Compassion for Campers is the ministry project that provides essential gear and supplies to the unhoused population of McHenry County who must spend all or part of a month camping out or sleeping in vehicles or vacant spaces.  It provides emergency equipment including tents, sleeping bags, tarps, cooking stoves and fuel, non-perishable food, personal hygiene items, first aid and safety material, and other items free of charge to those in need.

Compassion for Campers volunteers with just some of the supplies we provide.

In its current incarnation, Compassion for Campers distributes its gear on the first and third Fridays of each month between 10 am and 2 pm at the Community Resource Days at Willow Crystal Lake, 100 S. Main Street where a wide variety of services are provided by organizations, agencies, and volunteers.

Compassion for Campers is an independent ministry of the Tree Of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry with the support of other churches, organizations, and individuals.  It is entirely dependent on generous donations and usually operates on the thinnest of margins requiring about $900 to purchase supplies for each distribution.

We continue to need donations to order more supplies for those events. Money donations can be made to Tree of Life UU Congregation, 5603 Bull Valley, McHenry, IL 60050 by check with Compassion for Campers on the memo line or donate online at  designating Compassion for Campers in the drop-down menu.

Compassion for Campers has a special dedicated account with the church cannot use for any other purpose and Tree of Life donates all administrative expenses, so all donations go directly to assisting our clients—the most bang for your charity buck!

For more information use this contact form.

Here are items you can donate directly instead of money

  • High protein canned goods, with pop open tops
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Coolers—six pack size and large for ice. 
  • Men and women’s deodorant
  • Larger body wipes
  • Hairbrushes
  • Coffee creamer
  •  Instant coffee
  • Coloring books and crayons for the children we have been seeing
  •  Rope for tent tie downs
  • Band-Aids and first aid supplies
  • cough drops/lozenges
  • Non aspirin pain relievers
  • Canned tuna or chicken
  • nail trimmers
  • back packs/ cloth tote bags
  • Wrapped toilet paper rolls
  •  Paper towels 

    For more information on donating use this contact form.

Please—no bags of clothing, damaged or dirty items, sample hygiene products, or tents and sleeping bags without their carrying bags.