Thursday, February 28, 2013

Putting the Fun in Fundraiser


If you are looking for something enjoyable to do this Saturday, we would like to invite you to an event that is sure to be both fun, and will benefit the needy children served by HSP. Elizabeth Ferrari, President of Kreative Kreations, a company that puts on birthday parties for children, is hosting a fundraiser for our Children’s Birthday Project at Flight 112 Wine House located at 112 W Park Avenue in Elmhurst. The event will run from 3:00-5:30pm, and cost $25 per person. The event will include appetizers, wine, and a raffle. The money raised by this event will go to providing exciting and memorable birthdays to needy children whose families are unable to afford birthday gifts or parties. If you wish to attend, please RSVP with Elizabeth Ferrari at 630-674-2631 by tomorrow evening (March 1st.)

 Elizabeth’s company, Kreative Kreations, provides creative, themed parties and events for children like Cake Decorating parties, or American Girl themed birthday parties, so our Children’s Birthday Project is right up her alley. All 900 needy children served in our project receive a 20-25 lb. birthday box full of 6-10 new toys, 6 books, numerous fun “filler” gifts, and a “party in a box” which contains all the necessary supplies to throw a memorable birthday party. The funds collected from this fundraiser will go directly to sponsoring needy children in this project, so if this sounds like a project you are interested in supporting, and are free on Saturday, please consider attending!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kindness Brings Comfort


Humanitarian Service Project would like to send a heart felt thank you to FT Cares, the charitable wing of the Wheaton financial services firm First Trust. FT Cares donated a considerable amount of household items for our seniors in the Senior Citizen Project that will definitely be put to good use. Lisa Weier, an employee of First Trust and a representative of the foundation, dropped off a bundle of brand new items such as pillows, several nice microfleece blankets, towels, silverware, and 2 coffee makers.

Lisa was also nice enough to sit down with us and let us know more about FT Cares. Lisa told us that First Trust has been engaged in supporting the needy of the community for quite some time, and now that FT Cares has recently gained 501(c) 3 charitable status, they are finding new ways to serve those in need. We at HSP are very happy to learn of a new group devoted to providing relief for the needy.

Again, we wish to thank FT Cares for their very thoughtful donation. The cozy items they have provided will certainly allow the needy seniors in our program to live more comfortably. There are many items that these seniors could use in their lives to help make their lives easier, but they simply cannot afford them. If you, like FT Cares, would like to help provide for the needs of seniors in this way, some of the most requested items by the seniors include food processors, microwaves, toasters, electric blankets, and small area rugs. If you have an item you’d like to donate, please call HSP at 630-221-8340.

St. Raphael’s Second Super Service


Those of you who are regular readers of our blog may remember last week when we told you about some fantastic service projects and donations done for the sake of the needy seniors and children we serve by St. Raphael Church of Naperville. Well, as it would turn out, the generous parishioners at St. Raphael were not done wowing us at HSP, because earlier this week, they made another fantastic donation. We would like to thank St. Raphael for running a toy drive and donating many marvelous, new toys for the needy children in our Children’s Birthday Project.  When you keep in mind that, just last week St. Raphael graced us with their spirit of giving by wrapping Children’s Birthday Project gifts and putting together several personal Care Kits (full of items like lotions, conditioner, shower gel, soap, and shampoo) for the Senior Citizen Project, everyone at St. Raphael sure has been busy recently.


HSP volunteer Jeff Marker tuning one of the guitars donated
by St. Raphael.
The new toys were dropped off at HSP’s Center on Monday by St. Raphael member, Margaret Huck, whose minivan was completely stuffed with unique and fun gifts like large teddy bears, miniature bowling sets, games, big wheels, and even guitars! The kind heartedness of St. Raphael will most certainly bring countless memories to the kids who receive these wonderful gifts. Again, we wish to thank everyone at St. Raphael for there continued thoughtfulness!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Etz Chaim of Lombard Brings Generosity to the Table


Humanitarian Service Project would like to give a very special thanks to our friends at the Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard. For the past 9 years, HSP has been the lucky recipient of the congregation’s annual Food Drive. The congregation runs this Food Drive every year to remind themselves of the importance of giving to those in need. This great support and help continued yesterday, when Jeff Marker an HSP volunteer, picked up 10 large Garbage Bags that were completely filled with boxes of Macaroni and Cheese from the Congregation Etz Chaim. These tasty donations will be distributed to the Needy Children enrolled in the Feed the Kids program during the upcoming summer months.
Feed the Kids is a Program that serves 100 families, or about 400 children, with 175lb boxes in each of the summer months June, July, and August. Each 175lb box includes:
  • Fresh fruits & vegetables (15 varieties)
  • Frozen meats (7)
  • 3 loaves of Pepperidge Farm Bread
  • And non-perishables (3-6 boxes).
These boxes are created to ensure that these Needy Children will receive the nutrition they need, even when school is not in session. Macaroni and Cheese is a great food donation because kids love it, it is simple to prepare, and of course it is deliciously filling. We again would like to thank the Congregation Etz Chaim and their continued support to help us serve the needs of needy families.  

Friday, February 22, 2013

Giving is Always in Fashion


HSP would like to take this opportunity to spotlight an upcoming event that is sure to be both fun and do a lot of good in the community, the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club Fashion Show! This is a major fundraiser for the club which is very active in serving the needy of the community, and will directly benefit HSP as the chosen charity of the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club’s Community Improvement Project. The event will be held on April 20th, from 10am-3pm, at Drury Lane in Oakbrook.

To celebrate that this is the Club’s 40th Fashion Show, the theme of the event is Four Decades through Hollywood. The event will include a silent auction, a raffle, lunch, a professionally produced fashion show, and an after party. The show promises to be a fun, exciting affair, and will directly assist HSP’s efforts to alleviate the burden that poverty places on the needy seniors and children we serve. If you are interested in attending the event, tickets are now available! For more information, or to purchase tickets, check out the event page on the NJWC website: http://www.napervillejuniors.org/FashionShow

Thursday, February 21, 2013

St. Raphael Church Provides Saintly Support to HSP



Yesterday, Humanitarian Service Project received a very exciting visit from our friends at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Naperville. Over the weekend, the members of the church engaged in a Parish-wide “Day of Service” in which they would participate in a number of different service projects at different stations. We at HSP were thrilled to have one of the areas of service devoted to wrapping the gifts for twenty five of the needy children served in our Children’s Birthday Project. With each of the children receiving 6 new books and 6-10 new toys, this means that the Parishioners at St. Raphael wrapped between 300 and 400 gifts through this project alone.

However, this was not the only wonderful service St. Raphael provided for the impoverished children and seniors we serve. When the wrapped gifts were dropped off at our Carol Stream Center yesterday, we were pleasantly surprised that HSP was the focus of not one, but two of the areas of service for the Day of Service.  St. Raphael members created 40 personal care packages for needy seniors in our Senior Citizen Project. They clearly had fun in making these nice, handy kits, as all of them were individually decorated and included lotions, conditioner, shower gel, soap, and shampoo. Other great items dropped off by St. Raphael Church included a donation of wrapping paper, some much needed toilet paper for the seniors, and even new gifts for needy children.

This outpouring of support from St. Raphael will help HSP fulfill a number of different needs of the impoverished seniors and children in our programs. We wish to thank everyone at St. Raphael, who participated, particularly Anne Hillebrand, Director of Service Ministry at St. Raphael, who coordinated the event.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Volunteers Wrap Up a Great Day!


Humanitarian Service Project would like to give a huge thanks to the Chamberlain College of Nursing for helping HSP wrap an extremely generous amount of gifts yesterday for the Children’s Birthday Project! This uniquely large group of 18 volunteers arrived yesterday ready to go and rearing to wrap! Also thanks to Kenya Truman, an employee of Chamberlain College of Nursing, for organizing this event!

This volunteer bunch was certainly a joy to have here at HSP, they brought great attitudes to the task. Not only was it fun because they were helping out a good cause, but to spice things up the group decided to make a friendly competition out of the wrapping extravaganza. All in good fun, this game sincerely helped out HSP and all of the children who will be receiving the wrapped gifts for their birthdays. With two hours of hard work, this group wrapped all the gifts for 16 needy children in our Children’s Birthday Project. In each bag there are now 6 new books and 6-10 new toys beautifully wrapped, so these volunteers were certainly busy. We really want to thank this awesome group for doing such a great job wrapping these presents and helping make more birthday wishes come true!  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Caring and Generous: The Whole Kit and Caboodle


Lisa Gades & Kevin Breyer
Humanitarian Service Project would like to send out a warm thank you to our friends at Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva. Lisa Gades, a member of the congregation, was kind enough to drop off the Unitarian Universalist Society’s donation of 121 Senior Care Kits today at HSP. Every 3 months HSP delivers Senior Care Kits to the 121 needy seniors enrolled in our Senior Citizen Project; this is to assure that the seniors have the basic necessities needed in order to live comfortably. Thanks to this donation, plus recent past donations HSP is ready to supply our seniors with Senior Care Kits for the first half of this year. We wish to thank the UUSG, for helping us get this much needed leg up, to fulfill the needs of these very deserving seniors.

Each of the Care Kits provided by UUSG contained:


·        Envelopes
·        Paper
·        Eye drops
·        Baby powder
·        Hand wash
·        Tupperware
·        A Picture frame
·        Puzzle book
·        And, to sweeten the deal, a variety of candies.

Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva has continues to help and support HSP. Just last month they also gave several “Party In a Bag” donations, for the needy children in our Children’s Birthday Project. Thank you again Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva for your continued generosity and support, it is greatly appreciated. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Jan!


Today at the Humanitarian Service Project we had the pleasure of celebrating something very special, the birthday of Jan Thompson, HSP’s toy room supervisor. Jan’s birthday was actually yesterday (what an appropriate birthday for such a loving lady!) Jan works so hard upstairs in our toy room, to make sure all of the needy children in our Children’s Birthday Project have a memorable birthday, so we thought it was only appropriate to give Jan the recognition she deserves on her special day!

All of HSP’s staff and interns got together to celebrate with Jan for lunch today. With our cafĂ© decked out with pink and purple decorations, and the guest of honor even receiving a wand and a tiara, it was quite the fun event. Through her work here, Jan has made not only a positive impact in the lives of the needy children we serve, but in the lives of HSP’s staff as well. We know that Jan has also forged special bonds and friendships with HSP’s supporters (i.e. many of you,) so please join us in wishing Jan a fantastic birthday!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Heartfelt, V-day Donation


It’s Valentine’s Day, and everyone here at the Humanitarian Service Project is happy to see our generous supporters getting into the spirit. On top of the wonderful Valentine’s Day themed gifts we have already shared with you on this blog previously, we wanted to take this opportunity to recognize another group who has taken the time out this holiday, to spread love to the needy seniors in our program. HSP would like to thank the Ambassador Club of Forest Glen Elementary School, for making 30 “care kits” for our seniors, including special handmade Valentine’s for each one. This wonderful club seems to be making this loving project a tradition, as this is the second year in a row they have made these kits for the needy seniors HSP serves.

Each of these kits contains a special message to a senior from one of the students in the club, via a handmade Valentine. An example of the heart-warming notes inside these cards cays, “Everyone has a life story. That is what you are loved for. I hope you have a special Valentine’s Day. I will be thinking of you.” On top of these lovely valentines, each of the kits contains both health items, and special treats for the seniors. These items include; Kleenex, lotion, Chap Stick, tea, hot chocolate, health supplements, pain relievers, and candy. Again, we wish to thank the Forest Glen Elementary Ambassador Club for these beautiful care kits. They will surely both warm the hearts of the impoverished seniors who receive them, while also providing for their needs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Paper Products Needed!


Here at the Humanitarian Service Project we are always looking for more support to help us better fulfill the needs of the impoverished seniors we serve. One of our biggest needs at the moment is Paper Products. These items consist of Toilet Paper, Paper Towels,  and Facial Tissues to assist in making the daily lives of the needy seniors in DuPage and Kane Counties better.

 With the small amount of money that these seniors receive each month, once they have taken care of their major bills, there is not always enough money left for them to purchase basic necessities such as Paper Products. This is where HSP comes in! We are constantly trying to rally different Groups like Schools, Churches, and Businesses to participate in things such as Paper Drives.

As of right now, in April of 2013 we will have run out of all Paper Products to give out to our Needy Seniors. This Is Where You Come In! We are looking for as many People or Groups as we can to Conduct and Participate in Paper Drives so we can make sure that these Low Income Seniors will not go without these Basic Necessities. With the collaboration of HSP and Volunteers we can make it possible to Alleviate the Suffering of these Needy Seniors.

If you would like to run a paper drive to help out HSP and needy seniors of DuPage and Kane Counties please contact us at (630)-221-8340 or by email at hsp@humanitarianservice.org. Thank you and we really hope to hear from you soon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wish Granted!


Humanitarian Service Project would greatly like to thank an extremely kind woman, Gail Hudgins, for going above and beyond granting 5 of our needy senior’s wishes. This past Friday, Gail donated 5 grocery carts to 5 of the seniors in our Senior Citizen Project. These carts had just been placed on the Senior Citizen’s Wish List and without hesitation Gail fulfilled those wishes. This was such a sensational surprise for these seniors not only because the carts are so useful but because of how quickly they received them. Tish Jensen, Gail’s sister who is also no stranger to HSP, dropped off the grocery carts this past Friday, and they were delivered the very next day! It had worked out perfectly that this Saturday was our scheduled monthly delivery day for the seniors. These shopping carts will surely make life easier, especially since some seniors have mobility problems and have difficulty carrying their belongings. Donations like this really go such a long way, so another big thanks to Gail Hudgins from HSP!

If you are looking to donate, any donation, whether big or small equals a big help.  Some of the items most often requested by the seniors are food processors, microwaves, coffee pots, toasters, bathroom towels, electric blankets, and small area rugs. If you only have a couple of dollars to spare other great donations include detergent, stamps, and rolls of quarters. If you would like to donate any of these items please contact us at (630)-221-8340 or by email HSP@humanitarianservice.org.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love is in the Air!



Humanitarian Service Project would like to deliver our deepest gratitude to Divine Savior Parish of Downers Grove for sharing their gigantic hearts and contributing such a large donation of “Boxes of Love.” Nearing Valentine’s Day, Divine Savior Parish truly has shown their love and kindness to the needy seniors served by HSP. Better than a box of chocolates this holiday, Divine Savior Parish donated a much more purposeful box to each one of our 121 seniors in our Senior Citizen Project.

These “Boxes of Love,” are a sweet idea based off of the Senior Care Kits that are sent out to the seniors every three months. Each “Box of Love,” that was provided by Divine Savior Parish contained:

·         Kleenex
·         Toilet paper
·         Shampoo & conditioner
·         Soap
·         Mouthwash
·         Lotion
·         Toothpaste
·         Chap stick
·         Plus green tea & hot chocolate!

In addition to these wonderful “Boxes of Love” that they give each year, Divine Savior Parish is a huge supporter of HSP. They do so much for our programs, particularly our Christmas Offering and the Senior Citizen Project. Thank you again Divine Savior Parish! Plus a big thanks to those who picked up these lovely gifts Mike Tortorello and Rich Patera!

If you are looking to make a contribution to the Humanitarian Service Project, please, give us a call at 630-221-8340, or email us at hsp@humanitarianservice.org. A list of items that are always needed by our seniors can be found on our webpage: http://www.humanitarianservice.org/whatwedo/wishlists.html.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thank You UPS Volunteers!


Humanitarian Service Project would like to thank a group of eleven volunteers from UPS Supply Chain Solutions in Carol Stream, who volunteered their time to help us sort fresh produce for the needy senior citizens served by our Senior Citizen Project. This wonderful group spent two hours today helping us get all the fresh produce ready that will be delivered to the 121 needy seniors in the project, as part of our February Delivery Day tomorrow. Fresh produce is an integral part of the 100 lb., nutritious grocery package HSP sends to each of these seniors every month, and it is only thanks to the generosity of groups like UPS that we are able to continue to provide these fruits and veggies for the seniors. UPS has been a steadfast supporter of HSP, and regularly volunteers their time as produce sorters. Again, we want to thank them for taking time out of their busy days to help us reach out to seniors in need.




On our Delivery Day each month, volunteer drivers deliver 100lbs. of groceries to each of the 121 needy seniors in our project. The packages contain not only 15 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, but also, 7 frozen meats, 6 bags of non-perishables, 3 loaves of Pepperidge Farm bread, 2 bags of paper products, personal care items, and a gift from each senior’s “Secret Pal.” Volunteer produce sorters, like these thoughtful and hardworking UPS volunteers, are just one of the important groups that help HSP make this happen every month. There are so many ways to get involved to assist HSP in making a big difference in the lives of needy seniors in our community. If you would be interested in lending a hand, you can learn more about these opportunities on our website: http://www.humanitarianservice.org/whatwedo/monthlydelivery.html

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Race Against Hunger


Luanne (right) with the groceries she collected.
Today was an exciting day for HSP, as we were lucky enough to be represented in the DuPage County Farm Bureau’s annual “Race Against Hunger.” HSP was the chosen charity of Luanne Triolo Newman, the Executive Director of the Carol Stream Chamber, who ran in the race, hosted at Jewel-Osco in Carol Stream. For the event, Luanne and her challenger Dr. Bill Shields, superintendent of School District 93, were given 10 minutes to run through Jewel’s aisles supermarket sweep style, to collect as many items containing corn, wheat, or soy beans, (the staple crops grown by Illinois farmers) as possible. Luanne really put the lead out and snagged up a huge haul of almost 400 items! In what was, according to the DuPage County Farm Bureau, one of the closest races they’ve ever held, Luanne was declared the winner of the event. The items she and Dr. Shields collected, were purchased by the Farm Bureau, and donated to HSP and Neighborhood Food Pantries (Dr. Shields’ chosen charity.)
From Left: Dr. Bill Shields, HSP Assistant Executive Director
Kristin Maxwell and Luanne.

This is the 15th year the DuPage County Farm Bureau has held this race to coincide with National Food Check Out week. HSP was thrilled to be Luanne’s chosen charity, and the food she collected will go very far in meeting the needs of impoverished seniors in our Senior Citizen Project. When it was all collected in one place, the bags of food Luanne secured for HSP, more than covered the floor to one of our cargo vans. We wish to thank both Luanne and the DuPage County Farm Bureau for their hard work and generosity.


Every month HSP delivers 100 lbs. of nutritious groceries to the 121 needy seniors enrolled in our Senior Citizen Project. HSP also runs the Feed the Kids program in the summer time, and the Christmas Offering during the holidays, which provide much-needed food to needy, local families. As such, food donations are always a huge help around HSP. If you would like to get involved, you can learn more at HSP’s website here: http://www.humanitarianservice.org/getinvolved/index.html.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jr. League of Kane and Dupage County has Things Wrapped Up!


Humanitarian Service Project would like to sincerely thank the Junior League of Kane and Dupage Counties for wrapping so many gifts for the Children’s Birthday Project. These wonderful women donated such a considerable amount of time in order to help these needy children in the program.

 The Junior League of Kane and DuPage Counties has a project called “Done in a Day” in which the group participates in short-term, hands-on volunteer projects that assist local charities. As part of this project, this past Friday the Junior League of Kane and Dupage Counties held a “Wrapping Party,” where the group wrapped 10 bags worth of presents for the Children’s Birthday Project. Each bag contains presents for a needy child, and, with the amount of gifts in each birthday bag, this group did a ton of wrapping! These gifts include 6-10 new toys, 6 books. The wrapping was done beautifully which will make the children appreciate the gifts that much more! After the wrapped gifts are returned to HSP’s center, additional items are added to create each child’s special Birthday Box including, stuffed animals, smaller “filler” gifts, school supplies, coloring books, and party supplies in the form of a “party in a box kit.”

If you would like to help out HSP by wrapping gifts please contact us at (630)-221-8340 or by e-mail hsp@humanitarianservice.org.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Two Added to the HSP Team!

David

Today at Humanitarian Service Project we are super excited to welcome two new interns! These two interns come to us from Elmhurst College and heard of HSP’s intern Program through past HSP interns!


First we have David Patterson. He is a Political Science major, who hopes to one day work for a non-profit organization or the state department. David was drawn to HSP because he likes the idea of helping out others. When he was younger he participated in Boy Scouts and eventually became an Eagle Scout, so David is no stranger to volunteerism. David will be creating HSP’S “Senior Updates” by interviewing and taking note on the progress of the needy seniors served by our Senior Citizen Project. David will be a great fit for writing the “Senior Updates” as he enjoys writing and reading making the match a perfect fit.

Emma
On the flipside, we have our other new intern Emma Ewing. She will be working with the numbers side of things, seeing that she is an accounting intern. This internship will help pave the way for her dream of becoming a successful accountant. Emma was attracted to the atmosphere HSP has to offer as a not-for-profit organization, and with a smaller work environment is excited to get to know everyone. Emma has volunteered a lot in the past, due to her involvement with Elmhurst College’s Greek life. She is a sister to 80 girls in her sorority Sigma Kappa. As head of finance in her sorority, and as a member of the accounting and finance club at Elmhurst, Emma will surely be a big help here at HSP!  

Join us here at HSP in welcoming these two new interns to the HSP team! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Visit from KinderCare in Addison!



Today, at Humanitarian Service Project, we had some very special visitors from KinderCare in Addison. In all, there were 50 youngsters that stopped by HSP and participated in a tour of the facility. During the tour the kids were able to learn and physically see what goes on at HSP.

When breaking down the idea of the Children’s Birthday Project to the KinderCare group, they seemed ecstatic to know that the needy kids in the program would be receiving such a wonderful package for their birthdays. Their eyes lit up in the toy room, but the icing on the cake was when they found out that the birthday boxes would also contain birthday party decorations.

Along with their smiles, the children brought 5 large boxes of food and paper products, and wonderfully handmade Valentine’s Day cards that will be going to the seniors in the Senior Citizen Project. This coming Saturday will actually be the next delivery day for the Senior Citizen Project, so the timing couldn't have been more perfect for this visit. Humanitarian Service Project would truly like to thank the kids from KinderCare for their kind donation and the fabulously crafted cards; we hope to see you here again soon!  

Friday, February 1, 2013

HSP Visits COD’s Service Learning Fair!

Kristin at the Service Learning Fair

Earlier this week, Humanitarian Service Project had the pleasure of attending the College of DuPage Service Learning Fair. HSP was represented at the fair by Assistant Executive Director, Kristin Maxwell, who spoke to many COD students about volunteering at HSP this semester. These students are participants in COD’s Service Learning program, in which students spend 20 hours volunteering their time with a community organization. HSP has been a community partner with the program for a few years now, and every time, we have had wonderful volunteers help in a myriad of ways. HSP is looking forward to hosting service learning students again this semester.


The service learning volunteers will be involved in a number of different projects around HSP which include; community outreach, office support, and lending their hands in our warehouse preparing for our Senior Citizen Project Delivery Days, and in our Children’s Birthday Project toy room. Many of the students expressed enthusiasm in specific projects, which will allow them to utilize the skills they are developing in class to help us serve the needy seniors and children in our projects. College of DuPage calls this type of service a “win-win,” and we are inclined to agree. There have been a number of our past Service Learning volunteers who have used their unique talents, to be an immense help around HSP, and some continue to volunteer after their service contract ends. We look forward to our continued partnership with the Service Learning program!