From the time I started working at The Night’s Shield, I have known that my work here was purposeful. My personal favorite memory was teaching a child how to play guitar, who truly became skillful at it. I feel blessed to be working at The Night’s Shield Children’s Shelter and to make a positive difference in these children’s lives.
-Dane Johns (Shift Supervisor)
What I have seen in some of the faces that have passed through these halls has been anger, joy, pain, relief, and excitement. I never considered this before, but I realized that there are kids out there that haven’t had their own bed, gotten to go to a movie and get soda and popcorn, or even played on a play ground.
One of my fondest memories was going to a Globe Trotters basketball game at SIUC. One of the youth was so excited he wanted to make sure he had his best outfit on that night. Upon arriving to the arena, each resident was handed a drink and food voucher for their picking. This child’s face lit up as he asked in reassurance, “I can have a drink and candy!?” After the group made our way to our seats and the event started, I happened to look down the row and see him smiling from ear to ear and at times leaving his seat in complete awe of the game. That night I was humbled in seeing that all things taken for granted can mean so much more to others.
-Madison Presswood (Shift Supervisor)
One Saturday afternoon a few staff and I were able to take a small group to the West Frankfort Park to feed the ducks and geese. One particular child had a great time just throwing rocks into the pound. I was able to show him how to skip a rock on the water. When he did it on his own it was as if he didn’t remember his current struggles but was able to vanish just a moment and he was happy again.
-Judy Davis (Executive Director)
A memory that will forever be true to my heart is one child’s first day at the shelter. As I began showing him around the shelter, we came to the bedrooms and he stopped me, asking, “I have my own bedroom?” I replied with a laugh, “Yes, you have your own bedroom.” He questioned again, “with a real bed, not just blankets on the floor?” “Yes, your own real bed.” Some residents you deal with behavior problems and disrespect from time to time, but at that moment I understood exactly why this shelter was established. That memory has been burnt into my head, the experiences I have encountered while working with The Night’s Shield staff and children have changed me as an individual for the rest of my life.
-Craig Ramsey (Director of Development)
The Night’s Shield for us was such a labor of love. We learned early on in life that children are our most valuable resource and that many survived daily alone and with no voice for them in the crisis they were facing. The shelter for us was an answer to many of the children’s cases advocated for over the years as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). Realizing our home was not big enough to bring them all to; the vision became apparent to build a place where children in crisis could feel safe and accepted with open arms, clothing, food and fun in great supply! This vision was carried to many communities and without continuous prayers and their support and the mentoring of Dr. Glenn Poshard and his wife Jo, (President of Southern Illinois University and Poshard Foundation for Abused Children), this safe haven would have never been possible.
-Shawn and Sara Bond (Founders)