"We are ecstatic," exclaimed Diane Nilan, HEAR US president and founder. Nilan, for the past 6 years, has traveled over 130,000 mostly backroads miles chronicling the plight of homeless families, living and working out of Tillie, her gas-hungry motorhome. Nilan and her board rustled up over 2,500 votes to win the gas prize. "We have lots of friends nationwide, and people believe in our mission," giving voice and visibility to homeless children and youth.
The CITGO contest was brought to Nilan's attention by a Naperville friend, Melanie Swiger Murphy, who figured this would be a perfect fit. Nilan hammered reminders on the HEAR US Facebook page. Her board enlisted, well, nagged, family friends and associates. "We're not the type of agency that can pull off huge fundraising events," said Nilan, "but we're scrappy and hard-working! And people love what we do and are willing to help."
After CITGO reps present Nilan with the gas cards on Weds., Dec. 14, at 10:00 a.m. at the Highland CITGO, 702 S. Washington St. in Naperville, Nilan will hop behind the wheel and make tracks to Washington, DC for a hearing on child homelessness organized by Congresswoman Judy Biggert. She'll gas up first, powered by the surge of support of countless people across the country.
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