Carol Alcorn knows having too many donations isn’t exactly a bad problem to have.
The executive director of the Illinois Valley Public Action to Deliver Shelter said the Ottawa community has been so generous with donations that it was clear the second Lily Pads location should be in the city at 411 E. Stevenson Road.
“The community in Ottawa and the surrounding areas have been very supportive of the shelter programs and Lily Pads in Peru,” Alcorn said. “They’ve given a lot of donations that arrive at the shelter door and it’s almost overwhelming with the shelter work that happens there.”
Alcorn said it made sense to try and open their second Lily Pads location in Ottawa and hopefully increase that level of support in the community.
She added the Peru Lily Pads location has been “extremely” successful since opening in 2006 and provides 60 percent of the general funds for both shelters with the rest coming from individual contributions.
Alcorn also noted the closure of ReRuns, Ottawa’s OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center Auxiliary resale shop, as a void left in the community. ReRuns donated its remaining furnishings and items to Lily Pads, and Alcorn thought it was fitting another local retail shop with a similar mission rise up to replace it.
Alcorn said 90 percent of Lily Pads clientele has been from the La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties and customers can be assured their donations and money will be going to local needs.
The shop provides household items to furnish living spaces when they receive housing again as well as clothing and shelter needs, such as the recently replaced water heater in the Ottawa shelter.
“Those things that happen in your house also happen in our house,” Alcorn said.
Alcorn said luckily donations, both monetary and physical, have kept up with a steady demand.
“We are busy,” Alcorn said. “We are pretty comparable to last year, which was the busiest ever. We’re seeing the economy is doing better so people are finding employment more quickly, and better employment, so the length of stay is not as long as last year.”
The business does not have a firm opening date yet for Lily Pads Too in Ottawa, but Alcorn estimated there could be a soft opening in May with a wider opening planned for the middle of summer.
Customers of Lily Pads can expect the same operation and donation guidelines as their Peru location.
For more information, visit lilypads.com.