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Kind Words are inspiration to women in need

Homeless women will sometimes be able find place for their children but not themselves as they try get their life

Homeless women will sometimes be able to find a place for their children, but not themselves, as they try to get their life back together. Notes from the kids offer some solace. | Courtesy Lake County Haven

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Send an inspirational message

You can mail your inspirational quote to Lake County Haven, P.O. Box 127, Libertyville, IL 60048, or visit the website and look for the Kind Words Campaign to submit your quote.

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Updated: February 15, 2014 4:20AM

Everyone has had that moment where someone’s words gave comfort at a time you may have needed it most, and this holiday you can give words of encouragement to homeless women at the Lake County Haven shelter through its Kind Words campaign.

Through its website or through old fashioned mail, you can reach out to someone who is putting their life back together with inspiring words such as:

“I just want to say that no matter how low life can drag you down all there is up from there. I speak from experience. Don’t EVER give up! Our journeys are all different but our strength can all be the same. I pray for you and hope you keep the courage and faith that life will get better. It can take a long time but you can do it!”

That was one of the sentiments recently sent to Lake County Haven, said Laura Sabino, executive director, and the reaction from a resident, Jennifer, is exactly what Sabino was hoping for when they started the program.

“Oh wow! That is so inspirational. But even more than that, the most powerful thing is to know that a complete stranger cares enough to write that down and send it to us.

“For many of the residents here, we have no friends or family who care. So to get those words of support is HUGE! There’s no telling what sort of impact those messages will have on someone’s day,” said Jennifer.

Sabino said this is a way for anyone to connect and give some advice, wisdom, inspiration or encouragement to people who are really struggling.

“I’ve heard this story several times over the years: The woman in the shelter says nobody she knows wants to talk to her anymore. She just feels so estranged from everything,” said Sabino.

But she saw the power of another program, where people, families or organizations can sponsor a night at the shelter and their name is posted identifying who it is that was covering the costs for the night.

“The residents were like ‘Wow, this person I don’t even know is doing this for me’ and it made them feel great,” she said.

“We don’t know what the results might be, but I see it like the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life” where they bring in baskets, of course that was money, I see baskets full of messages. That’s my dream, an outpouring of support,” she said.

The Lake County Haven has been providing support for homeless women and their children for the past 21 years. Sometimes the women have found a home for their children, but not themselves. The Haven provides training and housing and help finding a job and independent housing. They help women who are struggling with bad credit or debt to get back on their feet. They have eight different apartments that are used until their residents are able to strike out on their own again.

The Kind Words campaign hopes to give residents a spark of hope or just the good feeling that someone out there cares.

“It’s pretty open ended, and so far the results are varied. Some people send in quotes about perseverance and little kids write something totally different. I think there will be quite a variety,” she said.

“People have struggles in life and all you have to do is think of what would we want to say to someone in that situation,” said Sabino, who hopes families, groups, clubs, and churches join in.

“The possibilities are limitless,” she said.

“We’ll be posting them as they come in,” said Sabino.

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