Associate Curt Saindon received a shoutout over the weekend, both from officials with Fortitude Community Outreach in Bourbonnais where he volunteers — and from Fr. Dan Belanger, CSV, pastor of St. George Church.
Turns out that as a result of his volunteering with the shelter, he has seen the number of overnight guests double in the past week and its sites are getting close to capacity. When he informed Fr. Dan, the parishioners responded.
“St George, though various donations and a large grant, have donated more than $3,500 in jackets, special cold weather backpacks, hats and gloves,” Fr. Dan says. “Thanks again to all of the St. George clubs and parishioners. Our mission is to focus our time, talent and treasure to helping local agencies.”
Fortitude Community Outreach began in 2017 as a street outreach, to connect needy and homeless individuals with resources and assistance. The agency now offers emergency shelter from October to May throughout Kankakee County as part of the Public Action to Deliver Shelter, or the PADS program, providing revolving locations five nights a week.
During Advent, St. George parishioners pledged to lift up those around them, through donating what they can to local human service organizations. Some of those include the Kankakee Clothing Closet, Kankakee Pregnancy Resource Center, Good Shepherd Manor and the Kankakee Catholic Food Pantry, to name a few.
In most cases, individual parishioners are taking the lead on these service projects. For Curt, helping to shelter — and warm — the homeless is another way of carrying out his commitment as a Viatorian associate.
He and his wife, Kathy, made their first commitments as associates in 2016. Curt is an assistant superintendent of finance and operations for a school district in South suburban Frankfort, while Kathy is a speech and language pathologist at a middle school in Bradley.
As active parishioners at St. George, they continue to work together with other Viatorian associates and Fr. Dan to build a community where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated.