Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lake Park Elementary Students Receive Birthday Boxes

Over Christmas time, thanks to the generosity of our donors, Humanitarian Service Project was able to adopt an entire elementary school full of needy children, Lake Park Elementary, and provide Christmas gifts for each student. Two weeks ago we had the pleasure of announcing that our Children’s Birthday Project was expanding to include these students, and today we are excited to announce the culmination of this expansion. Today, our very first delivery of birthday boxes to Lake Park Elementary went out from our center in Carol Stream. The 16 boxes, for the students with birthdays in the first half of March, were picked up and delivered to Lake Park by our volunteer driver Bud Newman. We want to thank Bud for volunteering to deliver the boxes, and all of our supporters for making Humanitarian Service Project’s partnership with this very needy school possible.

The need at Lake Park Elementary is so great that 88% of the students there come from families poor enough to receive subsidized school lunches. Working with Lake Park, we know that the gifts donated through our Children’s Birthday Project are going to children whose families do not have the wherewithal to provide much, if anything at all, for their birthdays. HSP’s assistant director, Kristin Maxwell, visited the school earlier today and said “Lake Park Elementary is a very loving school doing everything possible to provide support to its students.” We at HSP are happy to be a part of it.

The 865 needy children in our Children’s Birthday Project, including the children at Lake Park Elementary, each receive a 20 lb. birthday box including 4-8 toys and activities, 5-7 new books, and party supplies. They also receive gifts at Christmas, School Supplies at the beginning of the school year, and the child’s family becomes eligible for our summer Feed the Kids Program which provides total of 750 pounds to each family for the months of June, July, and August. You can help sponsor a child in the program for an annual sponsorship of $54. For more information see our website: http://www.humanitarianservice.org/.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Birthday Cakes 4 Free Sweetens Birthdays for Seniors

Humanitarian Service Project is thrilled to announce that the DuPage/Kane County Chapter of Birthday Cakes 4 Free has partnered with HSP to provide birthday cakes for the needy seniors in our Senior Citizen Project. Rose Garcia, founder of the chapter, dropped off five beautiful cakes at our center in Carol Stream last Thursday for the seniors in our project with February birthdays. We are so excited at this new opportunity to do something special to show the 120 needy senior citizens we at HSP serve that they are cared for on their special day. We want to thank Rose Garcia and Luz Collins, Rose’s “partner in crime,” for the wonderful cakes, and for helping us bring smiles to the seniors in our project.

We had a few seconds to sit down with Rose while she dropped off the cakes, to talk to her a little about Birthday Cakes 4 Free. Rose said she was inspired to work with HSP because she “has been wanting to do something to give back for quite some time, and particularly wanted to help seniors.” Rose is looking to expand her chapter of Birthday Cakes 4 Free to reach more and more people needy people in the area. Volunteers/donors for the program need not be a master of baking, you can also help by purchasing cakes, picking them up, or donating coupons. For more information, be sure to check Birthday Cakes 4 Free on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Birthdaycakes4freeforDupageandKanecounties, or if you have an idea to help HSP reach out to needy seniors, please call us at 630-221-8340.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Steeple Elementary and Wheaton Warrenville South Students Earn Gold Stars in Generosity

When it comes to reaching out to needy senior citizens and children, school is always in session at the Humanitarian Service Project… metaphorically speaking, of course. However, if we were an actual school, we have two groups of students that have certainly earned gold stars recently. The students of Steeple Elementary in Naperville and the Key Club of Wheaton-Warrenville South High School both made fantastic donations this week, which we think really make the grade. We want to thank both groups for helping us at HSP reach out to the needy seniors and children served by our programs.

The students at Steeple Run Elementary get their gold star for a fantastic donation of over 100 great care kits for the needy seniors served by HSP. The kits came with a whole bunch of wonderful items like Kleenex, laundry detergent, soap, lotion, and shampoo to make sure the senior has what they need to take care of themselves. The students even included notes to the seniors in the kits to let the seniors know how much they care. We know the seniors will be touched by these kits, and we want to, again, extend our thanks to the students at Steeple Run Elementary for them.

While the students at Steeple Run elementary are helping us reach needy senior citizens, the Key Club at Wheaton-Warrenville South also get an A+ for helping us provide for the needy children in our Children’s Birthday Project. The club managed to collect enough toys to fill the whole back of an SUV. Michael, who dropped of the toys from Wheaton-Warrenville South yesterday, said he and the other members of the club were inspired to donate the gifts after they volunteered here at HSP during our Christmas Offering last December.

These two school groups have real earned perfect marks in generosity with these thoughtful donations, and we want them to know that their thoughtfulness will really make an impact in the lives of many people in need. If you too would like to help us reach out to needy senior citizens and children we serve, please call us at 630-221-8340 for more information, or check out our website: http://www.humanitarianservice.org/

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Speak Up!!

Have you ever wanted to help inspire people to do the good that today’s society needs? Has the issue of poverty stricken senior citizens and children always bothered you?! Does advocating for these senior citizens and children in our community sound appealing?! Then get in touch with us!

We here at HSP are seeking volunteers from the community to speak for the benefit of the needy senior citizens and children we serve. You will be part of HSP as a member of our speaker team. Members of HSP’s speaker team represent our charity to community groups, educating them about HSP’s mission to alleviate the burden that hunger and poverty place on children and senior citizens living in DuPage and Kane Counties.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, then get in touch with us! We’d love to have you as a part of our HSP team. Please contact us at 630-221-8340 or email at hsp@humanitarianservice.org.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Looking for Monday Food Sorters

We at the Humanitarian Service Project are busy this week getting ready for our Senior Delivery Day coming up this Saturday. On our Delivery Days, we send about five and a half tons of groceries to the 120 needy senior citizens we serve, which includes fresh produce, bread, frozen meat, non-perishables, paper products, and personal care items. In order to make these deliveries possible every month, there are a number of wonderful volunteers who thoughtfully give their time and energy for the sake of those in need.

One group of wonderful volunteers who help our delivery days come together is our Monday Morning Food Sorting Crew. This group meets at our center in Carol Stream from 9:30 – Noon on Monday mornings to sort frozen meat and non-perishable foods that go to our needy seniors on delivery days. Not only does this group do such a wonderful service for the seniors in our program, their visits on Monday have become a beloved weekly event at HSP. If you think being a part such a great group like this would be a fun and worthwhile service opportunity for you, we encourage you to consider joining. Please call us at 630-221-8340, or email us at hsp@humanitarianservice.org, if you would like more information about joining our Monday Crew.

A Generous Donation!

It has been an exceptionally exciting this past week here at the Humanitarian Service Project. We received a donation of a very nice desk that is now in our Database Manager Alex Gordy’s office. Alex, along with the rest of us, is very excited to have received such a wonderful gift. We here at HSP would like to give a warm and hearty thank you to Krista Boba and her father Steve for this very generous donation.

If you know of any offices that are upgrading their furniture please have them consider donating their used and in good condition furniture to the Humanitarian Service Project. We would be interested in receiving wall partitions and credenzas to help us maintain and effective work space.

Friday, February 17, 2012

HSP Adds 329 Children to the Children’s Birthday Project!

        Wishing you a happy upcoming President’s Day! We want to let you all know that we will be closed this Monday, February 20th, and will re-open on February 21st.


        We are happy to announce that the Humanitarian Service Project has added 329 children into the Children’s Birthday Project. This brings our current total to 865 children, whom we serve in the DuPage and Kane Counties. These newly added children are from Lake Park Elementary. We are blessed to be helping this school, because 88% of the students there receive subsidized lunches and are living in poverty.

        We helped these children last Christmas, thanks to our kind-hearted donors and volunteers who made it possible. They all jumped for joy when they received their Christmas presents. Our goal is to do all we can to brighten their little lives, and now will be providing these children with birthday presents.

        With newly-added children comes the need to raise our funds for the Children’s Birthday Project. We ask you to help us, if you can, by giving a gift of $54 to sponsor a child.


        This annual sponsorship of $54 (less than $5 per month) is all that is needed for a child to enjoy a wonderful birthday full of fun gifts and books, a merry Christmas filled with real dreams coming true, and an early fall complimented by all the school supplies this child needs to start a new academic year – all together a $400 package that you make possible! On top of that, this child’s family becomes eligible for our summer’s Feed the Kids Project, which provides a total of $1,500 worth of nutritious food to each selected family during the months of June, July and August.

        Thank you all for your support and generosity! We wish you a fun weekend ahead, and all the best! May joy and hope always go before you, and peace and love follow your footsteps.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

HSP Joins the Human Race

Many doctors suggest that not only is regular exercise the most important thing for your physical health, it has a positive affect on mood as well. While we at the Humanitarian Service Project aren’t medical professionals, our experience has shown us that participating in a good cause gives a similar boost to a person’s mood. So when we get a chance to combine the two tasks, well, we can’t help but smile from ear to ear. For this reason, Humanitarian Service Project is excited to announce our participation in the inaugural DuPage Human Race.

The Human Race is a 5K fitness run/ 2 mile walk in which runners raise pledges for their favorite local charities, and is open to all ages. We are currently looking for people willing to participate in the event for HSP. The funds raised by our participants in the race will go directly to helping HSP reach the needy children and senior citizens served through HSP’s programs. The event will be on April 21, 2012, the final day of National Volunteer Week. It will take place at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County Headquarters/ Danada Forest Preserve. The Race will begin at 9:00 a.m. behind the Headquarters building on the west side of Naperville Road, north of Warrenville and south of Butterfield.

For more information and to sign up, visit www.dupagehumanrace.org or Active.com Please send us an email at hsp@humanitarianservice.org to tell us you registered.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love both Inside and Outside the Box

Humanitarian Service Project hopes that all of you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your loved ones yesterday. Many people take advantage of this time of year to share their love with those around them. However, we at HSP know that this is not just a February 14th phenomenon, as we are in the unique position to see that the outpouring of love our wonderful supporters give to the needy children and senior citizens we serve at HSP is a yearlong constant. Our supporters are always thinking of wonderful ways to show how much they care.

Earlier this week, there was a fantastic example of our supporter’s thoughtfulness that we feel is more than worthy of sharing. The youth at Divine Savior Parish in Downers Grove donated 120 “Boxes of Love” for the needy senior citizens served by HSP (that’s one box for each senior in our Senior Citizen Project.) These boxes contain a number of wonderful necessary items like toothpaste, soap, tissues, paper towels to make sure the seniors’ needs are met, and also a number of fun items like tea and hot chocolate.

The youth at Divine Savior collected the items by passing out heart shaped cards to parishioners asking them to donate the item written on the card. Once the items were collected, 46 youth from Divine Savior spent their Saturday night assembling the boxes. We want to thank these youth, and everybody who donated, from Divine Savior for these wonderful donations. These boxes will not only help the needy seniors we serve by providing items they need, but also by showing them that they are cared for.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Jan!

Today was a very special day at the Humanitarian Service Project office. Not only was it Valentine’s Day, but we had something even more special to celebrate. Please join us in wishing Jan Thompson, our Toy Room Organizer, a happy birthday. Jan works so hard in our upstairs toy room to create wonderful birthday boxes for the needy children in our Children’s Birthday Project, so we thought if anyone deserves a fun birthday party, it would be Jan.

Let us tell you, it was quite the party. HSP Database Manager Alex Gordy even wrote an original song for Jan, which everyone in our office joined in singing. Jan sure was a good sport, she didn’t even make fun of everyone who sang off-key (which was admittedly more of us than not.) We were delighted that alongside HSP’s staff and interns, HSP volunteers Dale Coon, Ginna Ericksen, and Larry and Evelyn Erven were also around to help us celebrate Jan’s Birthday. In her time running our toy room, Jan has forged bonds with a number of our wonderful volunteers, so we know her birthday was even more special being able to celebrate with them. Jan’s magnetic personality has made her a beloved fixture of Humanitarian Service Project, and we were honored to be able share her birthday with her.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Recognition for a Great Leader

Being a good leader is not something that simply comes naturally to people, nor is it something that comes with age and experience. Being a leader requires a person who works hard, is attentive to and cares about the needs of others, and who is led by a strong drive to do what is right. The Humanitarian Service Project has had a number of great leaders from the community come in over the years to help us reach out to the needy children and senior citizens we serve, so we are always excited when one gets the recognition they deserve. For this reason, we want to congratulate Kevin Salat, a senior at Wheaton North High School and friend of HSP, for being named to the 2011-2012 Daily Herald Leadership Team! Kevin earned his place on the team for his work with a number of worthwhile local charities, including HSP.

(Above: Kevin [Photo from The Daily Herald])

Kevin may be young, but he has already done so much to make the world around him a better place through his service. He has utilized his many talents and his ability as a leader to reach out to those in need in a number of ways, including a fundraiser for HSP that he led at school. Kevin and his family have been donating and volunteering at HSP for years now, most recently for our Christmas Offering Project this past December. The Daily Herald certainly thought Kevin was worthy enough to be recognized, and we at HSP think that they are right on the money!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Girl Scout group tours Humanitarian Service Project

We had a wonderful time meeting Girl Scout troop # 1952 from Naperville on Thursday afternoon when they visited HSP. The girls attend Prairie Elementary School and are in the 5th grade. We gave a tour of the building, stopping in the warehouse to talk about the Senior Citizen Project and Feed the Kids. The tour continued upstairs to the Toy room where the girls enjoyed looking at all the toys and playing with the talking stuffed animals. They saw the book room, the party in a box room along with the school supplies. All of these areas are used to make up the birthday boxes for the Children’s Birthday project.


The girls were fun to be with and they asked great questions on the tour about the seniors and in the children in the project. They plan to contact us soon so they can take some bags of toys to wrap in one of their meetings for some of the children in the birthday project.

We hope the girls have fun at their wrapping party and we are very appreciative that the troop wants to make a birthday special for children in the project through the beautiful gifts they wrap.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Become a Senior’s Secret Pal

The needy senior citizens that HSP serves through our Senior Citizen Project all must confront the challenges of aging while also dealing with the burden of poverty. We at the Humanitarian Service Project, not wanting these seniors going through this alone, provide a number of services to help them out including a monthly delivery of 90 pounds of much needed groceries (including fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats, bread, non-perishables, and paper products) to make sure their basic needs are met. However, another issue the needy seniors we serve may face is a feeling of isolation which their circumstances may bring. This is where the participants of our “Secret Pal” program come in. Our “secret pals” buy a small gift, of between $5 to $25, each month for one of our seniors. These gifts not only provide our seniors with items they need which they would not be able to purchase otherwise, but most importantly the gift shows the senior that they are cared for.

At HSP we often receive messages from our seniors to convey their thanks to their secret pal. One senior wrote about her secret pal, “If I were to look up kind and generous in the dictionary, I would see your picture there.” Another senior wrote that because of illness, she can no longer be “the mover and shaker” she once was, but through the thoughtfulness of her secret pal her “attitude on life has improved immensely.” Our secret pals have clearly helped HSP make such a big impact in the lives of the needy senior citizens, and we want to thank them for their thoughtfulness.

However, we still have many seniors who do not currently have secret pals. If you would be interested in showing a needy senior citizen how much you care by becoming a secret pal, or have any questions about the program, please call us at 630-221-8340 or email us at hsp@humanitarianservice.org.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Good Use of a Good Talent

At the Humanitarian Service Project, we have been blessed with many supporters with a myriad of talents. These supporters have mobilized in a number of unique ways to help HSP reach out to the needy children and senior citizens we serve. We want to bring your attention to one such talented individual who has helped HSP lately. Alex Fowler, is still in High School, but he is quite the experienced volunteer. He has been volunteering his time locally and globally alongside his family for most of his life. Him and his family volunteered at HSP during our Christmas Offering this past December, and have begun volunteering for the monthly delivery days to the needy senior citizens served by HSP.

On top of all this, Alex is multitalented. Despite his youth, Alex is quite the experienced video editor. When volunteering at HSP with his family, Alex offered to help us by editing together several videos we had taken during our Christmas Offering in December. Alex stopped by the HSP office on Monday to drop off what he had done. We at HSP are very excited to have this video, which will allow us to better show all of our supporters how their generosity helped us reach children in need this past Christmas. We want to thank Alex for his hard work.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Getting the Word Out

Throughout the years, Humanitarian Service Project has been aided by so many wonderful members of our community in our mission to provide for needy senior citizens and children in DuPage County. We credit this to the large hearts of these community members, who have helped us reach out to those in need in numerous ways. Naturally, with our supporters (i.e. you) setting such a wonderful precedent, we at HSP always make letting the community know about our programs a priority. For this reason we want to thank both the Clarendon Hills Public Library and Winfield Public Library for granting HSP room in the display cases this month! These displays will advertise our programs to community members, and hopefully introduce a number of new people to HSP.

We also want to thank volunteer driver, and longtime friend of the project, Rich Patera for picking up the display for the Clarendon Hills Public Library at our center in Carol Stream, and delivering it to the library. Rich even set up the display at the library himself. Again, we just want to thank Rich, and the two libraries for helping us get the word out to the community about our cause. If you happen to frequent one of those libraries, check out our display.

Monday, February 6, 2012

It’s in the Bag

We hope you’ve had a great jump start to your week, because we at the Humanitarian Service Project sure have. There are so many things that can be done to reach out to the needy senior citizens and children that we at HSP serve, and our supporters have proven time and again that they are happy to show that they care. In fact, we had two wonderful donations today showing that our supporters have it in the bag…literally.

The first donation came from the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva, who donated 120 bags full of personal care items for the needy seniors in our senior citizen project. That’s one bag for each senior in our program! These fantastic bags contain items like shampoo, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hot chocolate, and greeting cards, to provide the seniors with both items they very much need and some nice fun items as well. We want to extend our deepest thanks to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva for this great donation. We also want to thank the Girl Scouts from Lowell Elementary in Wheaton, for the donation of 20 bags full of party supplies for the needy children in our children’s birthday project. These bags, full of things like party hats, streamers, party plates and cups, are sure to bring smiles to a number of needy children on their birthdays.

There are so many ways in which our wonderful supporters, like these two groups, show their love for the needy people we serve at HSP. If you have an idea for a donation, please call us at 630-221-8340 to see if we could use it to reach a needy senior citizen or child.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Greetings from HSP and Happy Friday!!!

It certainly was a happy Friday for us when the Humanitarian Service Project welcomed our friends Paul and Sue Lankenau from the Naperville Exchange Club arrived and presented us with a check for $5,415.00. We are so appreciative for this wonderful gift and it will be put to such good use in supporting the Feed the Kids program.


(Featured in the photo are Paul and Sue Lankenau along with Karole and Floyd Kettering)

The Feed the Kids program provides nutritious food for children and their families for the months of June, July and August when children are not receiving subsidized lunches through their school. The program supports 100 families and 350 to 400 children with $1500.00 worth of groceries. This beautiful gift will go a long way in helping to care for the many people who count on the support they receive from the Feed the Kids program.

Thank you so much to the Naperville Exchange, we truly love this generous gift to the project.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Youth Show Love to Seniors


(Just some of the Senior Care Kits donated by St. Joseph’s Church Youth Ministry.)

Last Wednesday, Cheryl McGarrity, a member of our fantastic speaker team, went to Downers Grove. She talked to the St. Joseph’s Church Youth Ministry about our Senior Citizen Project. The kids had collect items for Senior Care Kits.  Thanks to Cheryl, the kids now have a better understanding of the good the Kits provide.

When Cheryl dropped the Kits off at HSP, the staff was again awed by the generosity of our donors.  No two gift bags of the 26 Care Kits are the same.  Every teen made a card to include in the Kits to show the seniors that someone is thinking of them and cares.

Many of the bags are quite heavy because of the numerous and large items.  Now we will have very clean senior in our project.  They will be receiving such things as detergent, shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, and soap.  There are many other personal care items the seniors are sure to enjoy.

Thank you so much to the Youth Ministry at St. Joseph’s.  Your thoughtfulness will really help a senior in need.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Please Welcome our New Staff Member: Kristin Maxwell

It is not every day here at the Humanitarian Service Project that we have the joy of welcoming a new staff member to the team. Today Kristin Maxwell joins us as our new Assistant Executive Director. Kristen brings years of experience to the project and we are thrilled to have her on board. Before joining us Kristen worked as the logistics manager of Ryder Integrated Logistics for sixteen years where she managed warehouse operations for the Eastman Kodak account.

Kristin has also been volunteering with us for the past six years and has been tremendously helpful with the Birthday Box program. Over the past two years she has also become more actively involved with the Christmas Project and Feed the Kids. We are excited that she can now join us full time and lend her expertise to the project.

Kristin has spent her first day helping to promote the Humanitarian Service Project at the College of DuPage’s semesterly Community Service Fair. She says she had a fantastic time getting to talk to everyone that was there. Over the next few weeks Kristen will be working on becoming well acquainted with all aspects of the project.

We hope you will all join us in wishing her the best of luck with her new position here at the Humanitarian Service Project! We are absolutely thrilled to have her here!