East Dubuque woman transforms old camper, starts a nonprofit to bring supplies to those in need

East Dubuque woman transforms old camper, starts a nonprofit to bring supplies to those in need
Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 10:56 PM CST
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EAST DUBUQUE, Illinois. (KCRG) - In a small office space just inside East Dubuque, Paige Johnston and two of her friends write encouraging notes to people in their community. The words of affirmation, uplifting quotes, and encouragements carefully written on each card are just a small part in Johnston’s effort to serve through The Boundless Trailer.

“Our motto is serving everyone, everywhere, in every season. That is something that’s been with me forever,” said Johnston.

She and a team of volunteers travel in a trailer serving what they call life necessities to anyone in need.

“Hygiene products, clothing, a fresh meal, and then we try to connect them with more long term nonprofits in the area for rehab and medical needs like services that we can’t yet provide for them,” said Johnston.

She got the idea to start this organization at the end of her senior year of high school.

After looking into the possibility of starting a business, her passion to serve others took her a step further. So she found a camper, almost 50 years old, and transformed it.

“There was something so impactful for me that I was taking something old, used, useless and forgotten about and making it new, worthy and appreciated by so many people,” said Johnston.

“It’s a huge thing, it makes my heart warm that we’re helping so many people and that she’s doing so much for so many people and having me be a part of it,” said volunteer and long-time friend of Johnston’s, Sharon Mai.

To The Boundless Trailer team, serving those in need means accepting everyone and excluding no one. It’s also an effort that is especially important to Johnston.

She says growing up there weren’t resources like this one that helped just anybody, no questions asked.

“My mom was a single mom so we were fortunate enough that she made enough to survive, but we never made enough to have an abundance,” said Johnston. “As a child I just always asked myself why is no one helping or why is there no assistance for us? And it just kind of felt like we were left.”

Now, she is bridging that gap to help more people like her family get the assistance and supplies they need.

In 2022, her team served more than 240 people in several different states.

Moving forward, Johnston plans to let her passion and her faith continue to grow this organization.

“We just hope to continue to impact the tri-state area, we hope to go a little more national and do a couple of big trips in there,” said Johnston.