After 48 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.

The nonprofit was created on June 25th, 1975, when 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. P.L.O.W.S Council on Aging was formed, providing quality, comprehensive social services specifically to older adults and their families. The acronym P.L.O.W.S stood for Palos, Lemont, Orland, Worth and Stickney Townships — the areas served by the nonprofit. The organization was headquartered in Oak Lawn at the site of Cook School.

In 2000, P.L.O.W.S moved from Oak Lawn to its current location in Palos Heights. The move to a larger office paved the way for growth, in terms of services, budget, employees, volunteers and clients.

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 learned that the name we were founded with in 1975 (P.L.O.W.S Council on Aging) was oftentimes confusing and misleading. P.L.O.W.S, 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. In 2021, we conducted a thoughtful process involving significant and diverse community feedback and announced a new brand name (Pathlights), logo, and visual identity that better reflects who we are and responds to our future.

My involvement with Pathlights has helped me put my own education and experience to good use as I age. As a long-term volunteer with Pathlights, I've had the enriching opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals in efforts to improve the quality of life for our clients and their families and communities.

— Pathlights' Board Member/Volunteer


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. Please consider making a donation to keep our communities healthy.

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