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On June 25th, 1975, a small group of notable leaders came together, concerned about the lack of local support available for those experiencing the challenges associated with the aging process. As a result, PLOWS Council on Aging was formed, providing quality, comprehensive social services specifically to older adults and their families. The organization was founded in Oak Lawn at the site of Cook School.

In 2000, PLOWS moved from Oak Lawn to its current location in Palos Heights. The move to a larger office paved the way for growth and expansion of its mission.


After 45 years, our nonprofit remains robust in its mission as it was visionary in its purpose -- providing critical services to help individuals remain independent contributors within their community.

Today, our operations, programs, and services are evolving to better respond to the emerging needs within our communities. Our team is expanding their knowledge, enhancing their skills, and placing priority on professional development to prepare and respond to the ever-evolving healthcare environment. In addition, a forward-thinking, strategic roadmap with an innovative approach helps to guide our work and measures our impact.

We are strengthening service delivery by involving and collaborating with not for profit and for-profit partners, civic groups, faith leaders, municipalities, and elected officials. We are leading the way as a convener of conversation and action to promote policies that create a healthier aging community by mobilizing neighbors and neighborhoods.


Over time, we’ve learned that our name is oftentimes confusing and misleading. PLOWS, while an acronym for some of the Townships we serve, defined our geographic area, but failed to speak to our mission and critical comprehensive programs and services. In addition, "Council on Aging” gave the impression of being government run or owned. As a result, we committed to a year-long, thoughtful process involving significant and diverse community feedback to help us identify a new brand name, logo, and visual identity that better reflects who we are and responds to our future.

The pandemic has been the greatest single challenge Pathlights has had to face, but at the same time it has reminded us of how important this nonprofit is to this community. When you can't have vitally important contact with people you find new ways and means to connect, and the organization has done exactly that. Pathlights always has the task to be aware and be alert and adapt to coming challenges. The future is being open to the possibility of changing ways and means of dealing with needs in our community.

Rev. Glenn Bergmark
Retired board member after 30 years of service in the roles of President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer


There are many ways you can contribute towards our cause, and every act of generosity goes a long way in helping us fulfill our mission.

Pathlights is a 501(c) (3), independent, charitable, human service organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. Tax ID: 36-2882809