Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Gift of Technology

Three grateful seniors, from our Senior Citizen Project, received a free computer today! Volunteer, Mike Reich, used his technical savvy to set up the individual monitors, towers, keyboards, and mice for each senior. Because operating these complex machines may not come naturally to older generations, Mike's personal touch of setting up and explaining the computers to our seniors makes this delivery that much more special :)
Thank you to all who have donated items like these computers to our seniors!! Contact us if there are any items you would be interested in donating to our seniors :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Seniors enrolled in HSP’s Senior Citizen Project to benefit from St. Michaels Day of Service

This coming Sunday (October 3) seniors enrolled in Humanitarian Service Project’s Senior Citizen Project will be fortunate enough to be the beneficiaries of St. Michael Catholic Church of Wheaton day of service.

Members of the St. Michaels congregation will split into small groups of 4-5 people with the purpose of visiting seniors who have requested their assistance. The group will provide a meal of either chicken and rice or spaghetti and will visit seniors requesting help with household chores. Chores that the group will assist seniors in include: Vacuuming, dishes, bathroom, yard work, and washing windows. We feel very fortunate to be able to partner with St. Michaels to further help the seniors we serve!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

School Supplies Program coming to an end!

With the school supplies program winding down this year, HSP is thrilled with how many, many people we were able to serve from the generous donations we received! 176 families went home from HSP carrying backpacks filled with new school supplies. That's over 300 children who received these needed tools for success in the classroom. After we served all the needy families that we heard from, we began sending the left-over supplies to needy schools in the area. 17 schools have received supplies so far...but we are not done! By the end of the day, there will be a total of 20 schools who have new supplies to put to good use! We want to thank all those who donated to us and made this wonderful program possible. You have made a world of difference to these underserved children :)

Intern Katie shows supplies we pulled earlier today to serve schools!

Donated Dresser for a Special Senior

♥ Today we received a very generous donation of a beautiful dresser that will be delivered to Betty today :) Betty has been in need of a dresser like this for many months. She is extremely excited to receive one as nice as this.
Thank you Carol S. for your support and generosity!!! Donations like this go a long way in improving the lives of our seniors ♥
If you have a big item you would like to donate, please give us a call to see if we can match you with a senior in need of that item!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Toilet Paper Rolls In

One of our supporters wrote us:

I was sharing the HSP yesterday with my boys, Ben and Nate. We were going
to make a run to Costco to pick up some paper products for the seniors. It
occurred to me that maybe some of the boys take a copy of the newsletter to
their friends' houses and see if they would like to donate.

They decided they needed a wagon to carry the donations and went next door
to Hugo's house to borrow one. Of course, Hugo wanted to help.

We painted signs for the wagon and the boys were just about to head out
when neighbor Joe pulled into his driveway. Joe and his little sister Libby also
wanted to help, but first Libby wanted to invite her girlfriends Lucy and
Shannon. They got their bikes and scooters and then the team was ready to go!

They walked around several blocks visiting their friends' houses. Ben used
the newsletter to explain who HSP is and why they were looking for donations.
They collected 22 rolls of paper towels, 26 rolls of toilet paper, and 7 boxes
of tissues. Mission accomplished.

Picture left to right are: Hugo, Lucy, Nate, Ben, Joe, Shannon, and Libby. Thanks so much everyone! We still need toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues. Can you help?

Friday, September 24, 2010

So, what’s most popular this Christmas 2010?

The donors, sponsors, and parents wonder what do kids want this Christmas. Look no further, we here at HSP analyzed the most popular items among boys and girls, and divided them by age group.

The most popular items among GIRLS break down as follows:

Ages: 3-7: Princess Doll (Disney & Barbie)

Ages: 7-12: FurReal Friends GoGo My Walkin’ Pup

Ages 12-14: Aeropostale Gift Card

For BOYS, video games seemed to lead the way.

Ages 3-7: Toys R Us Gift Card with Transformers and Lego Star Wars taking first place.

Ages 7-12: Video Games, the most popular being NBA 2K11.

Ages 12-14 are perfectly happy with a Game Stop Gift Card.

Our analysis showed that the items that make the most popular gifts, REGARDLESS OF GENDER & AGE are as follows:Add Image

Bike with Training Wheels, Nintendo DS Console, Roller Blades

Thursday, September 23, 2010

5 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle for Seniors

Yesterday, representatives from Comfort Keepers, who provide in-home care for seniors and others throughout the Chicagoland area and in other states as well, visited HSP and toured the Center. Before leaving, Melissa and Susan helped us unload a whole pallet of nonperishable food, which was collected during their area-wide food drive. Not only that, but Erin came back in the afternoon with another donation--this time enough for 2 pallets. That's a fully stuffed carload in lay terms!

After checking out Comfort Keepers website, we learned this advice for senior good nutrition:

An effective strategy for improving wellness is to gradually adopt healthful habits, one step at time.

A healthy diet can help slow the onset of diseases and help seniors manage symptoms. By making small changes to a senior's diet, one step at a time, the opportunity for success is greater. Here are five steps to help improve the eating habits of older adults: (See Comfort Keepers website for more details)

Step 1: Drink more water

Step 2: Eat the right snacks

Step 3: Add fiber to the diet--but slowly, to give your body a chance to adjust

Step 4: Limit the salt

Step 5: Encourage exercise.

These five simple steps are a great start to a healthier lifestyle. Before changing any exercise or eating habits please speak with your doctor.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

HSP gears up to help ease hunger this Christmas


Christmas 2008 088 Winter break should be a happy time for children full of building snowmen, playing with new Christmas gifts, and the ability to enjoy a well deserved break from school.

Unfortunately not all children are able to innocently enjoy this time of year because they are faced with hunger due to not receiving the federally subsided lunches that they receive when school is in session. A recent article published in the Huffington Post titled “Looking forward to the weekend? Some children are not.” The article dives further into this issue explaining that “more than 19 million children rely on federally subsidized school lunches. For some children, it’s the only regular meal they can count on eating. Because those lunches aren’t served over the weekend or during school vacations, many children are left with nothing to eat.”

With children out of school for a few weeks every Christmastime many area parents living in poverty struggle to provide enough food for their growing families when school is out. HSP strives to ease this struggle by providing 3 weeks worth of groceries to area families that we serve through our Christmas Offering.

If you are interested in sponsoring a family in our program the cost is $60 for one family, $120 for two families, and $160 for 3 families. This $60 per family sponsorship helps us create a special holiday for those in need.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bread Requests are Filled!

Yesterday our volunteers sorted Pepperidge Farm Bread for the 120 senior citizens we serve every month.

We have customized every senior's bread request so that they are only receiving the bread items that they love and need.

Wheat Bread is the most popular choice, followed by White Bread and then Cinnamon Swirl. Yum!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rain or Shine! The Food Gets to the Seniors

When clouds threatened last Saturday's Senior Citizen Project D-Day, the team launched into action, quickly raising the tent just before a thunderstorm brought heavy rains. Luckily, all of the Secret Pal gifts stayed nice and dry. SCP Coordinator Sarah and the loyal volunteers, including Sarah's mom Barbara who was visiting from Missouri, donned ponchos and the delivery went forth as planned.

In addition to the wonderful produce, nonperishables, frozen meats, paper products, and bread, each senior also received a Christmas wishlist form to fill out. Our annual Giving Trees project will provide these needy seniors with a bright reminder that they are loved. Give us a call if you'd like to get in on the fun and become a Giving Tree donor. Please call 630-221-8340 or e-mail to

Friday, September 17, 2010

Christmas Dreams are on the Horizon

It takes a special heart to help a child. The kind of heart that we at HSP witness exists in people. We see proof of it daily. Our kind sponsors, donors, and volunteers demonstrate this over and over again. And with Christmas dreams on the horizon, together, we can make a difference this year once again. Together, we can help to make many wishes of many children come true.

We had great success last year, and this year, we are looking forward to working with our wonderful sponsors, donors, and volunteers once again to bring joyful smiles to children on Christmas day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Single mother expresses gratitude for School Supplies!

One single mother recently shared her gratitude for the assistance she received from the HSP School Supply project. Thank you to all of our fantastic donors and volunteers who made it possible for HSP to provide school supplies to needy children in our area!

9-16-2010 - Picture (for Blog)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Make a Difference Day Annual Challenge

For years USA Today has fostered a wonderful spirit of volunteerism with Make a Difference Day. Now, you can help your favorite cause (HSP, of course) when you
plan a project for Oct. 23 and submit it for awards consideration. HSP could be in the running for $10,000 from Newman's Own.

Follow this link for more details and call HSP for ideas about how you can Make a Difference!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bloomingdale Cub Scouts' School Supplies Drive!

Although the school year has begun, many poverty stricken children are still in need of school supplies. With their backpacks not yet full, these children are without the vital tools to help them in the classroom.

7 young cub scouts from pack 401 in Bloomingdale decided to help these underprivileged children in a very generous way. The troop planned a school supplies drive in which they reached out to their fellow classmates and teachers for donations. The boys also personally chose some supplies they thought the other children might need. In the end, each boy scout provided one bag of school supplies to be donated to our school supplies program. They delivered the full bags and went on a tour at the HSP center to see how they would be helping! These 7 bags full of school supplies will serve as a very special gift to deserving children and their families.

We would like to thank these 7 boys for their generous work in helping others in their community. Their compassion has truly made a huge difference! More than 150 families have picked up their backpacks overflowing with school supplies. We are excited to add this donation to our supply! We thank all of our supporters and volunteers for allowing us to help our less fortunate neighbors. We could not do it without you!
Cub Scout pack 401

45 Lucky Seniors had a Happy Grandparent's Day!

Not all seniors are lucky enough to have family around to show them that they are appreciated! We celebrated Grandparent's Day this past weekend by working with our wonderful volunteers to provide a meal to 45 needy seniors.

One of our volunteers, Santo Ianno, delivered a meal to THREE seniors in Wheaton! He also provided a meal to Azra, a woman who helped coordinate the meal for one of the seniors. Santo Ianno owns an italian resaurant in West Chicago called Santo Maria's and delivered high quality dishes! What was the menu? Chicken marsala, spaghetti with meatballs, vegetables, salad, and rich chocolate cake!! We would like to thank Santo for his generous support of HSP and other generous volunteers who took time out of their weekend to provide a caring meal to our seniors.

Santo Maria's

Monday, September 13, 2010


Dear Friends,

As you may or may not know, HSP's Children's Birthday Prject currently serves 700 area children who are living under the federal poverty line. The goal of this very special program is to ensure that each child enrolled feels a sense of love and self-worth on their birthdays.

Each child enrolled is given a 25lb birthday box full of wrapped goodies that are chosen especially for them. Each box contains 6-15 new toys, 1 new game, 4 new books, a Party-in-a-box kit, stuffed animals, school supplies, and filler gifts!

We are currently low on our Party-in-a-box supplies. Each Party-in-a-box contains all the supplies needed to create a special birthday celebration including: Cake Mix, Frosting, Candles, Balloons, Streamers, Cups, Napkins and Plates (matching if possible). Optional items can include: Party Hats, Treat Bags, Decorations, Table Cloths, Forks, and Party favors (may include card games, jewelry, small bouncy balls, wrapped candy, etc.).

If you are able to help us serve these deserving children, donations may be dropped off at our center located at 465 Randy Rd. Carol Stream, IL 60188.

Thank you from you all of us here at HSP!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Diary of an HSP Newbie

Thousands of donors, tens of thousands of children stricken by poverty, and just a handful of staff workers who hold everything together – first impressions are not always correct.

I realized over my first few weeks here that it is you - the dedicated community, the helpful volunteers, and the kind-hearted people - you are the ones who make up the cement wall that helps hold the project together. To all of you: Thank you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Joy of Your Very Own Bike

We love to see kids helping kids! Last week, Joseph and his family stopped by the Center to drop off a really awesome bike, pictured here. Joseph trusts HSP to find the perfect boy who will appreciate this bike. And we don't think we will have too much trouble finding that boy! Thanks so much Joseph (and Mom & Dad, and sister who came along) and to the Roselle Police Department for telling the family about the Humanitarian Service Project. Look for a photo of the recipient as soon as we find him!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A child’s words of gratitude

HSP recently received a very sweet thank you note from a 9 year old girl who is enrolled in our Children’s Birthday ProjectPDF to JPG - ThanksAlotGuys

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Grandparent's Day Volunteers Needed!

Picture of the actual meal a donor brought to a senior's home for Friendship Day. Pictured is Mostaccioli, Pizza, Pear, Banana, Chex Mix and Juice.

We hope you all had wonderful Labor Day weekends. Here at HSP, we are focusing on the next upcoming holiday, Grandparent's Day, Sunday, September 12th.

We have a list of seniors that have requested meals for this occasion.

Volunteers would contact the senior to set up a time and date, donate, and deliver a meal to the senior. The meals do not necessarily have to be delivered on the holiday itself, but rather at a time that works for both the volunteer and the senior.

Meals can be home-cooked or purchased from a store or restaurant.

Listed below are the seniors we are still in need of volunteers for and their towns. Please let us know if you would be interested and able to help. Contact us by email: or phone: 630-221-8340.

Aurora: Doris, Barbara, & Lucille
Bensenville: Eleanor
Carol Stream: Mary, Ruth, Essie Mae, Elise, & Judi
Villa Park: Mary Jo & Shirley
Warrenville: Lucille
Wheaton: Annie, Icorene, Sava, Regina, Carl & Wilma
Willowbrook: Barbara
Woodridge: Ethel & Stella

Maureen, a volunteer, shares her experience:

"The whole experience was so life affirming and just a joy for us to do. The seniors may have gotten a meal, but it was Jim & I that received the greatest rewards. Thanks for letting us participate. We will be certainly be participating again!"

Please let us know if you are interested and able to help!

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is completely programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest."
--Isaac Asimov
And thank goodness for Dick, our IT Professional.....He stopped by today to make our compters "honest."
Thank you so much for everything you do, Dick!
We don't know what we'd do without you!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Power of WE

It’s nearly time to wrap up getting area needy kids ready to return to school – nearly time to turn our thoughts to preparing for Christmas. Most schools have been in session for a week now. More than 150 grateful moms and dads have picked up backpacks laden with the school supplies donated by hundreds of HSP supporters. Hugs have been given, tears held back and shed, and stories of hard times shared.

There’s a Latino family of seven. The whole family came in to pick up their supplies. Dad had lost a good paying job when the economy crashed. However, he is a survivor. He has to be – he has five boys. He found another job he said, but this job is not as good, adding, “The pay is not even close to what I was making.” Continuing with a big smile and offering up a big hug, he added, “I am thankful, though.”

One mom fought back tears as she related how her struggle with depression had forced a medical leave. “I’m returning to work next week but didn’t have enough money to get the kids school supplies. This is so hard for me. I’m the one usually helping others and now it’s me needing help.”

We have identified families in need of further help and are working to get them referred to the Children’s Birthday Project so that each child ages three to twelve in the family can receive that wonderful HSP birthday box when his or her birthday rolls around.

But the greatest lesson we have learned – and one not taught as a subject in school – is that none of the help HSP is able to provide would be possible without the power of WE.

What we, or perhaps YOU is more accurate, can do together fuels each and every project HSP takes on. From day one nearly 32 years ago when Karole and Floyd launched the truly grassroots Christmas Offering, you (HSP supporters and friends) have empowered this work. Alleviating the burden poverty brings to low-income seniors and families with young children is no small task. We appreciate and thank our supporters who are the wind beneath our wings.

Photo: This little client stopped by recently to pick up school supplies.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Humanitarian Service Project receives positive feedback on Feed the Kids summer program

As Labor Day approaches and summer draws to an end, here at HSP we have had the opportunity to hear back from some of the families that we served through our Feed the Kids summer program.

Throughout the summer HSP was able to reach out to 100 families, serving 492 children through our Feed the Kids program. HSP Founder/Executive Director created this program in 2004 to help ease hunger during the summer months when free and reduced rate school lunches are not provided.

One mother of six shared with us her family’s circumstances that left she and her husband eating less just so their children could have enough. “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 for our kids to eat.”

When asked how Feed the Kids has been beneficial to her family the mother described the food the program provided as a blessing. “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 blesftk blogsing throughout the numerous times we have endured set backs with our food stamps.”

All of us here at HSP would like to thank our kind and generous volunteers and donors for making it possible for us to provide for this very deserving family among the hundreds more that we serve.