Roberta was a single mother with two small children who relied on her car to get her kids to a babysitter and commute to her job. When her car broke down she had no funds for repairs, and no back-up plan. In desperation, she contacted the Village of Arlington Heights and spoke with Carol Jancek, Human Services Coordinator. Luckily, Carol has a small budget that allows her to provide emergency assistance for residents. In this case, Roberta was fortunate since Carol was able to contact a local garage and arrange for the repairs at a reduced rate.
“Unfortunately”, Carol said, “in this economy, we are often contacted by people with emergency needs like Roberta’s but many times we don’t have the resources to help them. It’s a real problem faced by many of our residents”.
A new not-for-profit organization called Arlington Cares NFP has been formed to help address this need. ACNFP has a volunteer board who’s Chairman, Bob Ehlert said “the mission of Arlington Cares is to help our residents who have emergency needs due to loss of a job, breakup of a marriage, serious medical expenses, or in Roberta’s case, some basic auto repairs. Our help is a hand up, not a handout”.
The program relies on cash donations and some support by the Village but Chairman Ehlert has recently announced a new voucher assistance program. Businesses in the Village can donate needed services such as auto repairs, basic legal advice, dental services, even haircuts. “This is a way for our businesses to donate in-kind services that would really make a difference’, said Ehlert.
Jon Ridler, Executive Director of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce said,” This is a great way for our businesses to make non-cash donations that will assist people in need in our community”. For more information on Arlington Cares and its voucher assistance program, visit their website, www.arlingtoncaresnfp.org. Arlington Cares NFP is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization. Donations to the ACNFP are tax-deductible.