say that my life wouldn’t be where it is without your help.
This year’s Wake Up Your Spirit Breakfast will be Wednesday, November 2nd and will feature keynote speaker, Dan Hampton, NFL Hall of Famer and 1986 Chicago Bears Super Bowl Champion.