St. Joseph Club donates to animal shelter, food pantry
When it comes to giving, one local club is always ready to lend a helping hand.
The St. Joseph Club of Homer Glen recently gave a $1,000 donation to both the TLC Animal Shelter and Lockport/Homer FISH Food Pantry earlier this month.
Denny Carter, of TLC Animal Shelter, said the shelter doesn’t usually get donations of that size and are grateful for anything they get.
“Most of our donations are around $25 or $50,” Carter said. “It’s not too often people just come in and hand us big amounts.”
Carter said the money will help keep the shelter running by going toward things such as upkeep, vaccines, medical items for the dogs, gas and electricity.
“We don’t turn down anything,” Carter said. “We’ll take aluminum cans, dog food, paper towels or any type of cleaning stuff. We’re private and run solely on donations, so we count on kindness.”
St. Joseph Club member and Homer Glen resident Steve Balich described the club as one that was originally founded eight years ago to be exclusively for Italian-Americans. However, the bylaws now state it is open to any Catholic man of European descent to allow for more members, according to Balich.
“It’s a real good group of mostly older guys,” Balich said. The group meets every several months at St. Bernard Parish in Homer Glen and has an annual golf fundraiser. “We decided to help local groups and try to contribute every year to local charities.”
The club gives to the FISH Food Pantry throughout the year and gave to TLC this year for the first time, with talk of giving to them more, Balich said.
At one point, the St. Joseph Club of Homer Glen would go to the Township and get a list of people on general assistance, providing them with baskets of food at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
While it was considered a worthy cause by group members, after time they wanted to expand their reach, leading to them focusing their efforts on the food pantry, which takes care of Homer Glen and Lockport.
“You look around in the area and think everyone has money, but that’s not always true,” Balich said. “People lost their jobs or got a decrease in pay and health insurance doubled or tripled and now all of a sudden they can’t cover a mortgage.
“You think it’s a rich community, but it’s not quite like you would think. That’s why I think the food pantry is so important.”
With plenty of animal lovers in the community, TLC Animal Shelter was another logical place to donate to to make sure the dogs were taken care of, Balich said.
The idea of what the St. Joseph Club is and the role of service it wants to continue to have is clear for Balich and the rest of the members.
“It’s a bunch of guys that want to do good for the community,” he said. “It’s real simple.”
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