How new Random Acts Matter group is changing lives in St. Charles
The concept of "a million small acts can change the world" resonated with Jim DiCiaula and a group of friends and associates he calls "trusted advisers."
Those folks helped DiCiaula create and launch the Random Acts Matter organization to serve St. Charles with a mission of being compassionate toward those who need help.
That compassion translates to all sorts of "random acts," from purchasing a new washing machine for a widow with five children; helping a single dad and his family get organized with some new furniture after moving out of Lazarus House; getting a bike for a middle schoolchild to get to after-school programs; sponsoring a therapy dog for a child with autism; or buying a Life Alert alarm for an elderly person.
"We need to create an awareness that we are available to fulfill these random acts," DiCiaula said. "And we need to create more business partnerships to help support it."
The awareness will get a boost on Sept. 10 when the organization holds its first fundraiser, "An Evening of Random Acts" at Mount St. Mary Park in St. Charles.
A community-style picnic, with about seven long tables, will highlight the event, which will feature various music acts. Jazz singer Riley Elmore, a contestant on The Voice last year; the Trio Life band; the St. Charles North Jazz Ensemble; and local artist Jon Conover are scheduled to perform. (By the way, the nature of the music schedule makes the fundraiser one of the final events of Jazz Weekend in St. Charles.)
More information about the fundraiser is available at randomactsmatter.com.
Random Acts Matter has worked to establish a formidable referral system in which various sources inform the group of individuals or groups in need of help. Referrals come from St. Charles churches, schools and police, as well as Lazarus House, the Boy Scouts, Salvation Army, and TriCity Family Services.
"Little things can make a difference through care and compassion, and it's not always financial need," DiCiaula said. "Random acts can be applied in many different ways."
That notion has fueled the volunteers who perform the acts, sometimes with business sponsors, and the desire to make the organization grow so it can help many more people in St. Charles.
Random Acts Matter officially launched last February, to coincide with the national Random Acts of Kindness Week.
Getting on stage:
For those who have kept an eye on young country singer Ali Morgan of North Aurora in past columns, you should know that she is singing in a concert Sept. 9 at River Edge Park in Aurora.
The headliner for the night is Andy Grammer, so Morgan is starting to get on stage with some significant stars.
The concert will raise funds for an organization researching sudden unexpected deaths in children.
Nice job, Einar:
A bench inside of the Delnor Woods park along Route 25 at Fulton Avenue has a bench dedicated to Einar and Mary Danielsen.
We didn't know this couple, and it's possible they were around way before our time.
The plaque at the bench doesn't indicate when Einar and Mary were with us, but it says Einar took care of the grounds that are Delnor Woods for 35 years.
That means he worked for the Norris estate, which sold the property to the St. Charles Park District in 1998, and it officially became a public park in 2000. It nearly doubled in size in 2012 through another park district purchase from the Norris Trust.
So we can say this: Einar did a nice job taking care of that property, because it is a pleasant spot for a walk.
Beer and pets:
Beer lovers have a chance to do something for the pets under care at the Anderson Animal Shelter.
I know, that sounds like an odd combination without some context.
Here it is. The Lodge on 64 restaurant is hosting the "Ales and Tails" fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, featuring local beer samples, a T-shirt and beer glass. The first 100 patrons get a free dog bandanna.
Cost is a $15 donation to get in and $30 for the beer ticket. Those interested in the event should register by calling The Lodge on 64 at (630) 443-8000.