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Fighting for one more look at her treasures…

Over the past 17 years I have befriended many, I have passionately spoken up to attempt to meet needs of these friends at the same time speaking of how there is a small degree of separation between those that need this help and those that are able to help.  On a dime life changes and the pendulum swings. 

Job loss does this. 

A health battle of a child or spouse does this. 

Cancer does this. 

A friend of mine, and yours, has been battling pancreatic cancer for the most of the last 3 years.  You have helped me rally meals for her on treatment days.  Your donations have helped me provide gas cards and food shopping trips to assist with the countless doctor visits.  Even my brothers and sisters in blue rallied support for this friend by raising funds during their “No Shave November” campaign. 

We do this for many throughout our community who find themselves in the war with cancer.

Over the past month I have had the blessing to visit with our friend, and over the last two weeks to stand bedside with our friend alongside of her beautiful strong in love and commitment three daughters, and loyal and heartbroken husband. 

Last Sunday our friend battled through her final 72 hours after being extubated saying goodbye to her daughters and husband countless times with locking eyes with them and trying so hard to say words that simply came out as moans but were still received with words of understanding and appreciation. 

I have seen many fight for more time, I have never seen one battle with such vigor and tenacity to wrestle their disease, and negotiate just one more glance of the treasures that have filled and held her heart. 

I didn’t think I could love these young ladies any more than I do. 

I have known them for the past 15 years, all of the years of the youngest of mom’s treasures. 

I watched them for hours each day grapple with decisions, lack of sleep and lack of substantial meals, work at a team making sure that someone was at mom’s side for every minute of each long and painful 24 hours. 

We said prayers over mom Sunday afternoon and each of them took their time to say their final goodbye.  As I looked back at her I called their attention to the peace that had come over her.  She truly looked like an angel.  Her face, that had been masked with a ventilator for over a week, was radiant and relaxed.  She honestly had a glow to her that didn’t make sense, unless you believed as we do that she had left this battle and been welcomed into the euphoria of being welcomed home. 

These young ladies have been through such a torturous journey with their mom and they never wavered from remaining a strong unit that was clearly instilled in them by a strong warrior. 

I promised them that I would continue to do whatever I can do to help them as they start this new chapter without mom.

The first step is to have final services for mom.  One more time to pull their small family together and say goodbye, but also commit to remaining as strong, loyal, and steadfast to being together as they did by her bedside. 

Services will be private to give them this final time together without any distractions and, to keep costs as minimal as possible. 

We have rallied around young friends before when they have had to bury their parent. 

I am presenting to you once again, unfortunately, the opportunity to assist a family within our arm’s reach with this need.

Mom has offered her hands, feet, heart, time and efforts to countless Hope and Friendship Foundation outreaches over the past decade and a half.  I have appreciated not only her, her husband’s, and her girls help, but also their friendship.  I know we will be able to surround them now and continuing forward.

When I prayed in her hospital room I asked her to send signs to her girls to remind them that they are not alone:  cardinals, butterflies, sunsets and sunrises, and the unconditional love and support of people to walk with them. 

Mom’s youngest sent me a picture of a most breathtaking sunset as she was riding home from the hospital.  It surely appeared that mom was already working on sending those signs. 

If you would like to make a donation to assist with Kim’s service please visit the PayPal at our website:

Or mail a check to Hope and Friendship, 721 Hickory Street, Lemont, IL. 60439

Or if you would like to offer gift cards to help the girls with food, gas, and essentials you can drop them off to Lange’s Woodland Florist (219 Main Street, Lemont- next to Nick’s Tavern).  A small blue bin is on the counter for gift cards, donations, or checks.

The mission of Hope and Friendship Foundation is to be a conduit from those that can help to those that need help.  Like so many others this family has been on both sides of this mission. Know that what you do matters.  Over the past weeks I have been a witness to a fierce and passionate love that I hope we can use as a goal for how we love on all of those we try to rally support for.  There should be no “them” and “us”, there should only be friends helping friends, knowing that the help we have offered may become the help we ourselves need. 

Thank you for being the hands, the feet, the effort offered, the item or donation given, the smile or kind word shared.  All of that makes this the most beautiful corner of the world, one that three of my beautiful young friends are thankful to be a part of because they truly have felt your love.

Wishing you peace, love & enough strength for your battles,



Savor the moments

Growing up it was my responsibility to assist my dad in trimming the bushes that lined the front yard of our house. I dreaded those Saturdays. I was the oldest of 3, and my dad the oldest of 7, said pretty much “yes it stinks to be you and I get it”. So it went. I raked. I bagged. I stayed put until I was released. I wanted to go hop on my bike, go to the park, throw a softball at a brick wall. I just didn’t want to be there doing what I was doing.

This weekend in what felt like 128 degree heat I had to trim our front bushes. I started off in a bad mood really being mad that I had bushes out front of our house, then as I set up the trimmer, the step ladder, and started attacking I had a flash back and I was back following my Dad around working with him. As I worked I remembered my wanting the task at hand with Dad to be over as fast as possible, and as I worked on my own bushes I would have given anything to be with him raking up the trimmings and following him as he did a task he most likely dreaded doing as well but we kept each other company. I missed that company and do every day. That moment of flashback made me realize how many dreaded tasks we do that we mutter through and wish would end and when they do we painfully and regretfully wish we would have realized the greater gift we had and that has now passed.

Kids sports.

Making lunches for the kids.

Getting up early to make coffee for your spouse.

Midnight feedings.

Caring for loved ones who are ill.

Babies that beg to be held.

Driving your child to school.

Moving your college student in, and more challenging…moving your college student out.

Planning the wedding.

Being patient when the memory or body fails.

Writing letters to loved ones.

Waking up your child for school.

Visiting with grandparents.

Calling your parents.

All of these things seem so daunting and time consuming.

Our lives are so busy and we are just a body in motion wishing we could rest. Then the motion stops.

No more tasks needed to be done.

No more passengers need a ride.

No more assistance is needed from us.

No more calls need to be made.

I readjusted my attitude and I worked at my task at hand trying to work at the bushes with the work ethic and dedication that my dad had to the task and to his family. Sometimes we just need to remember that inconvenience is temporary. The end of the task we thought was a task without realizing it was a blessing is forever. This is just a moment in time. We blink and move past it. I will try harder to embrace the moments and enjoy the memories knowing they are all precious gifts of love that fuel me.

#missyoudad #lookingforwardtonexttime #justachapter #blinkanditisover #itisnotasbadaswethink #memorymakingmoments #godhugs #blessed #thankful #savorthemoments

Don’t wait for the days to be numbered..Love more today.

Why is it that we go beyond our normal effort to love when we know we have a limited time left to show that love?

Once again a four-legged friend has taught me a life lesson that I will hopefully never forget.

For months the dog my son saved back in January 2010 has been struggling through her every day. Chance (the name he gave her after giving her a second Chance at life) has been our fourth dog, and long known to be our last dog, and undisputedly our most gentle and loving dog.

When our dog Bubbles died in the fall of 2017 Chance took a dive, we thought we were going to lose her. Ironically what saved her was my husband’s battle with cancer. He was home repeatedly for doctors appointments for weeks and then 24/7 for five weeks in his recovery, those weeks he was able to physically love on her through her heartbreak and give her the love that allowed her to be on her “own” without her 4-legged best friend.

Chance enjoyed every moment but especially three specific moments, those when her two greatest loves walked through the door (my husband and my son), and treat time (which was around 6pm each night, or whenever I was tired of her telling me it was treat time).

For the past few months we have seen her decline rapidly, but hoped she could battle back. Being that most of the time it is just Chance and I at home alone, I tried to make every effort to spend as much time as I could being with her when I wasn’t working or running around. Many times I loaded her up with me and and had her tag along with me so she could have a view of the world outside of her corner of it. She even attended her first and only prayer service a couple weeks ago, thoroughly enjoying the music and the activity of watching the kids run around.

I noticed that my actions started focusing on making sure I was home more than I was busy. I noticed that I wanted to get home to get Chance outside where she loved to lay in the sun and breath in the smells of the outdoors. I broke my rule of “no dogs in the Jeep” so that she could come with me wherever I could take her. During the “stay at home” we took a road trip to do drive by visits to the kid, allowing her to see her beloved first love…Jordan. When I saw her spirit lift at the sight of my son or my husband I felt such gratefulness to be simply a witness of such unconditional, never ask “where have you been” love. It made me love her more and wish to be more like her. I hope to hold onto that lesson and put it into practice as she did so easily.

Once again I found myself being changed by the gradual parting of one that held a special place in my heart. I found myself having flashbacks of when I made every effort to be at my Dad’s side every day I could for the last 14 months of his life. I soaked in every moment, took tons of pictures, and spent much time observing how she, and he, savored every day they were given.

I rearranged my life, my busyness, my daily routine to adjust to hers, just as I did to soak in every moment with my Dad. I realized this was happening over the past few weeks and knew that this parting was going to be so painful because it was stirring up such memories of another parting that broke and built my heart and spirit and determination to live, love and laugh with even more passion and purpose. Chance and I spent so much time on the back patio soaking in the calm of the evening and watching the birds. My father’s favorite calming distraction was to sit on his back patio and watch the birds. I thought of him so often as we soaked in the busyness of the birds and the beauty of the day we were gifted.

I loaded up Chance in the back of the Jeep for the last time today with the help from a friend who had fallen just as much in love with her as we all have. She was sobbing, I was trying not to, and Chance took a deep breath of the fresh air with her eyes closed, and displayed her ever-trusting spirit ready for wherever I was going to take her.

Even on her last ride she showed me how to live: have faith, trust, love, soak in the moment, love in return. I remember my father trusting me to help him to move from one location to another. I tried so hard to not hurt him as I tried to muscle him with all I had to offer, I found that a similar situation when I tried to lift Chance into the car to have her enjoy a ride without causing her pain. I tried so desperately to allow her to have every single moment that was written for her to have and seeing her soak in that last ride made me feel some false sense of security that happened.

I learned once again to not worry about the future chapters of life but simply to soak in the current chapters of life.

I learned to make sure that nothing fills your schedule that pushes out time that could be spent with those who love on you and those you love. I learned sitting on the patio time watching the birds can be a very important task of the day.

I learned that it is not wise to save love for a rainy day when there are so many days that need you to freely and fully love without limit.

I have heard that to love is to know heartache…

I have learned that to love, whether it is 4 legged or 2 legged being, is to have your heart evolve to be stronger and when you have allowed it to strengthen by purposely scheduling time to not be busy but to be present fully loving, soaking in the moments, and putting aside busyness for quiet time spent with one whom you are not promised more than today you will be able to carry that love with you long after the last ride, the last bird watching moment, or the last hug (or lick if it’s your 4-legged BFF).

Don’t wait for the days to be numbered my friend.

Love more today.

Put it in your schedule to sit and be with someone you love.

My Dad, and now Chance once again, taught me this lesson with deep, true, unconditional, forever love.

“It is not length of life, but depth of life.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wishing you peace AND love,

Terri O’Neill-Borders




Hope and Friendship Foundation
721 Hickory St, Lemont, IL  60439

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31: 8-9

We are all in this together

I am still working on writing a summary of our amazing 11 weeks #reliefdeliveries outreach.  It was a true labor of love that I am both exhausted and inspired by.  It would be truly impossible to list every business, organization, church, school, group, and person that made this outreach of assistance was fueled, filled, and funded by.  You cast the stone in the waters that powered the ripples to reach the needs here within our arm’s reach.

You joined together with Hope and Friendship and became the conduit of unconditional love and generosity, grace and peace.

83 days ago I sent out the first email and from the moment I pushed the “send” button the outpouring was fueled and we were on fire to meet every need we could.

Immediately I had friends email me back and offer to be hands and feet.  I formed a group of what I feel were compassionate warriors.  They didn’t let the risk keep them from rising to the need.  You moved donations, made phone calls, shopped for our seniors when they called for our help, filled the boxes and became the team of delivery drivers who pulled up on Canal Street, let us load you up and send you out to deliver the precious cargo from those who could help to those who needed it.

75 days ago the task became a bit more difficult when “stay at home” came into effect, and this also increased our list of needs.  So many were now underemployed or unemployed and desperate to hold on.

In 11 weeks you made possible

More than 530 #reliefdeliveries, phone calls, “goodie bags”, and shopping call outs to more than 190 homes.

More than 500 meals from our local restaurants were offered to homes that would otherwise not have been able to afford the luxury of a “dinner ordered out” or offered to homes in a compound crisis and needed the gift for body and spirit (“red flag families”).   This was due to 100% owner driven donations from restaurants (thank you to Manus of Hughie McClafferty’s,  the Gricus family of Gelsosomo’s & Digs, and Jeff of Tap House Grill); from #plus one donations of a meal for a friend; donations from sales from restaurant offers; 4 Penguins sales; and Kyle Cuiching’s Taste of Lemont on Wheels.

Those “red flag” families were gifted with assistance offered by you to help take pressure off of an already incredibly painful period.  You paid a rent, a mortgage, a COBRA bill, helped pay for license plates, all of this for households that were not just dealing with lack or less income but who were dealing with life and death during this pandemic.  No one voluntarily puts a “red flag” over their house, but they were there, I told you of the needs and you arrived to be the army of angels that brought tears, hope and temporary relief.

There were countless “miracles of mashed potatoes” (coined one early Hope and Friendship Christmas Dinner delivery when we were 15 boxes short on mashed potatoes and knew we’d have to deliver the meals “as is” and in walked a friend who had trouble with her oven and apologized for being late bearing 15 servings of mashed potatoes).  I love these miracles.  I love when someone asks me for something and then I would find it in the delivery bins.  When I thought we had exhausted everyone from donating and then we were overcome with donations that allowed us to call more homes to ask if they needed a #reliefdelivery.  These were testaments to me that we were under the watchful eye of one who heard every need before I did, moved many hearts to offer exactly what was needed, and allowed us to be the conduits of that love, grace, generosity and peace.

We are not done.

The mission of Hope and Friendship Foundation beats stronger in this corner of the world than it has for it’s 15 years. It has been and always will be to be a conduit between those that can help to those who need it; to be hands, feet and hearts responding to “life blows” that are unrelenting and undiscriminating.  There is a small degree of separation between a home that can help to a household that needs a hand of help.  Life happens.

It is not the end, it is just time to move into the next chapter.

At this time of year I would be emailing you about Mission Stay Saturdays and Summer Youth Outreaches.  For now we will keep working on how to still be a beating heart here in our community and keep a thumb on the pulse of where we need to rise up.  My amazing Hope and Friendship Board is “all in” and we will be present and meeting needs, offering outreaches, and being a conduit between those who need help from those who can be the hands and feet of it in a safe manner for both.

We did a beautiful job of that for 11 solid weeks my friends.  I am so very proud of the ripples, the help, and the love that was delivered week after week after week after…

I look forward to working, walking, and caring for everyone here within our arm’s reach and watching those ripples reach far beyond our Lemont borders.

I have a few things in the making right now that will adhere to the orders of the State and offer the safety that we all want to be aware of and practice.

But for now…the next chance to rise to the challenge ends on June 7th!!!

Commit to walking/running 2 miles (or just sign up, get the shirt and say you did that!!!)

Sign up at:

or through our website:

Shipping is available so ALL are invited to join in the fun to be united in this relief effort!!

Post a picture of you walking, running (or sitting in a chair) with your shirt on the Hope and Friendship Facebook or Instagram pages

(FB- @HopeandFriendshipMinistries IG- @HopeandFriendship)

In this time that we feel so very far apart let’s make a statement that we are not apart.

We are #miles2getherin2020




One last comment that I cannot hold back from offering due to the current times of pain in our world.

I have come to you for more than 15 years with needs.  I have heard the stories, listened to their voices and their stories, validated the need and then communicated it to you.  For those of you who have joined me for deliveries of Christmas Dinner, Thanksgiving Turkeys, or this past #ReliefDeliveries outreach you may have arrived at a house that didn’t appear like one that should be in need, you may have met someone as you dropped off the donation that you knew and hadn’t seen eye to eye with in the past, you may have known that we have assisted friends who are nothing like you are yet you arrived, you assisted and you met a need.  Some asked me “Why do they need?”  “Why are you helping them?”  I have heard your voice and answered every one of you with the same response:  Need does not discriminate.  There is a small degree of separation between those that need a hand, and those that can help meet a need.

Job loss.

Loss of a loved one.

Being a “non-essential” worker, living paycheck to paycheck and suffering a life blow of a car break down, a health crisis, or a global pandemic.

Loss of the “head of the household”.

A diagnosis that causes a life change.

Lack of finances to fight for what is justly yours and therefore be left with less than you deserve and less than you can support those live with you.

A battle for life of your loved one that causes you to balance work with trying to be present for every minute you can.

A devastating injury or illness to your child that puts one parent in constant bedside care.


Those that have supported Hope and Friendship have allowed me to tell a story and have met a need without meeting, judging, or assessing the value or the need of the person who spoke.  If this unconditional love and grace could ripple outside of our borders and throughout the country and world we would not fear the future for our children.  If we could live as we have for the past 11 weeks, looking out for each other without judging the “stories” or the person, we would see a world that would make us proud, not one that makes us ache.

Thank you friends of Hope and Friendship, thank you Lemont, for being a community of acceptance of every need and every person.




Wishing you peace, health, and unconditional love all around you and within you,


Terri O’Neill-Borders




Hope and Friendship Foundation
721 Hickory St, Lemont, IL  60439

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31: 8-9

I am just one

I am just one.
It is an honor to be given a leadership award.
It is humbling to be boasted of and acknowledged for doing what your heart leads you to do.
It is easy to forget that you are simply a conduit from generosity offered to needs being met when your name is announced and applause and recognition surrounds you.
God didn’t wire me to understand that as a need, or even as a desire. God wired me to listen, hug, seek, find and connect. Simply I am the one between you and the one who needs you. I truly am nothing more. God has allowed me that privilege to see His work unfold right in front of my eyes and THAT inspires me.
Your generosity, your unselfishness, your intrinsic offering of time and effort thrills me, lifts me, energizes me.
You deserve the credit, not me.
I am only one who has said to God “here I am, use my eyes, ears, hands, feet and heart”.
You are THE one who also allows Him to do the same and to make things happen.
I cannot tend to yard work for seniors on my own.
I cannot pull off youth outreaches on my own.
I cannot create and deliver care bags, Christmas Dinners, Easter Baskets, meals on my own.
I cannot pull off the prom dress give away, winter clothing/houseshold item give away, bicycle recycle, summer youth outreaches, holiday outreaches, create and deliver 800+ sack lunches, or rally funds, action, or meet the crisis needs that are met without you.
I may hear the need but you meet it.
I may have responded to my calling, but you have listened to the voice as well.
I am simply blessed to be in this corner of the world with an enormous amount of walking angels who care to better the world by improving lives and putting hope in the homes within our arm’s reach.
I have already received more than any award or recognition can offer.
May the award, the recognition, the acknowledgement of good being done draw more eyes, ears, hands, feet and hearts to the needs right here and right now.
We have done much, but as you are well aware there is so much more to do.
Let us take a second and feel the pat on the back and feel the warmth of knowing we are making ripples that are reaching so many within our community, but then let us get back on the path of wanting more….
More seniors helped by our hands and feet.
More youth lifted by our mentorship and guidance.
More struggling to have basic needs met with our generosity and unconditional kindness.
More light in the darkness that hinders the beautiful spirits within our hugging arm’s reach.
Let’s show up more often. Let’s offer more of what we can offer.
Let’s judge less and love more.
Let us continue to be recognized as a community of loving citizens who care about, provide aid for, and lift up those who struggle within the boundaries of us being able to make a difference.
Let us be the change that makes the world a better place.
Let us start here…in this corner of the world.
Let us start where we can truly make a difference….here and now.
I so proudly stand here with you and so humbly walk with you.
I am so very blessed to know and love you and love others with you.
As you can see in the pictures I am just one…..of so many. Together we do much.
Peace, love and my wholehearted commitment to here and now,
Terri O’Neill-Borders





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~ April 9, 2019 (Upon receiving Governor’s Volunteer Service Award)

The numbers we need to feel good about.

If anyone has watched even 5 minutes of news over the past few weeks you understand the importance of numbers.
The number of diagnosed.
The number of states affected.
The number of deaths.
Numbers have been blasted at us and I do believe we are getting numb to them. Who wouldn’t?
I have been blessed and broken to respond to multiple weather catastrophes. At the onset of each of those catastrophes I had heard the numbers of deceased, the numbers of those injured, the numbers who lost their homes. It appeared that a tornado or flood only gained news worthy space if the numbers were great enough to attract attention of the viewers, as if one death or one family homeless was not tragic, but 20 dead and 100 homeless deemed worthy of the first 10 minutes of the newscast. In each situation I arrived, I found myself moving through homes where “one” who was in need of hands and feet and at those times I found myself focused on not all in need but that “one”.
Now there is a ticker of numbers on the screen and we have become numb to those waching the numbers of those diagnosed, and even worse numb to the number who have become victim to COVID 19.
One to suffer was one too many.
One life lost has impacted countless others.
One unsuspecting victim who was thrust into a suffocating and isolated death should be enough to stop us in our track and take a knee.
What can you do to stop it from affecting one more?
Yes, stay home.
When you are out be safe, take precaution, be aware of the risks you present to others and that they present to you, and remember we are NOT avoiding the person near us not accepting of who they are, we are avoiding the virus that is invisibly attacking the innocent potentially through each and every one who we are.
Yes, reduce your physical one to one connection with people not in your immediate household. This is truly hard because people thrive on relationships. People need people, and that is beautiful. But for now we need to love them from a “safe distance”.
Safe for them, safe for your loved ones, and safe for you.
Offer what you can, as you are able.
If you are not one of the over 10 million people who have applied for unemployment, you are truly blessed. Your number hasn’t been promoted because it doesn’t draw the rubberneckers. I am thankful for you to still be employed!
If you are able to offer #plusone your offering would benefit one who has been sent home; one that has been deemed “non-essential”.
I envision this separation between those that have work and those that do not to be like the high school gym class where two are chosen to pick teams and they go through the peers in front of them picking whom they would like to be on their team to assure them the best chance for winning. Were any of you one of the last ones picked? Were you made to feel “non-essential” in that experience as a young person? Now we have college graduates, adults, parents, “bread winners” for the household who have experienced a similar feeling of rejection being told to “stay home” with no pay until this passes, only to hold onto hope that their employer will be one of the fortunate ones to reopen their doors once this darkness passes.
I am asking that we concentrate on those numbers in a positive way, bringing what we can into this most difficult chapter.
How can we meet the needs of the “non-essential”, the unemployed, the households that have fallen in the cracks- not diagnosed, not dead but suffering through this crisis?
Well my friend, you have done an amazing job for the past few weeks and I want to commend that effort and recognize the following numbers!
More than 130 fresh cooked meals have been delivered to a home that is struggling through this as a gift from a business owner, or a “friend” who sponsored that meal.
More than 115 relief deliveries have been gathered and delivered; offering paper products, cleaning products, personal care items, fresh food and non-perishable foods. We have families with 1-5 kids struggling to keep basic needs in their homes; we have families that were 2 income households, and now are none. We have families that are huddled up trying to keep a positive face in front of their children but behind that mask is worry of how to meet needs now, wondering how long the lack of income will last, and IF there will be a return to “normal” life that was the norm before March 13th.
5 seniors who didn’t know who to call for help have called to ask for help in getting needed food, prescriptions and needs. Volunteers have stepped forward to meet that need.
More than 120 calls were made to check in, ask what we can do to help, and offer a compassionate voice at the other end of the phone. All of those called said they would love to have follow up “check in” calls.
A plethora of Amazon shoppers have made two a day Amazon drops a regular happening at my home because you have frequented the link set up by Lemont Calvary Church.
Multiple Amazon drivers most likely hate seeing my address on their delivery route
Shop from home for “gold Items” via our Amazon link:
Countless walking angels have stepped forward to offer what they can as they are able.
More than 7 local business owners have stepped forward to lock arms with us to create a life preserver for those who are drowning in this shut down, while also trying to save themselves, offering their business location for our donations, setting up as a drop location, food donations, meals cooked. The awe inspiring selfless beauty of this is that they have not sought public attention or appreciation for themselves or for their business, they have reached out to me to do what they can as they are able and never asked me to promote their generosity in any way or form. I am so very blessed to see God work through those who allow the strength of unconditional love to flow through them to those who have been knocked to the mat by this gut wrenching, breath taking “life blow” while trying to stand up through the storm themselves.
I ask you to focus on one number.
You are one who can make a difference.
You offering what you can as you are able makes a difference and already has.
Your donation, offering of help, prayers and support matters.
No one needs to offer more than they are able, if possible we are simply asking you to offer #plusone
Hope and Friendship Foundation began the “relief delivery” collection drive on Friday March 13th – 21 days ago- when the doors to our schools had to be closed. This “relief” was engaged immediately knowing that our families in need needed more help than ever before, and knowing that the number of our families “in need” would immediately grow; this has been a reality and the numbers will keep growing. School District 113A has offered lunches to anyone who needs them since the onset of the school doors having to close.
More than 200 have recently accepted that help and received lunches every day from a smiling staff who is working to provide a safe and loving place to arrive for much needed food.
Hope and Friendship has received 110 of those lunches and put them in homes that were not previously receiving them.
I could go on with the number of thank you’s, the number of calls for help, the numbers of texts/calls/messages of stress and worry, the numbers of those reaching out on the first of the month worried about rent and mortgage, and the numbers of households that were already entered into a war to survive and now have this added to the battle. They are tired. They are bruised and battered. They are within our arm’s reach and simply need hope, love and light to see that there will be an end to this crisis, and that this is NOT their end.
The numbers you see on the news will increase; I hope to offset that with the numbers that you are reaching here in our corner of the world. I hope you will know that your #plusone makes a difference to one. It truly matters.
What we are experiencing is overwhelming. It may seem like what we can offer, our #plusone, cannot possibly matter, I understand we cannot save them all, however what we are doing matters. One by one we are touching lives, lifting spirits and putting hope in what seems like a hopeless situation. It matters to that one.
The Starfish Story- One night, on a sandy beach, a terrible storm started. It rained. The wind blew so hard that it shook the houses along the beach. The next morning was foggy and gloomy. Many starfish had washed up on the beach. A man walked out on the beach to look around. Peering into the mist he saw a young man walking along the beach. He saw him throwing starfish back into the ocean. He walked up to him and said, “Why are you throwing those starfish back into the ocean? They’ll just wash back up on the beach again. It doesn’t matter.” Without a word the young man bent over, picked up a starfish, and threw it with all his might. It went way out in the ocean. The young man turned to the man that questioned his efforts and said, “It mattered to that one.”
#youmatter #theymatter #allareessential #loveall #wewillallgetthroughthistogether #conqueringCOVID19 #hopeandfriendshipfoundation #reliefbags #beautifulcorneroftheworld #VillageofLemont #ilovethiscorneroftheworld
Wishing you peace, love and healthy days,
When you are out be safe, be precaution, be aware of the risks you present to others and that they present to you.
Hope and Friendship Foundation
721 Hickory St, Lemont, IL 60439
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31: 8-9

Deep breathes and baby steps. You were not meant to stay in this chapter.

Deep breathes and baby steps are the manner to cope with those dreaded pulse rushing, breath taking, stress filled, slow moving ticks of life’s clock between the moments of where you are, and where you are going; that page turning period of time between the chapter where things are just not as they should be, and the one where you realize you should not have not taken so long to step forward.

We are created to succeed.

We are created to thrive.

We are created to better the world.

We have been created by the One who is the ultimate example of peace, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love to be exactly that.

How can we be satisfied with being any less?

When we are in a period of our lives that inhibits us from being what we were created to be, what are the chains that keep us there?

Who, what, where is the force that empowers us to move forward?

How to we channel into that force to break those chains?

We understand the needs, the requirements, the rules of being grown up, but do we understand the repercussion of having our beings, our spirits from being restrained, unmotivated and uninspired to allow the power of that “ultimate peace, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love” to work through us?

Our time here is simply less than we will ever understand it to be, unfortunately, until it is over.

At that time will we be reduced to a fetal position wishing we had stepped forward faster?

Will we realize that the power was within us all along and the chains were not on us, rather spoken to us by those weaker than us? We know that words cannot break our bones, words cannot stop our steps, but only be distractions in our ears and our heads that weaken our spirit.

I am speaking today to tell you to KNOW that you are not chained to where you are and your only obligation to this world, to this time, to this chapter, to the One who created you in perfect love is to thrive, step forward, be fearless, understand that you are created to be a conduit and you cannot be that when you are simply going through the motions.

Unleash the worries that laden you.

Burn the ships that surround you in your mind.

Quiet the voices that cause you chaos in your ears.

Center yourself in knowing you are beautifully, wonderfully, and perfectly made.

Think of the changes you have been placed on this earth to be a part of.

Know the power of your kind, gentle and gracious words of love, grace and mercy that so many within your arm and voice’s reach are so ravenous to receive.

Do not contribute to the pain in the world by being fearful of turning the page.

You are here for a purpose and that purpose is not to be smothered by the fears, the thirst for power, and the self-interest of those who surround you.

Take a moment to close your eyes and be thankful for this moment.

This moment.

Where you were in the last moment broke you down, where you are to be in the next moment will allow you to be the best you, better your corner of the world, your community, your relationships, your workplace, your neighborhood, your spouse, your child(ren), those you were put in the path of and vice versa.

Now deep breath, baby step, move to the next chapter….

Don’t look back, only look forward and within.

It was put within you long before you knew you would need it.

New chapter. Page one.

You have this….you were created to be more than where you were and you will understand only when you step forward into where you are needed to be.

Open those wings.

Let loose that spirit, passion, desire to not be dragging through life but instead making every step you put your foot forward into more vibrant, more impassioned, more full of love, peace, grace and mercy because you were there to be the conduit of it.

Let’s do this.

Together, as one, with the One, who already saw our strengths long before we mustered than up.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph 2:10

Wishing you peace,

Terri O’Neill-Borders




Hope and Friendship Foundation
721 Hickory St, Lemont, IL  60439

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31: 8-9

What truly constitutes a bad day?

Ever vocalize “My life stinks!”.
Did you chalk off today off as a “bad day”???
It’s so easy to say this but what truly constitutes a bad day?
Hair and nails need to be done and no time?
Work day a rough one?
People you deal with mean and selfish?
Kids, marriage, family a mess?
Granted those are speed bumps hindering you moving forward toward where you want to be, but walk with me on this….parts of a day can be bad but do they really negate all and any of the good in your life?
Today I had a few down minutes and sent out “love” to a few friends that I knew have had some “bad days” in the last few months.
I try to do that often but as you know “life happens”…..I fall behind.
So during “conversation” with one of my friends, she told me she was planning on contacting me today to share a photo that she knew I’d want to have.
The headstone was laid yesterday on the grave of their 6 week old daughter.
I was called to their side in June and stood by them as we walked through what would level any parent.
I was able to make meals, buy staples for the house (toilet paper, paper plates, etc. for all who were stopping by to visit), and buy a few need things for the 3 year old big brother who was grieving as well.
Donors to Hope and Friendship Ministries/Foundation made this assistance possible.
So today as I was buying diapers for other friends in need: 18 month old needing diapers, food for 2 families who had empty pantries, I receive this text, this picture and this reminder that as long as the days may be, and as exhausting as this calling may drain me, I am walking among angels that are helping to meet needs of those within our arm’s reach who are financially, physically and emotionally unable to pick themselves up without the hand of a friend.
May God Bless you and yours for you truly bless them and theirs.
May you be comforted by the “good” in your tomorrows to ride you through the rough parts knowing that I am impassioned to make sure that we will surround you, aide you, love you, and walk with you though the valley.
Peace & love my dear friends,
P.S. God Bless those that are laying their heads down tonight with such heavy and broken hearts. May He guide us to them and with the strength and capacities to love and aide them

Wishing you peace,

Terri O’Neill-Borders


Hope and Friendship Foundation
721 Hickory St, Lemont, IL  60439

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31: 8-9

Notes from a Mission Stay Saturday that I thought rained ruined…

Years ago I wrote about how I had learned, via a hard lesson, that I needed to release my grip from the pen. My son was very ill, lying in a hospital near his college, lucky to be alive. We were granted grace, but on a road that required patience, strength and prayer. When the ER doctor told me that my son was lucky to be alive, I should’ve been unconditionally and unequivocally grateful and willing to move through any speed bump or hurdle that followed….but I didn’t read that rule book. I fussed to God through the botched surgery, the painful recovery-times two, the unanswered questions, and the unknown prognosis of his future. I continued to wrestle God for the pen with all of my being and energy. I wanted to rewrite this chapter and carefully pen the next, I was not happy with how He was writing our story. I realized quickly that this was a futile effort and a waste of prayer and spirit energy. We are either fully in, or not in at all. We will either realize to submit to the One who has not created us to fail but to soar, or we will be a pain in His most holy bottom side.

I have no doubt God will roll His eyes, and brace Himself, when/if I come sauntering through those pearly gates. Beginning with my morning prayer, the rest of the prayers through the day, and before I go to sleep I somehow imagine Him to have his chin resting on His hand listening intensively but waiting for His chance to speak. As I fight Him for the pen, I also fail to allow Him to speak to me as often as I should. When I sit in silence and feel His presence I always wrestle with why I don’t do that more, or sooner, because He really does know what He is doing!!!

My day began this very way on Saturday June 9th, with a wrestling match in prayer.

3am- A crash of thunder.

“Hello God. I know you are awake as I am. Could you solve this rain issue by 8am, please? Really this is “your” deal that we are committed to do, NOT mine! We have 5 hours to solve this predicament. You know we have people coming out to help because YOU moved them to do so. I know YOU don’t want to deter those who are willing to give time and effort, so I know YOU will fix this situation to work for YOUR will and not mine.”

4am-Sound of pouring rain, thunder, and add lightening to the mix.

“Hello God. It’s going to be a difficult mow and yard work day if you don’t cut this storm out soon. Just sayin….”

5am-(No difference in the sound from two hours prior.) “Hello God. Can you hear me?”

5:08am- (Same sound. Same storm. I place the pillow over my face and grumble.)

“I don’t mean to be a pain but I’m getting a little stressed here!”

6:00am- “Ok God, you put me on this path. I didn’t ask, nor have I complained (too much), but if you want us to do YOUR will today and finish these lawns for the seniors these thunderstorms will have to stop soon, unless you have a miracle drying plan in mind.”

6:45am (My phone begins blowing up with texts asking what the plan is.)

“Ok God you have this. I told them I’m not cancelling because I know your will is for us to help those that need help, soooooo I trust you have this. P.S. I told them you do.”

7:45am (Still pouring rain heightened with claps of thunder and flashes of lightening)

“As you can see, God, I am heading towards the Police Station to see if anyone shows up. Everyone would have to know that the rain must have been out of your control. As you know I really really was hoping to make a difference and help these seniors today, especially our friend who will be leaving us soon and entering life with you. Sometimes I know I’m a pain God, but I just want things to work out.”

7:48am- (I stay quiet and just pray to be guided on what to do.)

7:50am- Inspiration hits, because I stop cluttering it with grumbling nonsense….I turn the car around and go home to get paper, markers, pens and a large envelope. I head back towards the Police Department hoping, just hoping that people will be there because there is a Plan B!!!

8:05am- I, and about twenty others, gathered in the training room of the Police Department and create letters of love and support for one of the friends we were to have visited today. I received word just two days ago that she just entered into hospice care. She may not have been able to enjoy the work we would have completed on the outside of her home, but she surely would enjoy the expression of compassion, love and faith that was communicated to her through an envelope filled with letters from friends she never met but who cared to “show up” in her hour of need. For more than an hour people who “showed up” to mow, weed, trim bushes and trees, and clean up a yard instead poured their hearts and passion into the most beautiful communications of unconditional love that I have seen. Their heart and love transferred through my worn out, overused markers and older than the first loaf of sliced bread paper, becoming love letters to a friend in the battle; a friend nearing the end of her battle, and the family surrounding her wanting to see her feel peace and love.

This group of walking angels showed up to put their body to task to lift hearts and spirits and they instead sat down and put their hearts and spirits to task and filled a tired body, heart and spirit with the exact support she needed.

Had the rain stopped, as I wanted it to, this beautiful act of compassion would not have been accomplished.

9:20am I delivered an envelope packed with letters from beautiful people who cared to write them, to a beautiful person who needed to read them. Support arrives to a home in the exact form that it was needed, as He had planned all along. The storm was a type of irony. We faced a storm that changed our plans, and our friend and her family was going through a storm of their own that was painfully altering theirs.

He inspired this act of kindness what appeared to be a dark and dreary morning when the sun could not be seen by the eyes, yet wound up being deeply felt by the heart.

Once again I was taught that I am not the one who should hold the pen. I could have written a page in a chapter that read of mowed lawns, trimmed bushes, trees, and pulled weeds, but I would not have written of poetic and artistic expressions of love to a heart and spirit who balanced on the edge of here and heaven. I would’ve only touched the surface, He allowed us to touch deeper.

“God I owe you an apology (again). I submit once again, God, as a flush-faced, humbled servant who thought I knew “the plan” and begrudgingly followed along as you showed me that you had a better one.

I will forever remember this day and this lesson, the experience and the love that came from a stormy Saturday morning that produced much light, hope and love that you had hoped to shine on one you dearly love.

I forfeit the pen, God, and I humbly step back and hope you will be patient with me as I gratefully continue to watch you weave such beautiful acts of kindness with those who “show up” and allow you to work through them here in this corner of the world.

#missionstaysaturdays #hopeandfriendshipfoundation #releasethepen #GodsPlan #HeNeverFails #LoveNeverFails #thiscorneroftheworld #RIPfriend #CancerSucks #lightinthestorm

Next Mission Stay Saturday July 14 meet us at the Lemont Police Department at 8am.
Wishing you peace and comfort,

Terri O’Neill-Borders

Hope and Friendship Foundation
721 Hickory St, Lemont, IL  60439

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31: 8-9



The cry of a child

This week many of us were moved by the heart-wrenching cry of a child. A child we do not know, and nor will meet. The outcry around the world was for children who were obviously experiencing trauma. Children, we were told, who were separated from their families then placed in a facility very unlike the home they knew, and cried out wanting to return to. Children, we could see and hear, who were clearly afraid, sad and fearful of where they were, what they didn’t understand, and that they would not be reunited with those they love.

The sound of the children crying moved men, women, politicians, teachers, child advocates, athletes, clergy, those who names we are familiar with and those whose names will never be known to us.

The cry of a child evoked much reaction and action, as every child’s sincere and heartfelt cry should do.

Our God is a most wise Father, leader and teacher and once again I have felt the presence of Him busy teaching me, moving me and pulling me deeper this past week.

I, too, heard the cry of the child that you heard, and of a few children you didn’t.

I too was moved with concern for the children who would never forget the trauma that was now a part of their memory and being.

My heart ached throughout this week hearing that painful call for help from the children I didn’t know, and from the children that I do.

What do you remember from your childhood?

Most likely you don’t remember all of the meals you ate; the feeling of the bed you slept in; what toilet paper was in your bathroom; or possibly not even each of the bikes you rode, which at the time were most likely a very important possession of your younger years.

However, I guarantee you can recall from your memory bank: abuse that you experienced; a death, loss or separation of a loved one; hardship that you lived through; violence that you witnesses; a trauma that you experienced that still lingers on your mind, in your heart and is permanently etched in your being. Perhaps when you heard that cry this week it brought back memories of a cry from your past, or your child’s.

The cry we heard created a reaction that set in motion action, as every child’s sincere and heartfelt cry should do.

One of the blessings that God has granted me is to be present in the lives of children here and now in our corner of the world. For this blessing I thank Him every single day, and I often fall to my knees pleading with Him to help me do more for them when I hear their cry. Sometimes the cry has been a sob, sometimes it is one held back for too long trying to overcome the fear to share with me something bothering them, often it is in their acting out (then being “rewarded” with more time with me aka. community service, for which becomes an opportunity to “deepen” our friendship, and in retrospect hopefully not viewed as punishment after all). Sometimes the cry comes from the mouth of a very young friend, sometimes a vulnerable and hurting teen, and sometimes from one who has passed through the halls our high school and emerged on the other side unsure and nervous of what the future is to hold for them.

This week I sat and listened to multiple cries all from beautiful yet broken hearts of those way too young to be in such pain. It was an unusual week that gifted me with the time and opportunity to sit face to face with five different young friends who have or are experiencing trauma and hardships in their lives; trauma that they will forever carry with them. Over and over I found myself putting my hands on, and around them and telling them to not allow the trials to break them but to strengthen them so that they can rise above and soar to who they are created to be. Words that were said and heard, but that will only become reality with action by them, but more importantly offered with action from myself and other adults who surround them in this corner of the world.

We can calm the storm, provide relief, and walk them from the trauma onto a path that will take them to a happier and healthier future. But will we?

We as adults can teach or taunt; help or harm; support or scar; build up or break down; be the encouragement they need to spread their wings and soar, or the reason they never feel that feeling of pride and confidence to become what they were created to be.

We may not be able to fix the situation, but we can better it.

We may not be able to keep them from trials in their life, but we can surely do our best to not add trauma into it.

We can create more opportunities to hear their laughter and not turn our head and ignore their cry.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” ~ Matthew 19:14

The cry of children ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning                                                               “When we sob aloud, the human creatures near us pass by, hearing not, or answer not a word! ‘Our Father!’ If He heard us, He would surely (for they call Him good and mild” Answer, smiling down the steep world very purely, ‘Come and rest with me, my child’. “

This past week my heart has truly ached with a desire to calm the cry, the pain, the fear of what is and what will be of a child far from my reach and here within my reach. My prayers have been, and will continue to be, that more hearts than mine will feel the call to be God in this world and allow Him to work through us to move us to every and any action we can produce that will calm the cry, heal the heart, lift the spirit and unconditionally love any and all child. To love the world as God loves us, with mercy, grace and unconditional love. Not just the easy ones but every one. To be the extension of His love that moves Him to greet us on our final day with open arms and an exclamation of “Well done my child, come, be safe, be loved as I love you, and as you have loved my children.”

Wishing you peace and comfort,

Terri O’Neill-Borders




Hope and Friendship Foundation
721 Hickory St, Lemont, IL  60439

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31: 8-9