The Schoonover family teamed up to pack a full van of donations that were given to Miss Carly’s in Rock-ford.

By Marianne Mueller


South Beloit resident Alice Schoonover celebrated her birthday in a unique way this year. Instead of accepting gifts she asked that donations be dropped off to her home on Sunday, Oct. 24 to be given to Miss Carly’s in Rockford.

A huge wave of support came in from family, friends and community who answered this request that was seen on a Facebook event post.

Generous donors arrived in an estimated 40 cars that drove up to help with this cause; some stopped over by the day before. Donations poured in of personal hygiene items, warm winter clothing including hooded sweaters, socks, sweat pants, winter coats, and lots of blankets, gloves, scarves and hats.

Sleeping bags and a tent were also given. Additionally, many sack lunch items plus a turkey breast to slice for sandwiches were added to collected items. Cash donations totaled $780.

Her husband Clark and their son helped to load up a very full van. The Monday after everything was delivered to Miss Carly’s and accepted with a huge amount of gratitude.

“I still cannot believe the response; but that was another plus,” Schoonover said. “It was so good to see friends that I have not seen before COVID-19; it was like a reunion. I am just so thrilled.”

Schoonover adds, “I chose Miss Carly’s as I had been watching her on Facebook and following her on the news for a while. We started donating to her this past summer and have been down to Miss Carly’s several times. We liked what she was doing with and for the homeless but was really struck by what she is doing for trafficked women. She has been there and is able to identify with these women. She also helps a lot of the families in her neighborhood in different ways. She is passing out 100 sack lunches per day and I find that amazing.”

Miss Carly’s continues to open her home to help develop person to person contact and to build relationships. She adheres to a promise that no forms need to be filled out, no one will be alienated or judged based on their circumstances. Three days a week community meals are served. Narcan and training on how and when to use Narcan is also provided.

Why did Schoonover decide to give to others on her special day?

“I am beyond the age for gifts. I guess I am looking at this as another way to share a birthday greeting. I just asked people if they would think of Miss Carly as they wished me a Happy Birthday,” said Schoonover.

Schoonover is no stranger to giving back to others on special occasions. Last year she supported Project 16:49 in Beloit who helps homeless teenagers. “I feel bad for them as they are often overlooked,” Schoonover said. She has also hosted a Caritas Diaper Drive and tries to support a charity of choice during the Christmas season. In the fall of 2020 Schoonover helped make life better for hundreds of residents in Rockford.


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