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And the children shall lead us…after we raise the child.

July 15, 2015

“You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again.” ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

That quote defines the reason I created YEAH Day lunches because of the fact that we have kids within our arm’s reach that can love on kids within our arm’s reach who need that love, attention and a lunch.

I have been working countless hours this summer and this has kept me from many of my responsibilities and my desires (no clean laundry to be found and please do not stop by and expect a clean house!!!) but thanks to friends who stepped in to make sure my kids do not miss anything due to my work hours YEAH Days has expanded from 3 Mondays to 5 Mondays this summer and the group of teens that have helped make this an outreach of utmost size and meaning has made me watch the clock on the computer every YEAH Day between 12:30-2:30pm knowing some amazing love and laughter is happening less than a mile to my right and awaiting the photo texts of that outreach from my amazing walking angels.  I hope you can get a chance to stop by and witness this, if not be apart of it!  I loved experiencing every single YEAH Day and went home feeling like I had shaved 40 years.  No guarantees you’ll feel that if you jump in on the kickball, basketball, or field games!!!

So many of us have the opportunity to hit the road over the summer months and visit family, experience thrills, and make memories.  It is hard to fathom sometimes how restricting a financially strapped home lives compared to yours.  There are so many kids right here within our arm’s reach that are restricted to living within a stone’s throw of their front door.  Since 2006 I have tried to expand the outreach toward these young friends and to involve the amazing network of teens that we have here in our community that would be mentors, leaders, and lovers to our youth who so very much need this.  The attention and love started with the very first “UnBirthday Party” (you have one birthday and 364 unbirthdays- we celebrate our kids on THAT day in July.  This year July 21st @ and with the help of Calvary Church 5:30-7:30pm).  Then the Summer Field Trip to see a sports game.  Then the pool party with tie dye shirts & school supplies.  Then the Emergency Vehicle/Ice Cream Night was added.  Then YEAH Days.  Then EPIC Night.  Then Back to School collection and fundraising Night.

After those events, and only then, my beautiful and valuable young friends begin school having comparable memories and stories of summer fun to share with their peers having made more friends from the outreaches you helped make happen.

We are half way through the summer events but ramping up for the big ones that need your help.

Two more YEAH Day lunches that we want to make the biggest and best ever.  Come by and play.  Donate to the Hope and Friendship PayPal toward the lunch portion (hoping to do pizza and hot dogs for the last two).  Or help us by doing the “please don’t rain dance” so that we can continue the two year run of a YEAH Day NEVER being rained out.

Those that depend on the Free/Reduced Lunches to provide food for their children are without that amazing assistance through the whole summer.  Last year we gifted bags of Kid Friendly and Preparable food to many of our most struggling homes.  Collection will continue through July for kid friendly and preparable food (cans of pasta (Chef Boyardee), Nutella, PB&J, snack/breakfast bars, Oatmeal, Name Brand Cereal, microwave ready meals, etc).  Please drop these off through the month of July to the bins located at Lemont Police Dept Lobby, Lemont Township Lobby, Starbucks, US Bank, Pawz & Klawz Pet Salon or to my house.  We will be sorting and delivering these bags at the July 18th Mission Stay Saturday and the August 8th Mission Stay Saturday.

UnBirthday Party is Tuesday July 21st from 5:30-7:30pm @ Calvary Church.  Set up begins at 4:15. All teens are invited to help make this night the biggest and best party EVER!  Donations needed:  personal care products for kids/teens; journals; pens; special gifts;  pillow cases; socks; snacks.  Donations will be accepted at all of the bins that I use for food pantry collections (Lemont Police Dept, Lemont Township, US Bank, Starbucks, Pawz & Klawz Pet Salon or to my house).   I started a “Kid Shop” two years ago that allows each of the UnBirthday Party participants to choose items for the “goodie bag”.  The first year of this shop I was driving a car full home and one of my 10 year old boys had secured himself a can of AXE Cologne and couldn’t be more excited.  He said to me he was going to make this can last forever so he could smell and be like a man.  Oh the innocence of a child.  A man is not made by his smell and I will remind our young boys of this until I have no breath.  It is in living, loving and reaching out to those around you and these kids do this right now.  They have so much less than so many.  They have homes that struggle so horribly financially, physically or emotionally.  Their summer memories are made because you care to join me in making them.

For the Summer Pool Party August 4th I would love to give all of those in attendance beach towels and school supplies.  Donations will be accepted at all of the bins that I use for food pantry collections (Lemont Police Dept, Lemont Township, US Bank, Starbucks, Pawz & Klawz Pet Salon or to my house).  We also tie dye shirts on this night.  To see my kids walking around with their tie dye shirt just warms my heart to the n’th degree.  If you want to offer white tee shirts in any size you can drop them off at the bins as well (Kid’s large, XLarge, and Adult Med and Large)

On Monday August 24th Gelsosomo’s will offer 50% of the price of all food purchased to help me offer gift cards to gift new back to athletic shoes.  Donations of gently used kid’s shoes and boots will be accepted at the same aforementioned bins through August.  Please mark your calendar for Monday August 24th to dine in or order out from Gelsosomo’s from 5pm to close to offer your donations.

Special thanks to two of our restaurant owning friends who also support our youth outreaches and put good food in the bellies of our beautiful children (Don of Nick’s Tavern & Jim of Jimbo’s Pizza).  I cannot express enough thanks to those who see my mission as their own and join me in this journey.  I am blessed to be blessed by you!

“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” ~Neil Postman

I believe this with all of my heart and will spend my every living breath investing time, effort, love, and channeling donations toward the gifts from Heaven that have not chosen their path but find themselves walking it.  Why would we not walk alongside of them and offer what we can, when we can and as we are able?

On that note of offering hands and feet we are down to 4 more Mission Stay Saturdays.  This is our 4th year of this outreach simply allowing us to gift hands, feet, compassion, yard work and small home repairs.  We need “weed warriors”, tree/bush trimmers, talented handymen, and those who have done none of the above but want to bless a neighbor.  Our last Mission Stay Saturday we visited a home of a family during the funeral for the father/husband who was overtaken by his battle with cancer but overcame this world with his love, grace and compassion; we visited a home of a person who was currently in their battle with cancer and left the yard looking radiant like only a team of walking angels can do; the whole team left feeling filled with compassion, gratitude, and grace looking forward to the next Mission Stay Saturday which is this coming Saturday (July 18th).  We need hands, feet, bring your yard tools, gloves, yard bags, tree/bush trimmers and willingness to do what you can to help a friend in need of your mission work and love.  July 18th we will also be creating the “kid friendly food bags”.  August 15th we will be creating care boxes with baked goods and uplifting notes for our Fire, Police and Homebound friends.  Baked goods & notes can be dropped off to my home or the morning of August 15th.

I cannot express in words the importance and imperativeness of the needs right here and right now.  Every single time Hope and Friendship Foundation is able to meet a need (whether it be food assistance, yard work, clothes/shoes for a kids, a car repair, a utility bill or rent paid) I inform the recipient that it is NOT I who has assisted them it is a community of caring friends hoping to help a friend, I am simply the blessed conduit of this outreach of compassion.  During the Summer when I drive towards my home and stop to talk to my kids and hear of how much they have loved the events I am filled with gratitude for every single person that has offered funds, donations, and prayers.  Without even one of those offerings these amazing ripples would not happen.

Thank you.   Thank you times a gazillion.  I lay my head down at night and thank God for you.  I wake up in the morning and thank Him again and ask him to allow me to hear and reach all of the voices that He hears in prayer within our corner of the world.  May you be fully blessed for you completely bless so many.

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

Attachments area

Preview attachment 2015 Summer Events.pdf


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