Volunteers and donations needed for local Illinois shelter - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Volunteers and donations needed for local Illinois shelter

MARION, IL (KFVS) - For the past eight years, the Lighthouse shelter in Marion provides men, women and families 30 day housing.

It's a place to stay while they get back on their feet.

"We do a lot here. We try to make it home, you know while they don't have a home," Volunteer coordinator, Evelyn Fuqua said.

Case managers help residents find jobs and houses during their time at the shelter.

During the holidays, Fuqua says it can get very busy and having the basics for the residents are always in high demand.

"We go through a lot of paper cups, paper towels," Fuqua said. "We always have a need for coffee, tea bags, sugar, stick butter, just simple things. Those are a good gift to us year around."

But that's not all, donations do not necessarily have to be physical gifts, but can also be a gift of time.

"There's many places that need volunteers," Lighthouse Shelter volunteer, Janaye Stewart said. "If you have a couple hours a month, just go and volunteer somewhere."

26-year-old Jean Stewart says volunteering has been apart of her life for years. 

Christmas Eve was her first day working in the shelter. She says she does it because she used to be the one receiving. Now she wants to give back.

"We didn't have a lot growing up," Stewart said. "You know you hit rough patches in life and you're able to bounce back from that."

Stewart says she wants to be a smile for people. "And let people know that this may be where you're at right now but it doesn't have to be that way forever," she said.

It's about encouraging others no matter where someone is in life.

"You don't know when your need might hit," Fuqua said. "Sometimes people are only a paycheck away from being homeless, even if you've got it really well today, you don't know what could happen tomorrow."

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly