Lake County groups grateful for church's financial assistance
Lake County groups benefiting from the Kirk of the Lakes Presbyterian Church's generosity are grateful for the financial assistance.
Fremont Township will receive $20,000 from the church. Township caseworker Nancy Lech said her agency will use the funds to buy items for its food pantry when inventory runs low.
That includes nonfood items that don't qualify for state aid, such as toilet paper, paper towels, personal care products and cleaning supplies.
"We will also be purchasing grocery store gift cards for residents who may have dietary needs that items from the pantry cannot provide," Lech said.
PADS Lake County also will receive $20,000. Executive Director Joel Williams called the congregation's gift particularly timely. Recent losses of state and federal funding have hurt PADS, which provides shelter and other assistance for homeless people, he said.
PADS will use the money to hire a case manager who will work with homeless families, Williams said.
"We are so honored and grateful for this gift," he said. "It is incredibly generous of the former members of the church to provide it."
The Lake County Opioid Initiative will receive $20,000 from the church, too. Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim, who co-founded the group, said the money will be used to purchase Naloxone, a drug used to rapidly treat heroin overdoses, for area police officers.
"This is a huge boost to our efforts," Nerheim said.
The money also will fund drug-prevention campaigns and a texting service that lets kids anonymously get mental health services from licensed clinicians. The Lake County Opioid Initiative is one of the program's sponsors.
"The county is not funding that program this year, so the funds from Kirk of the Lakes Church will allow us to keep that program going," Nerheim said.
The former Mundelein church is donating more than $700,000 to 34 local, national and international groups. The proceeds come from the recent sale of the church property.
Pastor Nancy Dolan, who led the church until it closed in August, said it would be difficult to choose a personal favorite among the recipients.
"As I look at the whole list, what gives me the greatest joy and hope is imagining each recipient putting these gifts to work, and the potential of the Kirk legacy to have significant impact," Dolan said. "The Kirk (congregation) was committed to giving in a way that would make a difference in people's lives. I'd say that indeed they did."