Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Welcome Fall 2010 Interns!

New Intern Meeting- Top: Intern Katie, Assitant Executive Director Shannon, Intern Sharon, CBP Coordinator Megan, Executive Director/Founder Karole Bottom: Intern Josh, Intern Marisa, SCP Coordinator Sarah

Today was an exciting day at HSP as we welcomed 4 new interns. Marisa Cifaldi, Katie Matejcak, Josh Zuke, & Abhi Pillai all started their interships today.

Marisa, Katie, & Josh all attend Elmhurst College. Marisa & Katie are studying Psychology & Sociology while Josh is studying Business Administration & Economics.

Abhi is studying Electrical Engineering at COD & U of I. All of our new interns are seniors at their respective institutions.


As new interns arrived, we have to say goodbye to Chris. His last day is today and soon he will be off to begin studying as a freshman at Dartmouth. "I've had a great experience working with HSP's staff, clients, & volunteers. I have learned more than I ever imagined, including the inner-workings of a non-for-profit's database, which I wrote a user's manual for." We wish him all the best and are so grateful for his contributions.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Humanitarian Service Project would like to share a comment made by one of the mothers in the Feed the Kids program. We receive so many statements like these, so we thought this time, we'de share it with you:

" My husband had undergone heart surgery and was unable to work. Our income was barely enough to pay the rent and utilities. We often had to use our bill money to buy food, so we ate less so that there would be more food for our kids to eat. At this current time we are still awaiting processing of our Food Stamp Application and have been out of food. The Feed the Kids program has really been a blessing throughout the numerous times we have endured setbacks with our food stamps." --Anonymous

Interns: A poem
Our interns mean so much to us,
But the summer's end is near.
The last of the summer interns,
Are two that we hold dear.

Chris has been an asset,
And Hannah sure has too.
We hate to say goodbye to them,
But there's not much we can do.

They're off to school to study;
We're sure they will succeed.
We're so thankful to have had them,
They really took the lead!





Friday, August 27, 2010

A Special Way to Celebrate a Birthday!

What better way to celebrate a birthday than have your friends bring school supplies for children in need? Thanks to Alyssa's friends we have cute new backpacks for the children we know aren't quite ready for back to school along with the supplies for success this year.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Recycling at its Best

With a donation of 49 computers, community banking institution Republic Bank has jumpstarted a new program at Humanitarian Service Project which will put refurbished computers into the hands of low-income senior citizens and families with young children, making computer access a reality and saving landfill space.

We happen to think this is a win-win-win for everyone. While the computers are no longer state-of-the-art, they will work just fine for HSP's clients after we find monitors for them. Senior VP of Technology at Republic Bank Chris Gerrib said, "What struck a chord with me was that the bank usually has to pay to dispose of older PCs. Here we were able to avoid a cost, prevent the PCs from ending up in a landfill, and do good for the community."

Founder/Executive Director Karole Kettering foresees this donation opening a whole new world to the children enrolled in the Children's Birthday Project who don't have computers at home. Karole said, "We are so grateful to Chris and all the people at Republic Bank for their generous donation, which helps to seed our new program and get it off to a running start. These computers are in good working order, so we're ahead of schedule. We have a volunteer technician, so donations don't have to be working perfectly so long as they're not too old. Give us a call and we'll see if we can take a computer or monitor off your hands."

Please give us a call at 630-221-8340 if you have any questions.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Humanitarian Service Project welcomes new intern for the fall!

Humanitarian Service Project welcomes a new intern for the fall! Sharon Befus a 2009 graduate of Wheaton College is the newest addition to our intern team.Sharon spent 8 years of her childhood living in Venezuela and one year living in Costa Rica before landing in Elgin, IL where she spent the majority of her childhood.

When asked about her favorite part of interning at HSP. Sharon said that she enjoys seeing the positive reactions from clients when they receive assistance from HSP. She has also appreciated the opportunity to use her Spanish speaking skills when communicating with HSP clients.When asked about her favorite quote Sharon immediately came up with a beautiful quote by Emily Dickenson. "If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain".

Sharon has already made a tremendous impact at HSP and we feel very fortunate to have her as part of our team!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Humanitarian Service Project is so grateful for our volunteers. Today we would like to acknowledge the group from U.S. Cellular that came in to help us prepare for our August 15th Delivery Day.

The volunteers from U.S. Cellular are hard-working, goal-oriented, and full of PERSONALITY! They prepared all of the produce boxes for our Senior Citizens, sorted thousands of pounds of fresh produce, set up all of the tables, broke down all of the boxes, and started packing the non-perishable food items as well!!

All the while, this group was smiling and joking around with one another. It was obvious to us that this was a true team--always willing to help out a fellow team member, and never hesitating to poke fun at each other in the process.

Thank you U.S. Cellular!!! To Allison, Heather, Deb, Carolyn, Shawanda, Bob, Eric, and Lester--you made it happen, and you made us smile!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Morning Meat-bag Makers

Every Monday we have a team of very dedicated volunteers come to sort food for our seniors. Each week they come in at 9:30 am & have a different task.

Some Mondays it is making non-perishable food bags (white ties & black ties), sometimes it is making bags of paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, & facial tissues), & today it happened to be meat. After the task is done for the day, the food sorters stock the shelves before leaving around noon.

Each senior receives a bag with 7 different selections of meat. Volunteers put 3 selections of poultry, 2 selections of beef, & 2 selections of pork into each bag.

Today the group ensured that we have 104 bags of meat ready for our next senior delivery day. Please let us know if you are interested in joining our friendly & fun Monday team.

Big thanks today for our volunteers who came in: Roland, Rita, Bob, Sue, Marilyn, Dawn, Mary, Diane, & Jessica. Also, thanks to Mike R. for picking up the meat for us from the food bank.

Friday, August 20, 2010

When Our Friends Answer the Call

Quick post before closing the day. We have helped more than 75 families with the school supplies drive thus far. There are more orders to fill and even though school has started for some, we will be here until everyone has the supplies needed for school success. Our friends at Rexnord brought us a big donation this afternoon--boy were we glad to see those backpacks! We had fewer than 25 left and knew that we needed more. Old friends and new are coming forth to serve the children! Thanks!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Media Attention Helps Bring in Supplies

By Sheila Noblitt, HSP staff

For awhile we worried about getting enough school supplies for all of the needy families seeking help from the Humanitarian Service Project. Suburban Life Publications reporter Erin Sauder's nice story last week and Mark Busch's great photos have brought us some new friends. They are coming into the center with bags of school supplies. "How did you hear about us?" we ask. Many mention they saw a piece in the paper. That, along with our loyal, year-after-year supporters and word of mouth are enabling us to serve the dozens of families trying to prepare their children for school.

HSP hopes the flow will continue, because even after every child has been provided supplies, we will be sending any extra supplies along to area schools. Last year we sent boxes upon boxes of supplies to more than 30 schools in DuPage and Kane counties.

Photo by Mark Busch
Assistant Executive Director Shannon Ferrell and Founder/Executive Karole Kettering survey HSP's school supplies donations. Our volunteers are sorting and filling lists as fast as possible to get children ready for school.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You Wouldn't Believe

You wouldn't believe how busy we are here at HSP this week helping get kids ready to go back to school. Our army of supporters has been bringing in school supplies practically as fast as the supplies are going out. Willow Creek Community Church's Tom Keefer, pictured here, brought in 25 backpacks full of school supplies. The group also provided dozens of the filled backpacks to a local school with many low-income students in need. Thanks so much!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Children's Birthday Project Needs Your Help!

In the midst of the need for school supplies, the CBP is short some supplies! If you are able to donate, we need:

1) Matching Plates and Napkins
2) Birthday Candles
3) Icing and Cake Mixes
4) Streamers
5) Party Favors

Thanks everybody! We love the all the help everybody is really giving the children!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Special Friends

By Sheila Noblitt, HSP Staff

It's been a busy week here at HSP with families calling to see if we can help them with school supplies, donors bringing in donations of backpacks and other supplies, and preparations under way for senior delivery day.

But, while we are busy we can't neglect to thank all of those wonderful people who come through our doors to help us in our mission. Special thank yous are in order for Evelyn and Larry Erven for helping us serve the families looking for help with school supplies. Who better than a couple of retired educators to do this! Evelyn answered the phone, greeting worried moms, dads and even grandparents with calm, reassuring words. Larry inventoried incoming supplies. And we gained a new friend in Lizzette, who wrote about her first day as one of our office volunteers.

The photo included with today's post is of a remarkable team of brothers--again these guys have extended themselves! This time with their own school supplies drive. Mom Jen Paras drove the team over today from Aurora. Noah, Jack, and Joey brought in 10 backpacks loaded with supplies and even some extras. No strangers to giving, we last saw these guys when they did a paper and food drive for us a few weeks ago.

So, for now, there is still work to be done. Thanks to all!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

First day officially volunteering!

By Lizzette Melo-Benitez

Last week, I came to the Humanitarian Service Project in Carol Stream, IL for the first time. The company my mother works for, United Stationers, had a service day for Feed the Kids, which entailed loading the cars of families in need with food for the summer. The sincere demonstration of generosity I observed among the volunteers, as well as the expressions of gratitude given by the family members that day, impressed me so much that I asked to return for the rest of the summer. Having been raised by a hard working single parent, my mother instilled in my sister and I a sense of responsibility to help others when given the opportunity. Because I have previous experience in an office setting, I was very enthusiastic about returning to HSP to help around the office until the next round of interns start. Today has been a great first day. I’ve seen how everyone works collaboratively to ensure children and senior citizens receive gifts for their birthdays or just to meet their basic needs. Many people walked in to drop off their Senior Pal gifts and school supplies. Volunteers have come to sort through the donations and start getting ready to distribute school supplies to the kids soon. This is a wonderfully run facility, and I can tell everyone here loves what they do. I’m glad I can be of some assistance by answering phone calls and organizing the school supply requests HSP has received thus far. Well, that’s all for now. I’ll be back on Friday! (: 8-11-10 school supplies 007

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How Can I Help the HSP in Less Than 5 Minutes?

Although we are EXTREMELY appreciative of your donations, there are also other ways you can help us folks at the HSP with the School Supply Drive!
Spead the word!
You never know what telling at least one friend can do. They can donate, or tell somebody else. And they can tell somebody else. In no time at all, there are exponentially more people who are aware of the need for school supplies! And of course, exponentially more school supplies for needy children.
It's simple: drop a line about our collection of supplies into your daily conversation with a friend or co-worker. Or better yet, send a mass email to your contact list. Make an announcement about it at work, your place of worship, or other social clubs. Even make it your Facebook status!

It's not a secret that the HSP would LOVE more school supplies!

Monday, August 9, 2010

HSP Community-Wide School Supplies Drive for Needy Kids

By now you have to know about the Humanitarian Service Project and our community wide drive for school supplies for needy kids here in DuPage and Kane counties. We are trying everything we can think of and are, quite frankly, worried. Worried that we won't be able to help as many kids as we did last year. The need is just as great if not greater. Every day, fathers and mothers are calling in asking for any help we can muster.

We need backpacks, paper (wide and college-ruled), construction paper, crayons, pens, pencils, markers, colored pencils, notebooks, composition books, folders, rulers, scissors, binders, paper towels, Post-it Notes, tape, paper clips, Kleenix, lunch boxes, pencil boxes, highlighters--you name it. If it is a school supply, we know kids who need it.
You can drop off your donations Mondays through Fridays, 9 to 5:30 pm at our center, 465 Randy Road, Carol Stream, Illinois. Thanks so much!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Letter of Success from Coordinator of Back to School Fair!!

I wanted to let you know that I am so happy to end my work at the ROE on such a high note.  The last two days have been absolutely magical!!!!   As every year the following day ends up very emotional for me as I reflect on just what was accomplished. When Humanitarian Service Project van pulled up and unloaded the boxes of supplies it wasn't until about an hour later that I realized that there was such a huge quantity of backpacks that you had just dropped off.  I estimated close to 800!!!!!  Oh my!!!!!  With your help we were able to supply EVERY elementary child with a backpack!!!!!   Over 2,200 children beamed as we handed them their backpacks excited to be returning back to school.  That is huge!!!!  It is a goal I always wanted to accomplish and we did it!!!!!   AMAZING!!!!!!  We thank you so much for your help and support.  It has been a wonderful partnership.  I am now officially retired, but I wanted you to know that in the future you may call Olga Rammer at the Regional Office of Education.  She will be the contact for future Back to School Supply Drives.  Her contact information is orammer@dupage.k12.il.us and her phone number is 630-407-5771.  As always it has been wonderful working with you and I hope that in the future I will be able to repay you with opportunities of volunteering at HSP.
Cindy Langemack

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We are happy with the great success of the DuPage County Back to School Fair!  However, because the majority of our school supplies have been donated to the school fair, HSP is currently in need of more school supplies to restock our supply.  We will be accepting them throughout August and into September. 

Help us provide our children with the supplies they need to succeed in this upcoming school year!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Check Out the Daily Herald Coverage of FTK

Special thanks to the Daily Herald for its great coverage of Humanitarian Service Project in this morning's edition. Their story on the last Feed the Kids distribution included some really nice photos of our volunteers, including Carol Stream Village President Frank Saverino. Nearly 100 families received 200 to 250 pounds of fresh produce, frozen meat, and nonperishable groceries.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our Last Feed The Kids of 2010!!!

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Today marks the final distribution day of our 7th annual Feed the Kids Program of 2010.  Serving over 300 children and approximately 100 families, our summer program provides the children of these families the nourishment they need throughout the summer months of June, July, and August.

With the school year about to begin, August is our final month of service.  With the generous help of staff and volunteers, we have succeeded in providing these children with the food they need before taking off to school later this month. 

We thank everyone who’ve help us in making this day a wonderful success!  We’ve certainly enjoyed working with you and hope you can join us again in serving our needy children and their families.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Midwestern University Students Give Back

First-year students from Midwestern University in Downers Grove spent the afternoon here today at the center sorting produce for tomorrow's Feed the Kids distribution. While the semester starts soon and they will be immersed in study, today was a time to give back to the community. These 16 students will eventually become "Tomorrow's Health Care Team." Thanks, everyone for remembering our families with your service today!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Benefits of Volunteerism

Here's a link to a New York Times story on volunteers. We are fortunate to know volunteers of all kinds. From the high school National Honor Society volunteers to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, corporations, and civic groups, if HSP didn't have our volunteers, we really wouldn't be here. They run food, toy, and school supplies drives; deliver food to the seniors in our program; staff our Feed the Kids distribution days; wrap presents; sort food; stock books and contribute in so many ways that it's hard to list them all. The lessons learned might not be apparent right away, but we happen to think the greater good will utimately shine in the hearts of all who extend themselves.