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Local Teacher Lives His Faith in a Variety of Ways

Jeremy Hylka, who founded Joliet Weather Center, gives back to the community whenever he can.

Jeremy Hylka is the kind of person who lives his faith. A theology teacher at and a youth minister at , everything Hylka does in his life becomes a lesson in faith.

"Everywhere I go, it’s all interlocked," the Joliet area resident said. "There’s always a tie in to every aspect of what I do."

But when you look at the pieces individually, they seem to not tie together. Hylka spends his time not in the classroom or in church in two primary ways - studying weather and volunteering for a military-related non-profit.

Hylka founded in 1990. Although it was under a different name then, the organization serves to alert people in the Joliet area to severe weather and allows Hylka to indulge one of his first passions. Hylka was a freshman in high school when he founded Joliet Weather Center. But it remains a hobby for him, one in which he still lives his faith for himself and his students.

"Showing what the weather is that day (is) showing God’s creation," he said.

He is hosting the first every meet and greet for the organization at 6 p.m., Thursday at .

He was content with his calling to teach and minister and his hobby of studying weather until a friend of his alerted him to a non-profit - Bands for Arms.

Bands for Arms was founded by Nicanor Padrigo Mendoza III, who wanted a way for service members and their families to more outwardly show support and to feel connected. Mendoza takes donations of military uniforms and crafts bracelets from them. Those bracelets are then sold and the money raised is donated to other military organizations.

"I always had a passion, since I was little, for patrioutism and the military," Hylka said. "When I heard about this organization, Bands for Arms, I jumped on it right away."

He serves as a volunteer for the organization, maintaining its Facebook Page and promotions.

"It’s pretty much spreading the word for Bands for Arms whenever I can," he said.

But as Hylka and Mendoza got to know one another, Mendoza thought Hylka was the perfect man for a sister company - His Arms for Arms. It operates on the same prinicipal, except that the bracelets have a religious meaning.

"He actually made me the director of it," he said.

Hylka wants his students to understand what is the most important in life.

"It is still a passion and I have always had a call to give back to the community in any way I can," he said. "Money isn’t everything and I’m doing what I love to do."


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