Snowbirds adopt Children in Crisis

Special to The Log
John Cleary and friends help the children at CIC in several ways. Pictured (from left) are snowbirds Allen Schelfhout, Dave Smith, Ken Hair, CIC president/CEO, John Cleary, Bob Patoka and Ken Schelfhout.

John Cleary started helping at the Children in Crisis Neighborhood five years ago with maintenance and repairs and has now recruited four of his friends.

When he learned about Children in Crisis and visited the CIC Children’s Neighborhood for abused, neglected and abandoned children, he immediately found a new passion that took over his heart.

As a retired hospital director from the St. Louis area, Cleary found fulfillment in a different area by working with his hands. For five years, John has spent three months of the year whittling away the long list of maintenance and repair needs at the CIC facilities. As the CIC Neighborhood has grown, so have the repair needs. This year, Cleary recruited four of his fellow snowbirds to help out.

Cleary and his friends have been a Godsend to Children in Crisis and have saved the organization thousands of dollars that can now use to help feed and clothe the children. Any given day there’s about 50 children living at the CIC Neighborhood and since opening the neighborhood of foster homes in 2008, more than 600 children have had a home with CIC.

“The donation of sweat equity has helped provide our children in need with a safe home, food, clothing and a big smile. John and friends truly make a difference and we are very thankful,” Hair said.