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FBLA helps at local shelter


This Saturday morning around 4:00, five HHS students slipped out of bed, groggily dressed, and headed for the door. No, they were not extremely determined Black Friday fanatics, confused about the date or practicing for next week.

They are Future Business Leaders of America, and despite the early start, they were eager to get to Christian Fellowship Church in Crystal Lake.

“I woke up an hour early,” said junior Jantzen Rosales. “I was so excited – I ‘I’m going to help the homeless today.’”

Christian Fellowship is one of seven emergency church shelters part of McHenry County PADS that assists the poor and homeless during the cold season, October through April. Each church is responsible for serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner one day of the week. They also provide a small mattress, blanket, and pillow for anyone needing to spend the night.

As in past years, FBLA decided to help out Cathy Bardy, who teaches Accounting, Consumer Education, and other computer classes at Huntley High School. She and her husband Dennis have been working with PADS for over five years, as well as doing other service projects around the community.

“I’ve never done it before,” said junior James Cannalte, president of FBLA. “I wanted to experience it.”

Most of the volunteers were newcomers, but set right to work at 5:00. Toast was toasted, eggs were scrambled, and sausage links were heated in the oven. Fruit, yogurt, cheese, milk, and coffee took their spot at the counter of “Compassion Cafe”.

By 5:50, each volunteer stood at their station, gloves on, ready to serve. At 6:00, the screen went up.

About 30 to 50 people were waiting, and they were not disappointed. Some came up for seconds, thirds even, and there was still a ton of food left over. Those who asked were given ziplock bags of sausages for later.

“I liked seeing all their faces,” said junior Vanessa Perez. “They were so excited to come get food.”

When every mouth had been fed and the church finally cleared out, the FBLA members were the ones most satisfied by the meal, though they had not eaten a thing.

“I’m very grateful that we have generous and giving Huntley High School students,” said Bardy.

Back at home, the volunteers took to what most teenagers do on Saturday mornings – sleep.

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