She saves every note from our shelter

Virtual volunteers' kind words uplift Louise, a guest of our Emergency Overnight Heat Relief Shelter

Inside a clear sleeve for an ID card, Louise carries every single inspirational note she’s received on top of her cot sheets at St. Vincent de Paul’s Emergency Overnight Heat Relief Shelter

Each night, all 200 cots greet their guests with a fresh note made by virtual volunteers in SVdP’s Help from Home program, which runs the Sweet Dreams Cards project. Some notes say, “Goodnight, my friend.” Others say, “You can do it” or “Don’t ever give up.”

Above, Louise’s note says, “With God, all things are possible.” 

Card on the pillow of a cot

The handmade notes aim to uplift the shelter guests by offering a small gesture of kindness and dignity. The unique tradition has been a part of the shelter since it first opened on June 9 for heat relief services

Louise says she saves the notes to look to them during difficult moments when she needs some hope.

“Along with the life-saving necessities, SVdP provides hope, healing, and the reminder that someone cares and loves them,” said Community Engagement Officer Shawn Donnelly, who heads the Help from Home program and card project. “Louise is a testament to just how significant these projects can be. We never know what someone needs to hear but the message in the card you hand them just may be the very words to make a difference in their life in that moment.”

That’s certainly the case for Louise.

“Louise finds solace in the community,” Assistant Shelter Manger Taylor Lutich said. “She’s an absolute delight, and her disposition is sunny even on difficult days — so much so, that her radiant personality is a comfort to those around her. As shelter staff, we’re honored to be a part of her journey.”

Please pray for Louise, who is currently in the hospital and going through an especially difficult time with her health.

In these final days of our 100 Days of Summer campaign, SVdP is focused on shelter. It takes a community of all types of people and giving back to make shelter services successful. Whether you support shelter by volunteering from home, in person or simply take a moment to donate, THANK YOU.