Friday, May 28, 2010

Thank you for the generous donations made this Friday, from our hearts to yours…

by Mariel Marte, Volunteer

(Bethani next to the donated goods from Kay’s Kupboards)

We would like to thank Ed & Kay Hedeen (from Kay’s Kupboards in Warrenville) for holding a food drive in response to our call for 5,000 pounds extra food, which resulted in two grocery carts full of groceries. Thank you for your generosity.

Gail Hudgins
(Gail Hudgins next to a bike that will go to a very lucky birthday girl.)

Not only will she receive this lovely bike, but she will also receive a complementary helmet & bike lock! Our lovely donors really take that extra step and think of the details. Thank you Gail for your generosity and consideration with regards to your birthday gift recipient’s safety.

(left: Adding more decorations, right: Gift also includes a helmet & bike lock!)

Thank you Gail as well as Ed & Kay Heeden for all of the generous donations.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Meet Lizzy the intern

Hello there! I am Lizzy Hynes, Humanitarian Service Project’s newest intern. I originally hail from Saint Charles, but I’ve just completed my first year of college 1000 miles away at Boston College’s school of management. My past volunteer experience includes the Northern Illinois Food bank and Lazarus House homeless shelter. Naturally, the HSP’s work fits in with these organizations and I hope to make an impact on the low-income members (especially children) of the community.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Edison Middle School students making a difference!

By Andrea King, Intern

For the past 16 years, the Edison Middle School Student Council has been a loyal sponsor of the Children's Birthday Project. All of us here at Humanitarian Service Project are in awe of these students' dedication and generosity - their selfless contributions help us give beautiful new toys and games to 20 different low-income children!

This year they raised $1,100 for us, which is over $350 more than last year. The students were able to get the community involved as well - when the student council advisors went to the bank to deposit the funds, the teller gave them a $20 bill out of his own pocket.

WOW kids, thanks again for all of your hard work and support :)
6th Graders
7th Graders
8th Graders
Student Council Advisors

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tiger Trot 2010

By Andrea King, Intern

Wiesbrook Elementary School's PTA held the Tiger Trot 5K race & 1 mile fun run/walk this past Saturday. The course wound through the beautiful neighborhoods surrounding the school and helped raise both physical fitness awareness and funds for HSP. Thanks to all of those who came out!

Larry Erven was on hand to answer questions about HSP and to explain a little bit about what we do.

HSP volunteer Ginna Ericksen and her daughter Melissa (our newest summer intern) competed in the race. Way to go ladies!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Children’s Birthday Project

by: Mariel Marte, Volunteer

Each year the Humanitarian Service project puts together Birthday Boxes to 800 children around DuPage and Kane County. Each box weighs approximately 25 lbs and contain not only hand picked presents with the specific child in mind, but also supplies to furnish a birthday party – also known as “party in a box”, complete with cake mix and frosting, birthday candles, party favors, cups, plates, napkins, and more!

Hand picked gifts put together by volunteers.

In addition to the toys, HSP also furnishes supplies for a birthday party!

You might be wondering, how does the Humanitarian Service Project assemble gifts for 800 children per year? My answer would be organization organization organization. I had the opportunity to meet with Jan, Toy Room Supervisor, and she was kind enough to give me a tour of the Children’s Birthday Project operation center. Here are some pictures I snapped during my tour.

IMG_3494 Jan, our lovely Toy Room Supervisor.

IMG_3489 Each toy is categorized per age group and placed in the shelves.

IMG_3493 More toys/sporting goods…donated NEW!

Plenty of books in our book room! Many thanks to individual donors…

IMG_3499 and also to companies such as Barnes & Noble of Oakbrook and Naperville,
and Anderson Books of Naperville.

IMG_3506 The wall of board games.

IMG_3511 The wrapping room.

ribbon3502 My personal favorite…already curled ribbons ready to be used!

As you can see, a LOT goes on into putting together a birthday box for each child. It takes a lot of organization, participation and involvement from a lot of generous hearts. We cannot thank you all enough for your donation, your time and other means of contributing to make sure that the HSP’s Children’s Birthday Project continues to provide plenty of Birthday Boxes to children throughout DuPage and Kane County on their special day.

Meet our new Interns!

This is Steven Davis! He is a junior at the University of Illinois and studying Accounting. He wanted to intern at HSP because he liked the "volunteering atmosphere." Steve has done some volunteering in his past, including volunteering at the Lazarus House and participating in Key Club activities in high school.

This is Bethani Pechous! Bethani is a senior at Concordia University Wisconsin and is studying Public Relations and Marketing. Bethani was drawn to HSP because she was blown away by the amazing work the organization does for needy seniors and children.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


By Bethani Pechous, Intern

Our staff was here late last night getting ready to send our letters to the families we will be providing food for this summer for the Feed The Kids program! Letters went out this morning.

This will be the 7th year that HSP will be doing the Feed the Kids program. This year we will be helping 100 families (10 more than last year) get the food they need for the summer months.

All of the families that we support come from our Children's Birthday Project and are kids who get free or reduced priced lunches during the school year. We are passionate about the Feed the Kids program because most people don't realize that some kids are not getting fed during summertime, as they receive their lunches at school the rest of the year.

Every month this summer each family will receive 200 to 250 lbs of nutritious foods including 8 varieties of fresh fruit, 7 varieties of fresh vegetables, a selection of 7-11 different meats, non perishable groceries, bread, and healthy snacks!

We are still greatly in need of food for our families. We still need about 5,000 lbs of food in order for our program to be a success!

Please Contact us!

Web address:

Phone Number: (630) 221-8340


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Generous Girl Scouts

By Andrea King, Intern

The lovely ladies of Girl Scout Troop 1925 stopped in for a visit this week and brought us the non-perishables they collected for HSP. They even stayed to help sort through the items they so generously donated to our cause. Thanks girls, keep up the great work!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rotary Club of Darien Makes a Difference

by Sheila Noblitt, HSP Staff
Thanks to the Rotary Club of Darien for the kind hospitality the members showed me today. I was at their weekly Tuesday lunch meeting at Argonne National Lab to update them on their seniors and the programs the club helps Humanitarian Service Project with. They have been HSP supporters for at least 10 years now. We have two seniors in Darien and surprisingly when I returned back to the office, Sarah, our Senior Citizen Project Coordinator shared a thank you from one of the seniors the Rotary Club of Darien sponsors.

Here is Betty S.'s thank you:

All of you,
I can't really tell you how much you are appreciated. You have helped me more than you'll ever know. I love angels and that's what all of you all. My Secret Pal is a great one. Hope all of you had a great Mother's Day--mother or not. Our Lord is watching over you. My love and prayers tell me so. Betty.

Without groups and sponsors for the 120 seniors in our Senior Citizen Project, Betty would be a little more alone in this world. The first sentence on her update reads: "Sometime, life doesn't turn out the way that we thought it might. . . Sometimes, we all need a little bit of help." We are glad to be there for Betty and all of the seniors in our program. We wish we could help more--there are certainly many on our waiting list.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Checking in with Former Interns

It's always fun to hear from our former interns. As you might imagine, these young people are committed, creative, and busy. April Pytlarz found a job at a marketing/advertising firm after leaving HSP last summer and she promises to return to volunteer with us when her life settles down a bit. Shreyasi Das is continuing her education at RIT and hopes to find an animation internship this summer. Congrats to Kevin Rohr who has completed his degree from Indiana University.

Two summer of 2007 interns wrote recently: Steffani Schneider graduated from Elmhurst College in 2008 and will be graduating from Loyola Chicago this May. Michelle Cruz graduated from Lewis University and is working as a social worker. She reports that last October she helped coordinate a free clinic in Aurora called Share the Hope.

We are proud of all of our interns and their accomplishments!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yards and Yards of Ribbon For Happy Birthday Packages

One of our newest volunteers Mariel brought her camera with her today and captured a bit of color upstairs in the Children's Birthday Project workspace. We look forward to showing you more of her work. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Grateful Children's Birthday Project Mom Treats HSP Staff

Founder/Executive Director Karole Kettering and Senior Citizen Project Coordinator Sarah Grindstaff enjoy the best homemade Baklava we've ever tasted. One of our grateful moms brought the staff by a whole tray. With three children and an ailing husband, this mom has a special place in our hearts. We are glad to be there for her.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Comings and Goings

By Andrea King, Intern

We are always sad to see our interns leave us, but we know that they must. Steve Avino came to us from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois and will be finishing his internship at the beginning of June. Many thanks for all of your help and hard work, Steve - we wish you nothing but the best in all of your future endeavors!

We would also like to introduce HSP's newest intern, Melissa Ericksen! Melissa comes to us from Colgate University in New York where she has just finished up her freshman year. She will be here helping us out for the next six weeks - welcome aboard Melissa!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How Green the Grass Grows

"As right as rain" seems appropriate here. Maybe you've heard this idiom before, which is said to mean everything is going well. Every week, the Chuck Stravye Landscaping crew is here to mow the grass even in the rain. Stop by the center and see for yourself how beautiful the grounds are!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stamp Out Hunger!

By Andrea King, Intern

Many thanks to all of the great volunteers and generous donors who made 2010's Stamp Out Hunger event a success! HSP received over 22,000 pounds of food this year - WOW!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tomorrow's the big day here at HSP as we again partner with the United States Post Office and the National Association of Letter Carriers to provide food to those most in need. We have been busy all week getting ready. Tricia, pictured above, helped organize labels for the sorting boxes.

"Stamp Out Hunger" is the nation's largest single-day food drive. If you click here, you can find out more about the nationwide drive. Simply leave nonperishable food at your door by the mailbox if your local post office is participating. We thank you in advance!

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive - Home

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive - Home

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wiesbrook Elementary’s 2nd Annual Tiger Trot

Wiesbrook Elementary School’s
2nd Annual Tiger Trot

5k Race & 1-mile Fun Run

Help support the Humanitarian Service Project and Wiesbrook’s PTA by joining in a 5K race & 1 Mile Fun Run
Sat, May 22nd

The proceeds of this event will go to support HSP’s summer program, Feed the Kids, which helps 90 families (300 children) with a wonderful selection of produce, meats, breads, 100 lbs of non-perishable items, and healthy snacks each month of June, July, and August.

We are so grateful and appreciative to have Wiesbrook fundraise for Feed the kids and we hope you can join in their efforts.

If you are interested, contact Jill at 630-212-9554
or email at

Registration is $12 per person ($40 family cap) and T-shirts are $7!
Download the tiger trot entry form at:

Note: Limited shirts will be available on race day, but you can register up until the day of the event before 7:00am.