Monday, February 28, 2011

A "full circle" moment!

We hosted a very special event at the Humanitarian Service Project’s Center with members of the Wheaton Junior Women’s Club and the Wheaton-Warrenville South High School's Key Club on Friday afternoon.

In the early days, the HSP was still run from the home of co-founders, Karole and FloydKettering. Fortunately they were able to borrow warehouse space to host the Christmas Offering Project, Senior Citizens Project and our other charitable events. However, the lack of a permanent location and space constraints really hindered our ability to serve more impoverished families. In 1992, the Wheaton Junior Women's Club was gracious enough to donate $9,000 to seed the HSP's Building Fund. We were able to build a fund over the years that enabled us to recently move to a beautiful 15,500 sf office and warehouse building that allows us to serve hundreds of needy seniors, children and families in DuPage and Kane counties. The Wheaton Juniors have been consistent supporters of the HSP's mission for over 21 years now.

The "full circle moment" is that on Friday, February 25th at 4:00 PM, five members of the Wheaton Junior Women's Club for the first time visited our new Center that their initial gift was so instrumental in creating for a “Thank-You” tour. They were accompanied by 6 students from the Wheaton-Warrenville South High School's Key Club to participate in a wrapping party for gifts for our Children's Birthday Project.

Refreshments and much fun were had by all. We are so grateful to the Wheaton Junior Women's Club and the Wheaton-Warrenville South High School's Key Club members for their continued support of our mission to serve needy children, seniors and families in our community. We couldn't do it without you!

We wanted to share some more results from the Volunteer Speaker Team's community outreach. Anne Henriksen recently spoke to the Youth Ministry group of St. Joseph's Church in Downers Grove. The 7th and 8th graders put together 40 Party-in-a-box kits for the Children's Birthday Project (CBP). Anne then loaded up the kits in her car and dropped them by the Center the morning of a major snowstorm. Talk about a dedicated volunteer!

The kits are very appreciated since we are adding at least 50 more needy children to the program, bringing the total served by the CBP to 750! In addition, the Children’s Birthday Project will be partnering with the local Head Start agency to distribute toys to an additional 757 children ages 3-5 who are from low- income households.

The volunteer speakers are so vital in making and strengthening connections with our sponsor groups and allowing the HSP to serve more of the needy in our community. Our gratitude to Anne for spreading the word about the HSP's programs and letting the group at St. Joseph's know how important their support is to our efforts!

Friday, February 25, 2011

What a Pleasant Surprise


When my professor at Elmhurst College said I was to perform my field experience of my internship at Humanitarian Service Project, I did not know what to expect. From the initial interview, I could sense an authentic dedication by the staff at HSP to the needs of humanity. My spirits were immediately lifted. I was excited to get started immediately. I had to wait an entire week anticipating my start at HSP.

Now I am here at HSP. It is a wonderful place and they do amazing things for many people. When I learned about HSP’s programs, the Children’s Birthday Project, the Senior Citizen Project, and the Feed the Kids programs, I was in awe.

As I began my first day, preparing my first press release, I noticed that even the smallest contribution assists those in need in the biggest ways and brings joy to a person who otherwise would not have that joy in their life. How rewarding is that!

From children receiving wrapped toys on their birthday and Christmas [not only toys, but books and school supplies] to senior’s being giveDane Picturen nourishing foods delivered to their doorsteps and children and families having well balanced meals delivered. How cool is that!

The staff walks around exhilarated; wearing contagious smiles and loving every minute of the day. I am scheduled for a brief internship, but I have the feeling the influence HSP has on me will last an entire lifetime.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Senior Wish List Items Needed

It is our goal to make the lives of the 120 needy seniors seclip_image002rved through  our Senior Citizen Project as comfortable and easy as possible.

Each one of the seniors we serve has the option to put items that they need or would like on our Senior Wish List. We currently have 6 seniors asking for vacuums, and 6 seniors asking for food processors.

If youfood-processors or anyone you know, has a new or gently used vacuum or food processor they would like to donate, please contact us at 630-221-8340 or

United Stationers provides Snuggies


The poverty level Senior Citizen’s who reside at Marian Park Apartments in West Chicago will now be a little cozier thanks to United Stationers.

United Ssnuggie 3tationers recently conducted a Snuggie drive raising enough new Snuggies to provide 120 low income seniors with their very own. HSP’s Senior Citizen Project currently serves 23 of those seniors at Marian Park each month!

In addition to pro iding the Snuggies, United Stationers invited each senior to come by and pick up their Snuggie and enjoy refreshments.

HSP’s Community Outreach Coordinator Paul Yambrovich was on hand to greet seniors and personally thank United Stationers for the kindness and generosity they have shown not just to these seniors but to HSP, aSnuggie 2s well, throughout the years. Thank you United Stationers for all you do!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Still Needed: 2 February Holiday Meals

Earlier this month we told you about our Holiday Meals Program, which gives our seniors the opportunity to request having a meal brought to them around a particular holiday each month. This month we were short 2 meals and deliveries, and are still looking for volunteers to make or buy, and deliver to those seniors. We have a senior couple in Glen Ellyn, and a single senior in Glendale Heights, who had both requested February meals, but have not yet received one.

Delivering a meal to a senior is a great way to brighten someone else’s day, but also a great way to brighten your own. We’ve already received some great feedback from volunteers who delivered a meal this month. One volunteer, who made meals for two seniors, wrote to tell us that she enjoyed making the meals and said that both seniors “welcomed me into their homes and were very glad to see me. They were warm and friendly, which made this experience that much more rewarding!”

If you would like to help, please contact us (630-221-8340 or and we’ll get you in touch with either the senior couple or the single senior so that you may make arrangements for the type of meal you will be bringing, and to schedule a convenient time to deliver the meal. And to all of our volunteers who delivered meals, THANK YOU! Your thoughtfulness means so much to our seniors and to us!

We have a new Children’s Birthday Project Administrative Volunteer!

Today we welcome Amy Gimre to her new position as the CBP Administrative Volunteer. Amy responded to a blog posting we made last week advertising some volunteer openings we have. While the position is new to Amy, volunteering with HSP is not.

Amy has been volunteering with HSP, and specifically CBP, for the past 4 years. She really enjoys working with Jan in the toy room, pulling and boxing toys, and getting the birthday boxes all ready to go out to the children. Amy has 3 children, and knows how much joy celebrating birthdays can bring. She loves the idea that she’s helping children celebrate, and she knows that celebration means the world to them.

As the new CBP Administrative Volunteer, Amy will be helping Megan, our CBP Coordinator. She will be helping with various administrative tasks, such as making phone calls and helping with mailings. Amy will also be helping Megan with a one-time donation to 570 low-income children through DuPage County Head Start, which will be a huge project.

We’re so excited to have Amy here and we look forward to all the good work she’ll do for HSP. Welcome, Amy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Lately, our interns have been calling the seniors enrolled in our Senior Citizen Project program to interview them about how they’ve been doing in the last year and how HSP has helped them.

The genuine gratitude and positive attitude of these seniors, all of which struggle every day with serious financial and medical issues, is simply inspiring. We just wanted to share some of the things these gracious seniors have said.

“I’m so joyful and appreciative of everyone involved with HSP,” Mary, 61, told us. “It’s made a difference in so many ways; I can’t even begin to tell you. The biggest effect is in my heart. I’ve always had faith but you’ve just made it more abundant. I’m amazed at all the wonderful people; you’ve given me so much.” Mary’s been in the SCP program 1 year.

81-year-old Shirley said, “Your service has made a 100% difference in my life. I depend on it, on everything you give me. I don’t know what I’d do without it.” Shirley has been in the SCP program for 4 years.

“It (HSP’s service) makes me feel humble. I’m not used to people doing things like that for me. It makes me want to cry because people are so nice to me,” said Lucille, 71, who has been with us for 3 years.

Helen, 77, told us, “You people are wonderful. Every delivery is like Christmas; I get so excited and can’t wait to go through all of it. And I love my secret pal gifts! I’m 77 years old and I’ve never had a secret pal in my life,” she laughed, “It’s so nice.” Helen has been enrolled in the SCP program for 6 years.

These are just a few of the many kind things our seniors have said. It’s inspiring to know just how much the program helps these seniors, and just how truly thankful they are.

HSP should be very proud of the quality work they’re doing,” said Marilyn, 82. And we certainly are!

Special Delivery!

Today we received a special delivery from Divine Savior Parish of Downers Grove!

The congregation at Divine Savior was kind enough to generously put together and donate 120 Care Kit boxes; enough for every senior in our Senior Citizen Project program!

These thoughtful boxes include many items that seniors may want or need, but can't always afford. Some of the items are:
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo
  • Toilet paper
  • Facial tissue
  • Soap
  • Tea bags
  • Instant hot cocoa

We can't thank the congregation of Divine Savior enough for their generosity. The boxes will be a blessing and a great help to the seniors in our program.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Greetings from an HSP Staff Member

I remember when I was a kid I always got excited the day before my birthday. I knew relatives would be calling to congratulate me (which I dreaded by the way). I’d get kisses from my mom, ear pulls from my sister ( :’( they hurt ), hits in the shoulder from my friends (the number equal to my new age, I still feel the soreness being 25 years old now), and wisdom words from my dad (zzz). However, as any kid, I really looked forward to the gifts I was going to get. We didn’t have a lot of money. There was no service such as the Children Birthday Project anywhere where I grew up. And I developed an awareness of how important gifts were to me and other children. And now, working at HSP, has made me realize how AWESOME the work is that we do here. Growing up with little money turned me into a person who loves to give, rather than receive. I love giving because I can relate to every kid when he gets the special birthday box from HSP – the box full of wonderful toys, games, balloons, and birthday party supplies. I can relate to the excitement and happiness the kid feels, to the OH-MY-GOSH smile he has on his face, and for me that’s always been enough of a reward.


HSP would like to thank Fry Elementary School and the PTA Community Service committee for their donation of over 200 toys! We could barely fit them all in a lug! Thank you!!! Your support is valued not only by us, but by the community, and by the mothers, fathers, and the children we serve.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wonderful Wrappers!!!

The Humanitarian Service Project can never truly express how grateful we are to all of our volunteers. Around 3:30 this afternoon, one of our wonderful wrappers showed up with two large bags filled with wrapped presents. Her wrapping skills are truly fantastic! Each ribbon that has been curled helps to create the Birthday experience that we strive for here at HSP! Our Birthday bundles are remarkable in their presentation and display a loving touch. Thank you to all that have helped in our mission to provide the children in our program with a memorable birthday!


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Just wanted to share some results from the Speaker Team's community outreach. Jon Gripe spoke at First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton's Logos dinner in January. Mary Kinsey from the church's youth group has since been to the Center to pick up 4 huge bags of gifts that the middle school age children at the church wrapped for the Children's Birthday Project children. Many thanks to Jon for spreading the word about the HSP's programs and helping strengthen a long-time relationship with the First Presbyterian's congregation!



February HEAT WAVE!!

With our temperatures reaching almost 60 degrees on this lovely February day, it is almost difficult to believe that one of the worst blizzards in Chicago history was only a few weeks ago! Could this fantastic weather be a sign of brighter days to come? Could spring only be a few sunsets away? Those of us at HSP sure hope so! We are anxiously awaiting the smell of fresh cut grass and lazy summer nights. Until the glorious days of summer decide to brighten our day, it is important that we remember all of our amazing helpers at HSP. Even through the beastly blizzard of 2011, HSP has kept our bird feeders filled and our bird baths overflowing. Hopefully, our smaller team members do not mind melted snow as a way to quench their thirst!! Happy February Heat Wave, everybody!!


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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Naperville Jaycees Host a Comedy Night!

We have many wonderful individuals, businesses, and organizations sponsoring us here at HSP, and we appreciate every single one. They do so much for us that when we are able, we like to help them out by letting you know about their events and happenings!

The Naperville Jaycees are one such organization. They have been working with HSP for 20 years and do so much for the community. Next Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26, the Naperville Jaycees are hosting two Comedy Nights at North Central College’s Meiley Swallow Hall as a fundraiser. Tickets for the Comedy Night are $25 and benefit a wonderful organization. For more information, and to purchase tickets, please visit their event website at
(Comedian/Jaycee - Clay Sander)

Cupid's Adventures!

It’s true that our focus on Monday was Jan’s birthday, but some of us celebrated Valentine’s Day as well. I thought I’d ask around and find out what the staff and interns did to celebrate. See what they had to say…

I’ll start with myself. This is Tracy, and I volunteer in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays. I celebrated by going on a double date with my boyfriend and his parents to White Castle, where they decorate their dining area for Valentine’s Day with tablecloths, candles, and flowers. They turn White Castle into “Love Castle” for the day, and it was a lot of fun!

Sharon, our Administrative Assistant, celebrated her love for her dog, Beeju, by giving him a heart-shaped dog cookie and getting kisses in return!

Alex, our Database Administrator, went the romantic route by taking his girlfriend to a nice restaurant in Roselle, followed by a walk around town. He also gave her a dozen roses and ended the evening with a movie and cuddling! Alex also showed his sweet side at work by giving each of the women on staff a single rose!

Megan, our Children’s Birthday Project Coordinator, and her boyfriend celebrated Valentine’s Day by delivering a holiday meal to one of our seniors for the Holiday Meals Program. They thought it would be nice to give someone else a special Valentine gift! They then ate their own dinner – a heart-shaped pizza!

Sarah, our Senior Citizen Project Coordinator, said that she and her boyfriend stayed low-key and just made salads together.

Paul, our Marketing Coordinator, decided to postpone Valentine’s Day until Friday, so that he and his wife can go out to dinner and a movie.

Jan, the Toy Room Manager and birthday girl, had a joint celebration for Valentine’s Day and her birthday at her neighbor’s house. They had a nice dinner with brownies for dessert!

Monique and Aliza, two of our interns, didn’t really celebrate the holiday. Monique played her weekly volleyball game with a group of people who she really enjoys, and Aliza went from being at HSP all day to her job at Elmhurst College from 6:00 until midnight!

Lastly, Floyd and Karole, HSP founders, preferred an evening at home. Floyd worked on their taxes while Karole watched some television. They did do a little celebrating, though, with Floyd bringing a beautiful bouquet of flowers to work for Karole!

We hope that all of you had a very happy Valentine’s Day and that your support means the world to us!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Welcome, Cheri!

HSP has a new spring intern!

Cheri Buban is a Communication Studies major at Elmhurst College, and a Senior this year. Cheri came to HSP because she wanted to work for a non-profit, serving others. "I've always been interested in helping those in need," she said. While she's here, she'll be working on a little bit of everything. Right now, she's helping us write our Senior Updates for the Senior Citizen Project.

When Cheri's not here or in class, she participates in Dance on campus. A passion of hers, dancing is also her minor. She also works part time as a nanny. Her career goal is to become an event planner.

Cheri will be with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays until May. We're excited to have her join our team!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jan!

Today we’re celebrating a very special day. Not just Valentine’s Day, but the birthday of our wonderful Toy Room Manager, Jan Thompson. Jan has been working for HSP since Christmas of 2006, and is a treasured and exemplary employee.

Jan’s commitment to the Children’s Birthday Project has raised the standard of excellence within the program. Jan puts a personal touch into each birthday box she creates, and treats each box as though she is personally giving it to a loved one. She often creates themes for the boxes, and really tries to imagine the kinds of gifts each child would like to receive. Jan really takes ownership of each box she puts together.

Jan has been a friend of HSP since the 1980’s, and has been a friend to Karole and Floyd Kettering, HSP founders, for 36 years! Jan’s daughter, Genel, was even on staff at one time. Jan is a generous and caring woman with a big heart and contagious laugh. While celebrating Jan’s birthday over lunch and cake, the staff, interns, and some volunteers all took turns telling Jan how much she’s appreciated, and no one was at a loss for words. Thank you for your hard work and commitment, Jan, and happy birthday to you!

Openings for Volunteer Positions!

HSP has some volunteer openings, and we are looking for a few responsible and dedicated individuals to fill them. Please read the position descriptions below and let us know if you’re interested!

Children’s Project Administrative Volunteer:
HSP is looking for someone to assist our Children’s Project Coordinator with various administrative tasks.

Responsibilities would include:
• Correspondence with Caseworkers and Clients
• Help stock supplies
• Completing Mail Merges
• Assist with mailings
• Other tasks as needed
The perfect volunteer for this position would have some office experience, and professional demeanor, ability to commit to at least 4 hours a week and a willingness to help serve needy area children!
If this sounds like a position you may be interested in contact us at 630-221-8340 or

Delivery Day Operations Assistant Volunteer:
We have a new volunteer opportunity for someone who wants to make a huge difference in the lives of our seniors and for the project. We are looking for a dedicated volunteer to help provide administrative support and organizational skills to help make our delivery day a success.

Tasks Include:
• Professional correspondence with Delivery Day Drivers and Substitute Drivers.
• Creating engaging emails to enroll and interest volunteers.
• Making reference calls when there is a new volunteer.
• Helping produce materials needed for the event: checklists, postcards, volunteer instruction cards, and produce box labels.
• Support with managing volunteers when necessary.
• Thanking volunteers through email.
Skills Needed:
• Ability to volunteer at our center and frequently during the 2 weeks leading up to the delivery day events.
• Detail-Oriented
• Organized
• Dependable
• Ability to see tasks through to completion
• Microsoft Word, Excel, & Publisher experience is helpful
• Service attitude & desire to make a difference
It is an excellent leadership experience and great way to help our needy seniors.
If this sounds like a position you may be interested in contact us at 630-221-8340 or

Holiday Meals Operations Assistant Volunteer:
As our Year Round Holiday Meals program for our seniors turns 1 year old, we are looking for a dedicated volunteer to help this newer program evolve and flourish.

Tasks Include:
• Corresponding & assigning interested volunteers to seniors requesting a holiday meal. Emailing senior’s information to the volunteer.
• Creating engaging emails to enroll and interest volunteers.
• Making reference calls when there is a new volunteer.
• Calling to verify if the seniors are still interested in receiving the holiday meals.
• Keeping accurate records of volunteer & senior assignments.
• Thanking volunteers through email.
• Obtain and track feedback from volunteer participants.
Skills Needed:
• Ability to volunteer at our center, especially around the monthly holiday.
• Detail-Oriented
• Organized
• Dependable
• Microsoft Word or Excel experience is helpful
• Service attitude & desire to make a difference
It is an excellent leadership experience and great way to not only benefit our needy seniors, but also forge special new relationships between volunteers and seniors.
If this sounds like a position you may be interested in contact us at 630-221-8340 or

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Show off your love this Valentine’s.

It is truly special when we get to see one of our volunteers develop a bond with a senior enrolled in our program. Laura, one of our holiday meal event volunteers, became good friends with Maria. Maria is a senior citizen who always remains appreciative of every large and small thing that we do to help her.


Today, Laura, let us know that she is appreciative also. The chance to do a good deed, the chance to experience and see the joy in another because of something you did, is a gift of its own. Laura thanks us for the opportunity to deliver a special meal on a holiday to a senior. She lets us know “it has made such a huge difference in my life and I hope a little difference in theirs.”

We are still looking for more volunteers to provide a holiday meal and deliver it to one of the seniors living:

- 1 in Bensenville

- 1 in Carol Stream

- 2 (married couple) in Glen Ellyn

- 4 in Wheaton

If you are interested, please email us at: or call us directly at: 630-221-8340.



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gift Wrappers Needed!

Through the Children’s Birthday Project, each child enrolled receives a birthday box for his or her birthday. Earlier today we told you about the party-in-a-bag kits that were left at our door by a donor, which will be given to a child in a birthday box. Along with the party-in-a-bag, each box also contains, of course, presents!

We fill each birthday box with 6-15 new toys, a new game, 6 new books, a stuffed animal or action figure, school supplies, 3 filler gifts, and a Beanie Baby. To get all the presents wrapped for each box we have wonderful volunteer “wrappers.”

As we’re preparing gifts for children who have spring birthdays, we would love to have some help with wrapping. We ask volunteer wrappers to pick up the bags from our location and wrap each gift individually, providing their own beautiful wrapping paper and ribbons/bows. We estimate that it takes 2 adults about 1 hour to wrap 1 bag of gifts.

This is a great activity for groups or for individuals looking to spend their free time giving back to others. Since the bags are taken home, the gifts can be wrapped at a time convenient to you! We just ask that the bags of wrapped gifts be returned to us within 2 weeks.

If you’re interested in helping us wrap gifts, please give us a call at 630-221-8340 or email us at

A Morning Surprise!

As she was walking up the front walk this morning, Megan Birkey, our Children’s Birthday Project Coordinator, found a surprise left by an anonymous donor. Sitting by the door were three party-in-a-bag kits! There was no note with the bags, but they were filled with wonderful party items for some lucky children.

Each bag had a theme and contained plates, napkins, cups, forks, tablecloths, silly straws, balloons, party hats, streamers, party favors, cake mix, frosting, and birthday candles. One bag had a Barbie theme, one had a Disney’s “Tangled” theme, and one had a movie/rock star theme!

To whoever dropped off the party-in-a-bag kits, we want to thank you for your generosity! Your kits will certainly help make some lucky children’s birthdays exciting and memorable!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Divine Savior Food Drive!

Today we received a food drive from Divine Savior Parish in Downers Grove. Volunteer Mike Baumgartner went to pick up the donation which the church collects bi-monthly. The church collected over a pallets worth of non-perishable food.

Divine Savior has been supporting HSP for over 19 years through collecting food drives, sponsoring seniors and children, creating senior care kits, and at Christmas time, providing Giving Trees for the children and seniors in our program. This past Christmas, they collected wish list gifts for the 113 seniors who were in our program at the time (we now are at 118 seniors) as well as 400 impoverished children.

We are so thankful for their continued support and for our partnership.

Volunteer Profile: Lauren Hetrick

Every Tuesday morning HSP is blessed to have the help of Lauren, a recent graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University. There she studied graphic design and photography and is utilizing her skills to benefit HSP through revamping our power point presentation, creating flyers, and updating our speaker boards.

Lauren first heard about HSP through her mother who is a member and a recent past president of the Wheaton Rotary as well as Marketing and Special Events Coordinator for the Wheaton Park District, Cathy Hetrick. The two had volunteered in the past for the annual Christmas Offering. “I had a lot of fun at the Christmas Offering and I like what HSP does for the community. I was active in service projects in college and wanted to volunteer again,” Lauren said.

Not only does Lauren assist HSP, but she works part time at Impress Printing and does freelance work for a food company called Nonni’s Foods as well as hotels in Italy. In Lauren’s spare time she enjoys riding her horse, Lucy and has been riding since she was 9 years old.

We are so appreciative of Lauren’s support and skills and look forward to Tuesdays when she is in.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Party-in-a-bag Delivery!

Just as the big blizzard was about to hit last week, Anne Henriksen, an HSP volunteer, pulled in with a carload of donations. Last Monday, Anne had gone to St. Joseph’s Youth Ministry Group in Downers Grove on behalf of HSP. While she was there, the youth group put together 40 party-in-a-bag kits for the Children’s Birthday Project. Anne explained to the youth group all the services HSP provides to children and seniors, and let them know how their kits would help brighten a needy child’s birthday.

A party-in-a-bag kit is put into each child’s birthday box so that, along with gifts, the family can have a celebration. The kits contain items such as cake mix, frosting, party hats, streamers, birthday candles, invitations, balloons, plastic forks, paper plates, and napkins.

Thanks to Anne for helping HSP with numerous speaking engagements, and for delivering the kits. We also thank St. Joseph’s Youth Ministry Group for the kits and for their donated time in putting together the kits. Thanks to all involved!

Valentine's Day Meal!

Valentine’s Day is a week away, and we’re still in need of volunteers to make, or buy, and deliver a holiday meal for a senior. Our “holiday meals program” gives our seniors the opportunity to request having a meal brought to them on or around a particular holiday each month.

Interested volunteers can give us a call and let us know the area in which they would like to deliver. Then we will get them in touch with a senior who they can call and set up a date and time to
deliver a meal. Volunteers typically give the seniors 3 choices of meals that they would be willing to make or buy, and the senior picks the one that they would like. The volunteer then delivers the meal at the agreed upon time, and follows up with us as to how the delivery went. After cooking and delivering meals for two seniors on a recent holiday, a volunteer reported that, “both women were friendly and gracious for the food. I couldn’t help but express that it was entirely my pleasure to be able to cook for them.”

Volunteering to make or buy and deliver this holiday meal is a great way to do something for someone else, especially on a love-filled holiday like
Valentine’s Day. Seniors who receive these meals definitely feel loved and cared for when their volunteer shows up at the door. After a recent holiday, a voluntee
r told us that the senior couple she delivered to was so happy to receive the food and that they had been waiting for her arrival. They were excited to invite her in and show her their apartment.

If you would like to give a senior a special Valentine meal next week, please let us know. (630) 221-8340 or

Friday, February 4, 2011

A visit from Justin!

Earlier this week we were surprised with a visit by one of our former employees, Justin Paris. Justin worked here at HSP a few years ago, while he was in school, and still stops in to visit from time to time. Justin was one of our part-time employees who did a little bit of everything. He helped us build our database, but he was always willing to fill in where we needed him. He would write correspondences for us, help out with the Senior Citizen Project and the Children’s Birthday Project, and even fill in at the front desk. One of the things that always impressed Karole was his great attitude!

Justin was stopping by to drop off a baby humidifier and some food goods. We’re thrilled that Justin
still thinks of us! We also got to meet Justin’s son who came along for the ride. It’s always amazing to see how much former employees and interns have changed and grown since being here.

Justin is a talented photographer who currently works in food photography. While he was here on staff, Justin was kind enough to share his photography talents with us by taking pictures of the fresh produce
we deliver to our seniors. He had the photographs blown up to decorate our entranceway, where they still hang.

Justin really is a talented photographer. He left us his website, and we’re so impressed that we want to share it with you! If you’re interested in seeing Justin’s work, his website is

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blizzard 2011

Snow is everywhere. Starting Tuesday evening, the blizzard of 2011 hit Illinois. Winds blew 35-40mph. Snow drifts started to appear and driving conditions were hazardous. People were warned to stay indoors. Throughout the night, the snow steadily increased.

Feb 3, 2011 017

By Wednesday morning, snow piles were 3 feet high. Cars were covered, businesses (including HSP) were closed and children had a snow day. The snow is a beautiful sight. It sparkles in the sunlight. However, clearing a path through it seemed to be a challenge. People spent hours clearing sidewalks and driveways. The snowplows worked nonstop. It took Bill- our snow plow helper 3 hours to clear our parking lot and dock driveway.

Feb 3, 2011 015

- HSP had 20 inches of snow along with 3 foot deep snow drifts.

Even though the weather has calmed down, the snow will be around for awhile. The blizzard of 2011 is an event that will be remembered for years to come.

Paul- our Community Outreach Staffer helps to clear our service sidewalk while there’s a wind-chill of –13 degrees

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Special Phone Call

My name is Tracy and I’m a volunteer here at HSP. Last week I received a phone call from a grateful senior named Barbara. As a volunteer, I feel especially honored to receive these types of phone calls. I am just a small part of this organization, and I know how many people work so hard to provide these seniors with food, gifts, and services.

From the second I answered the phone I couldn’t get a word in. Barbara couldn’t find the words to express the gratitude she was feeling. She started off by telling me that she wanted to thank everyone at HSP with all her heart. She kept telling me that she felt badly that she couldn’t find a better way to thank everyone. “I love everything I received for Christmas,” said Barbara. “My Secret Pal always seems to know just what I need. I needed to send out some letters and she sent me stamps! I love my Secret Pal.”

I tried to tell Barbara that calling us was plenty of thanks, but she interrupted to tell me that she wanted to write a us a letter, but “was getting frustrated at not being able to find words” to tell us how she felt. Being on the other end of the phone gave me such a warm feeling, and was all the validation I needed for why I decided to volunteer with HSP. I shared the message with the rest of the staff and everyone beamed with pride. That is why we are all here. Barbara finished her phone call by saying, “I love you all. Thank you.” We love you, too, Barbara. We love all our seniors.