Big Rock family emphasizes values for son’s birthday

June 5, 2018 GMT

DeKALB – Rebecca Hummell was preparing her son Evan’s first birthday party over Memorial Day weekend when she thought of hosting a baby items drive for the event instead of Evan receiving presents.

Hummell, 35, of Big Rock, said she already went through the baby stage with her daughter Ellie, 5, and already had plenty of baby toys and materials for Evan.

“So I thought, what if somebody didn’t have that stuff?” Hummell said.

Hummell said she invited friends, family and a few neighbors whom they met for the first time to the party and collected about four boxes of items. She and her two children dropped off the donations, which included food, a breast pump, baby walker and cleaning supplies, on Tuesday to Hope Haven, the homeless shelter at 1145 Rushmoore Drive.


“For the amount of people that came out, it was a good turnout of supplies,” Hummell said.

Hummell said Hope Haven fit what she was looking for in a place to donate the items, because a place such as that would benefit from baby items for homeless individuals and families.

Lesly Wicks, executive director for Hope Haven, said a donation haul such as Hummell’s will help with savings to the whole agency and providing basic needs to residents that have families and limited income.

“And with infants and babies, they have a lot of basic needs,” Wicks said.

Wicks said any donations provided to Hope Haven make an impact on people who rely on their services, and the organization always appreciates help from the community.

Hummell said this is the first time her family has participated in a donation project such as this. Growing up, though, Hummell’s father encouraged her and her sister to volunteer at the food kitchen in their hometown of Elgin and to help clean up the Fox River as well, she said.

Hummell said it’s important to her to teach her children about helping those who are less fortunate than they are, as Hummell’s father did for her and her sister.

“Even though [Evan]’s just one, hopefully it will sink in for [Ellie] as well that it’s important to help people,” Hummell said.