Long-time BEDS volunteer says giving back is truly rewarding

BEDS volunteer and site coordinator Pat Steck has been helping out during the first shift at St. Francis during the emergency shelter season for nearly 20 years now. What started as a way to give back to the community has turned into the most rewarding experience for Pat, who lives in Lemont.

"BEDS is very well run," she said. "All the volunteers are just so awesome and sweet and want to do more. Everyone is so generous with their time."

Pat enjoys getting to know the clients who visit the shelter, noting that they are happy to have a place to stay for the night and appreciate the work volunteers do. She said the clients are no different from anyone else who might be down on their luck.

"They are misunderstood," she said. "They're just out there trying to do their best and they just need some help."

Pat relishes the opportunity to help those who are less fortunate and the chance to get to know those who visit the shelter.

"It helps you understand the homeless person a little bit more," she said. "You get a better idea of the reasons that they are out there. They are just like us. They are good decent people that just fell down and need a helping hand up."