URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — When a crisis in your life occurs, sometimes it’s hard to keep going.
For Chase Skye, a volunteer at Salt & Light Urbana, his own became a blessing in disguise.
“For me man, it was really a life saver when I came. I was in a situation where I had been living with my sister in Rantoul and this crisis came about. I was lucky I got helped to get down here to Champaign.”
Back in 2015, he used his situation to become a volunteer at Salt & Light in Champaign.
At the time, he was a receptionist at the smaller site.
Then his volunteering journey began in Urbana.
The same place that houses a massive grocery store, donation drop-off, and much more.
Just like the store caters to everyone in the community, Chase says Salt & Light is no different.
“At first it was kind of like well this is kind of a religious place and it’s like no. This is a place of love. And they love me for who i am and that love is expressed throughout with other volunteers and they can feel it.”
It’s an atmosphere Lisa Sheltra, the Director of Community Engagement, is extremely proud of.
She tells us Salt & Light Urbana aims to provide an opportunity where change and growth is possible.
“It’s pretty routine around here for somebody to tell me this is my happy place, or this is my home here now, or really strong sentiments this is a family to me. So to me that’s hugely important to be able to create that shift in how people view themselves, their work here and their contributions to the community and their sense of purpose and meaning in doing what they’re doing.”
But Salt & Light Urbana goes beyond serving the local community.
Sheltra says their organization provides 40,000 items of recycled clothing a week overseas.
She also tells us 40 bails of clothes that weigh over 1,000 pounds are sent out.
Which helps to aid the need in many poor countries around the world.