She started volunteering in 1987, and now serves as the PADS site manager for her church, United Protestant, in Grayslake.
"I believe that our first duty is to love and serve God. Our second one is to love and serve others," said Pech. "It's my passion."
First and foremost, PADS provides emergency shelter, Pech said. She noted, however, that the program also does so much more. It helps individuals and families find housing, and it assists people in finding jobs.
"It gives me such a fantastically warm feeling," said Pech. "I see people get the help they need."
PADS guests come from all over Lake County.
"A few who have come to our site actually grew up in Grayslake and have lived here all or most of their lives," Pech said of United Presbyterian, which serves as a PADS site on Thursday nights. "Others have been from surrounding communities."
Pech said most of the guests are bused to the PADS sites from the PADS Assessment Center, which is located in Building 5 at the Capt. James A. Lovell Health Center in North Chicago.
Each of the sites operates differently, Pech said. Aside from offering a warm bed to sleep in, food and some clothing, some of the sites offer showers and laundry service, Pech said.
"PADS Lake County is the only emergency shelter for the homeless in Lake County and often the only hope for someone facing a long, cold night," said Pech. "The number of homeless seeking help from PADS has increased every year since 2008."
According to the PADS Lake County 2011-12 Annual Report, the organization served 1,808 homeless individuals in 2012. The sites provided 39,500 meals and 15,000 hours of case management, according to the Annual Report.
"We rely completely on 2,000 volunteers to make these shelter sites possible," said Pech. "You can be a part of giving hope to those who are less fortunate by volunteering at a site once a month, once a season or once a week."