Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Pretty Nice Present for the Children's Birthday Project

The latest issue of Naperville Magazine, containing a great story about the Children's Birthday Project, really wowed us. Karen Dix's two-page story takes readers from the genesis of the founding of the Humanitarian Service Project in Karole and Floyd Kettering's home to where we are today 30 years later. While focusing on the Children's Birthday Project, Dix highlighted how our other projects help needy children, families, and senior citizens.

Coming as we kick off our busiest season, the lead up to the Christmas Offering, we are grateful for this attention to our work. And grateful also for the continuing support from Naperville residents, civic groups, churches, schools, scouts, and businesses as well that from all of our many friends.

by Sheila Noblitt

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Birthday Blessings

By Laura Saad

Birthdays are special, as they only come by once a year. Celebrating with family and friends can be a joyful and memorable occasion, and wanting to share that joy with others is just as rewarding. Today, our staff was pleasantly surprised to receive a donation consisting of several bags of toys for the Children's Birthday Project. In fact, the donor was celebrating her own birthday, and rather than receiving gifts for herself, she encouraged her loved ones to help support the children that H.S.P. serves. Through such generous donations, the Children's Birthday Project continues to make birthdays special for many children in our community.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to Help: Host a Toy Drive

by Karleen Hubbard
HSP Intern

This Christmas season, we hope to give the children of low-income families the opportunity to experience the joy of waking up to presents under the tree on Christmas morning. HSP's goal this holiday season is to serve over 800 children in the area, each of whom will receive at least three Christmas gifts.

There are several ways in which our volunteers can make this happen for the needy children we serve. The first is the Giving Tree, a way to fulfill the wish lists of the children in our program. When sponsoring a Giving Tree child, you will be given a name and age and asked to fulfill at least one gift on the list. After wrapping your gifts, you may bring them to HSP, where we will give them to the child.

Toy drives are another helpful way to give these children a happy holiday, and a great fit for larger groups. Toys can be collected for ages 3-15, with our age group of 8-15 (we help brothers and sisters up to 15 at Christmas) being our biggest need. You may narrow your collection by choosing a specific age group or gender. The collected toys may be dropped off at our site in Carol Stream, where they will be sorted by our volunteers to fit a specific age, gender, or fulfill a wish list item.

Any additional toys we receive can be put away and used in future months for the Children's Birthday Project, which gives a needy child a 25 pound package of gifts each year on their birthday.

So don't be shy in collecting!

For more detailed information, or to let us know you would like to participate, feel free to contact us.

Karleen & the HSP Staff

Nice to meet you, the pleasure is all mine.

Written by George Hofmann, Patron Relations Coordinator, Humanitarian Service Project

Dear HSP blog readers,

I would like to happily introduce myself as the newest member of the Humanitarian Service Project team. I am absolutely delighted to be a part of this wonderful organization. As the new Patron Relations Coordinator I will be working hard to sustain existing relationships and to engage new constituents in this crucial effort to alleviate the hardships of the underprivileged members of our community.

I was 17 when I coordinated my first service project. In my hometown at the First Congregational Church of Downers Grove I put on a benefit concert for my Eagle Scout Project and raised non-perishable food items for the local FISH Food Pantry. The success of this event overjoyed me because I personally knew many of the individuals who would benefit from it.

Since then I have always had a passion for helping low income individuals and families. At the Vineyard Church of Downers Grove under the supervision of one of my most favorite friends, former Pastor George Polcaster, I organized a small group to make weekly visits and befriend clients of a neighborhood PADS shelter.

I graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelors degree in Anthropology and a burning desire to work for a practical and influential non-profit organization. I obtained a position at the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago as a Donor Relations volunteer and was then promoted to Development Operations Intern.

With this experience I am beginning my career at Humanitarian Service Project and I can't tell you how excited I am to grow in this organization and to be a part of the amazing work that Karole Kettering started in her living room 30 years ago. I can't thank her enough for this opportunity and I look forward to meeting all of you. Thanks for reading the blog, come back soon to see what we're up to. Also check out our facebook page and become a fan!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bicycling Love

By Laura Saad

On this crisp, fall afternoon, a father rode his bicycle to our center to pick up a birthday package for his daughter. He told me that his car was out of gas, and he did not want to miss the opportunity to bring his daughter joy on her 12th birthday. The distance did not bother him, as he cheerfully noted what a beautiful, sunny day it was for October. In fact, the father was full of love and dedication to his family. He showed me a picture of his daughter, and said how proud he was of her excellent grades at school. As I handed him the birthday box, he thanked me with a wide smile and said that he was sure his daughter would have a very memorable celebration.

As an intern, I feel blessed to witness such a genuine act of love. Truly, H.S.P. is touching the lives of many in our communities.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Power of Purpose

by Sheila Noblitt
The Carol Stream Rotary Club did a community-wide food drive. Last weekend, 29 neighborhood partners fanned out to 3,500 homes, collecting bags of food left by mailboxes. A few days before, these same volunteers had dropped off flyers attached to empty grocery bags.

Our volunteer van driver, Pete Laabs, himself a Carol Stream resident, went over Monday morning to collect the food set aside for the Humanitarian Service Project. Pete brought the van back full and soon returned for another load. We didn't know quite what to expect, and I don't think the Rotary did either. This was their first food drive afterall.

Rotary President Luanne Triolo and club members rallied all of Carol Stream behind their mission to make sure hungry people are fed. They certainly wowed us! Thanks to all who donated and thanks to our friends at the Rotary!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Quick Update

By Karleen Hubbard
HSP Intern

We are beginning to get busy with food drives coming in, and we appreciate the continual support of our volunteers. Keep crankin' away at those non-perishables!

I also wanted to say a quick thank you to the awesome Student Council at Gregory Middle School in Naperville. I had a blast speaking to the students at my Alma Matter about ways they can help out at HSP and answer some of their questions. While I was there, they presented me with an amazing donation of toys, games, and gift cards. They were very considerate as to purchase less frequently given gifts (like sports equipment and gifts for older children).

Check out their collection!

It is always a joy to experience kids helping other kids, especially when they are so enthusiastic about it! When I got back to HSP, Nikki told me that we have sent over school supplies to Gregory students in need. What a great way for the kids of Gregory to give back to their peers and neighbors! Thanks again, guys!

A "how to help" update is headed your way soon, but in the meantime, please contact us if you are able to help out by holding a food or toy drive for the holiday season.

Karleen & The HSP Staff