In An Instant … Tragedy Strikes!

The store engulfed in flames

Last Friday night as I was driving home during a horrendous rain storm, I could see smoke up ahead … and then my cell phone rang and I received devastating news.

The WINGS Resale shop in Palatine was burning to the ground.
You may not know that WINGS is my favorite charity. I have been an active and passionate WINGS volunteer for 20 years. Here’s a description from its website, in case you’re not familiar with the organization:

WINGS (Women In Need Growing Stronger) is a not for profit agency that helps homeless and abused women and children by offering integrated services that meet their needs for shelter, education, guidance and support. We provide safe, secure living environments, through transitional housing and emergency shelter, in residential neighborhoods that allow women to go to school, work, and achieve financial and emotional independence.

WINGS provides an amazing and wonderful service to the community. It has the capacity to provide shelter for 45 women and children fleeing domestic violence in a safe house, and has beds in transitional housing for 120 people in need. This program has helped thousands of women and children – many of which I have met personally during my time as a volunteer.

The Resale shop that I saw go up in flames has been providing the major source of revenue for the WINGS program. Even so, I realize this tragic situation could have been so much worse. We are blessed the building had been evacuated because the storm had caused a power outage – and so no one was hurt. Nevertheless …

The need for help is huge and immediate.

State funding contributes only some 2% of WINGS operating revenues. The WINGS team relies heavily on resale shop sales and on individual and corporate donors. The Palatine Shop – the largest revenue producer of the three WINGS resale shops – had been netting over $500,000 annually – some 14% of the budget.

There has been a great outpouring of support from the community. We’re grateful that people are dropping items at the other resale shops in great numbers. But what WINGS needs immediately is money, so that it can continue serving its population of homeless women and children.

Please help! WINGS needs our money now. Follow this link to donate – and in the place on the form where you can honor someone, enter the words “Susie Says” or “Facebook Friend” so WINGS can see how wonderful the internet community is! And please – if you have items to donate for resale – hold them until WINGS can get another storefront up and running. In the meantime, if you have store fixtures, let me know.

Thanks very much for reading this. Your help means a lot to me.

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