Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from HSP!

          Happy Halloween! HSP is definitely getting into the spirit of the holiday! Today all the staff members dressed up in fun costumes to celebrate.

         Now that it’s Halloween, Christmas season is just around the corner. Here at HSP, we have all focused on preparing for this year’s Christmas Offering. In the Christmas Offering, HSP gives toys, games, and books as Christmas gifts to over 1600 children. All the children in the Children’s Birthday Project and their siblings ages 3-15 are included in the Christmas Offering, and we also include as many children on our waitlist as we can. HSP gives 3-4 weeks worth of groceries to 150 needy families in December through the Christmas Offering as well.
          HSP is in need of food and toy drives to help us provide for the families we serve. We are also looking for volunteers to help us prepare for the Christmas Offering during the first three weeks of December. If you are interested in helping us serve families in need by hosting a food or toy drive for the Christmas Offering, or by volunteering with us, please send us an email at or call us at 630-221-8340.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Volunteer Spotlight: Judi, Bernie, & Ginna

          Today, we are taking the time to highlight a few of our regular volunteers who graciously donate their personal time and energy to help us with our Senior Citizen Project.  Without further ado, we would like to introduce you to three of our wonderful volunteers!
          Every Wednesday morning, you can find Judi Simon and Bernie Bartelli (pictured right) in HSP’s warehouse, sorting food or doing a variety of other preparatory tasks to make sure the Senior Citizen Project runs smoothly.  Judi and Bernie have been invaluable volunteers, allowing us to ensure that all of the seniors enrolled in the project are supplied with food and any other items they need.

          Another person whose efforts do not go unnoticed around HSP is Ginna Ericksen, our volunteer Secret Pal Coordinator (pictured left).  Every senior enrolled in the Senior Citizen Project gets matched up with a Secret Pal, or a volunteer donor, who purchases items from the senior’s wishlist.  Ginna organizes all of the Secret Pal gifts each month, ensuring that the right gifts go to the right seniors come Delivery Day.
          With our busiest season of Christmas fast approaching, the volunteers mentioned here have been selfless with their time, and all have lent a helping hand.  For Judi, Bernie, and Ginna, we here at HSP are truly grateful.  There is also some extra appreciation due to Ginna, who has taken on a lot of extra work by assisting HSP staff to organize the senior giving trees for our Christmas Offering.

Thank you!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Birthday Boxes for Lake Park Elementary

Today one of our volunteers, Jeff Marker, delivered 21 birthday boxes to needy children with birthdays during the months of November and December at Lake Park Elementary School. These birthday boxes from the Children’s Birthday Project are filled with gifts, school supplies and party supplies to make a child’s birthday a special day to cherish. HSP has been delivering birthday boxes to the needy children at Lake Park Elementary School for about a year and a half now, and hopes to maintain this relationship by continuing to provide this service to them.

Jeff did not return empty handed from this trip back to HSP. The staff and students at Lake Park Elementary School very graciously held a food drive to donate items to us. Through this food drive, spearheaded by music teacher Elise Willis, they were able to gather 5 BOXES of nonperishable items to help the needy seniors and families throughout the community! HSP would like to thank Lake Park Elementary for this wonderful donation that will benefit many families and seniors for our Christmas Offering and Senior Citizen Project. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Benson Primary School Holds Food Drive for Christmas Offering!

          HSP would like to thank Benson Primary School in Itasca for holding an extremely generous food drive! Dan Raschk brought the donations, 11 large boxes filled with non-perishables, to our center last Friday. The donation included many items that we can give to the families in the Christmas Offering, such as peanut butter and jelly, cans of tuna, and cans of fruit and veggies. Through the Christmas Offering, HSP provides 150 families with 3-4 weeks of groceries, including fresh fruits and veggies, frozen meat, bread, and non-perishables. Food drives like these are essential to HSP’s ability to feed impoverished families this Christmas.
          Benson Primary School has been a supporter of HSP for ten years. The school donated to the Christmas Offering several times in the past and also held toy drive a few years ago. HSP really appreciates all their support!
          If you or your organization is interested in holding a food or toy drive for our Christmas Offering, please visit our website at, email us at, or call us at 630-221-8340. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Service Learners

Recently HSP has enjoyed having the help of several service learners from the College of DuPage around the center.  The students have been helping us prepare for the upcoming Christmas Offering, organize food and toys in our warehouse and toy room for our Senior Citizen and Children’s Birthday Projects.  In addition to the COD students, we have also been blessed to have Christina from Liberty University, who has been volunteering her time at HSP as a part of her college service project.  
            The Service Learning Program at COD requires students to dedicate 20 hours of service at one of their community partners.  The programs aim is to give students the opportunity to apply what they've been learning in the classroom to real world experiences while helping others. 

             We would like to thank the dedicated students for their contribution to HSP’s mission.  Their efforts are going a long way in helping HSP to make a difference in the lives of needy children and seniors in our own community!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Montini High School Students Help HSP in a Day of Service

          Today a group of nine students from Montini High School gave their time to help HSP prepare for the upcoming Christmas Offering. The students were participating in the Sophomore Day of Service at Montini High School. The sophomore students at the school were divided into groups and each group served at a different site. HSP was blessed to be a recipient of this service day.
          First, the students constructed the boxes we use to hold the non-perishables that we give to impoverished families around Christmas time. Through the Christmas Offering, HSP gives 150 families 3-4 weeks worth of food, including fresh groceries, frozen meat, and non-perishables. Next, the students sorted and took inventory of a bread donation from Pepperidge Farm. This bread will be given to the seniors in the Senior Citizen Project and the families in the Christmas Offering. Lastly, the students helped to organize the warehouse and brought toys from the warehouse to the toy room in preparation for Christmas. The group accomplished quite a lot in the 2 hours they spent volunteering with us, and HSP would like to thank them for their all their great work.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Personal Care Items Greatly Needed for Seniors!

Here at HSP, we go the extra mile to help all of our needy families and seniors, and are committed to providing them with necessities that no person should go without.  Through our Senior Citizen Project, we supply these necessities, namely groceries and personal care items, to the 123 seniors enrolled in our program.  Specifically regarding the personal care items, we deliver Personal Care Kits to our seniors every three months.

                We are always in desperate need of personal care and hygienic items, so we are asking that you help us continue our service of providing seniors with items like soap, toothpaste, and lotion.

                With our deadline sprinting towards us, we ask that you help us reach our goal of filling 93 more kits by the end of November!  So, from now until then, please donate any items you can from the list below:
-          2 shampoos
-          2 conditioners
-          1 lip balm
-          1 toothbrush
-          1 toothpaste
-          2 dental floss
-          3 lotions
-          6 bar soaps
-          2 hand sanitizers

                The collection and quantity of the above items are what we include in our Personal Care Kits.  It is up to you whether you want to donate a complete kit, or just certain items.  But if you do decide to compile a kit, please feel free to place the items in a basket, shoebox, or gift bag for easier transport to our needy seniors, and drop the kit off at HSP.  And of course, individual items are also welcome, and can be dropped off at HSP as well.

If you would like more information about the Senior Citizen Project, aren’t sure what type of items to donate, or have any other questions, please call us at (630)-221-8340, visit us at, or send us an email at

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Supplies and Gifts to Kids at Army Trail Elementary

Yesterday HSP’s Executive Director, Kristin Maxwell, visited Army Trail Elementary School in Addison to meet with their principal Deb Martello. During that visit, HSP was able to send along school supplies for the needy children in the school. We were able to provide around 11 boxes of school supplies which included: glue, crayons, binders, art paper, colored paper, as well as miscellaneous school and extra teacher supplies.
Along with being able to provide school supplies to the school, we are very happy to report that we will be enrolling over 80 needy children from Army Trail Elementary School into our Children’s Birthday Project (CBP). That is approximately 20 percent of the needy children in the school! CBP’s goal is to provide children with packages on their special day, and to create memories for them that will last a lifetime. Each child receives a birthday box which includes new toys, books, activity kits, and other small trinkets. They also receive, with their birthday gifts, school supplies, and a “party in a bag” kit which contains party decorations and supplies, and birthday cake mix and frosting for the child to enjoy on their birthday.

Army Trail School covers an area near our other Addison school partner, Lake Park Elementary. Both schools have large populations of needy children, Army Trail School at 80.5% low income and Lake Park Elementary at 72.8% low income. HSP is happy to be able to assist both schools by providing school and birthday supplies to needy children.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A New Intern Joins HSP’s Team!

           Today, HSP welcomes a new intern, Pat McGarry! During his internship, Pat will be helping us prepare for our annual Christmas Offering and contribute to a number of other projects for the sake of the needy families and seniors we serve. Pat graduated from St. Xavier University in May 2013 with a degree in Philosophy and a minor in Religious Studies. He hopes to gain employment at a non-profit or as a teacher. Pat is looking forward to gaining experience in the non-profit environment through his internship.
          Pat is no stranger to volunteering and helping others. He has served as chaplain at a Boy Scout summer camp for scouts in the Chicago area, planning the religious services and providing counseling to the boys. He also volunteers with Mount Carmel’s Alumni Club and parents’ clubs, by helping to set up and prepare for events at both clubs. Pat’s other interests include playing rugby, reading, and watching movies.
          We are very excited to have Pat here at HSP! Please join us in welcoming him to the team. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fun and Fruitful Friday with US Foods

HSP finished this week on a high note with a volunteer group from the US Foods of Rosemont helping to sort food in the warehouse.  The 17 volunteers spent the afternoon sorting the season’s first boxes of non-perishables that will be distributed to the needy families and seniors served through our annual Christmas Offering. The also generously brought a donation of over 280 containers of cake mix and frosting, 150 hand crafted birthday cards, and additional party items for the sake of the impoverished children in our Children’s Birthday Project.

            For the 35th year in a row, HSP will be providing local, needy families and seniors with groceries through the Christmas Offering.  During the month of December, more than 14 tons of groceries will be distributed to 150 families and 123 seniors as part of the Offering. 
            HSP is very grateful for the contribution the US Foods volunteers made today.  The Christmas Offering is our largest undertaking of the year that would not be possible without the help of our many volunteers!  If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information about our Christmas Offering visit our website at or email us at  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

HSP Welcomes Kristin Maxwell to the Position of Executive Director

            The Humanitarian Service Project is very excited to announce that Kristin Maxwell, our former Assistant Executive Director, has officially been named HSP’s new Executive Director! Kristin volunteered at HSP for years before she joined our staff and became the Assistant Executive Director at the beginning of 2012. She has been running the day-to-day operations at HSP for some time now. Her guidance and collaboration with HSP’s co-founders have enabled HSP to continue to improve our programs to serve needy families and seniors in DuPage and Kane counties. 
          Whether it is the seniors served by the Senior Citizen Project, or the children and families in our other projects, Kristin’s hard work and spirit for service have touched the lives of everyone in our programs. We can think of no one better for the role of Executive Director, to continue HSP’s work to provide relief to the neediest in the community. We know that since she has started working here, Kristin has bonded with many of you, our friends and supporters, so please join us in congratulating Kristin on her new position!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Glenbard North Students Lend a Helping Hand

Today at HSP, students of the AIM Program at Glenbard North High School helped in preparing paper goods for our needy senior citizens.  The students worked industriously for two hours, sorting and bundling toilet paper, paper towels and facial tissue that will be distributed to our seniors as part of the November and December grocery deliveries. 
            AIM, short for Advancing Into Mainstream, is a new program at Glenbard North High School.  The program is currently working to incorporate a service based learning program into its curriculum.  So far, the students have volunteered at Colony Park and are partnering with the local Police Department in hosting a food drive.  HSP is very grateful for the students’ work and looks forward to collaborating with them again in the future. 
             The work these students completed will enable us to make a huge difference in the lives of our seniors.  As always, we are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our volunteers.  If you or your group would like to volunteer with HSP or would like to learn more about our programs please visit our website at or email us at 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Young Men’s Service League Volunteer Groups

Today at HSP, we had two volunteer groups from the Young Men’s Service League (YMSL) donating their time. The Carol Stream Chapter of YMSL sent in 7 volunteers from 9-11 AM and 5 volunteers from 1-3PM to help us out in sorting a number of things in our warehouse such as food and paper products for both the Senior Citizen Project and the Christmas Offering. They also helped out by setting up boxes to be filled with non-perishable food for our Christmas Offering.

YMSL is a national organization in which high school boys and their mothers have the opportunity to support people in need, within their community, by volunteering.

HSP is thankful for the time that YMSL has given towards helping the families in our programs today and in the past years. They have been a very prolific group of supporters for HSP by contributing their time and resources to helping us serve families and seniors in need.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Paper Drive for the Impoverished Seniors

          HSP would like to thank the Village of Carol Stream, who graciously held a paper products drive for our Senior Citizen Project this month. Many village employees participated in the drive, and the village office also functioned as a drop off point for paper product donations from community members. Linda Johansen brought us the generous delivery of donations last Wednesday and dropped off a second delivery last Saturday. All together, we received 69 boxes of Kleenex, 192 rolls of paper towels, and 379 rolls of toilet paper to give to the needy seniors in our program on delivery day.
            Every month on delivery day, we bring fresh produce, non-perishables, frozen meat, bread, a secret pal gift, and two bags of paper products to each senior in our Senior Citizen Project. The donations from the Village of Carol Stream’s drive will go towards these deliveries. Paper product drives are essential to our ability to supply the seniors with paper products each month.
          If you or your organization is interested in holding a paper products drive for HSP, please visit our website at http://www/, email us at, or call us at 630-221-8340.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Produce Sorting for Delivery Day Tomorrow!

          Thank you to all the volunteers who helped out today by sorting produce to be delivered to the needy seniors in our Senior Citizen Project! We had a very special group of produce sorters this month. The scheduled group of sorters had to cancel last minute, so we contacted several HSP supporters and asked if they could come instead. HSP is so thankful for the people who graciously volunteered to help out, even though it was short notice.
          The volunteers sorted fifteen kinds of fruits and vegetables and several kinds of bread to fill the seniors’ boxes. The produce sorters are essential to our ability to deliver nutritious food to all of the seniors each month! Tomorrow, on delivery day, these boxes will be delivered to the seniors along with non-perishable items, frozen meat, paper products, and a secret pal gift.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Mailing Party at HSP!

Today at HSP employees from the Joint Commission in Oakbrook Terrace helped us prepare for our upcoming Christmas Offering by participating in a mailing party. The 3 volunteers worked diligently for much of the afternoon preparing envelopes and stuffing them with information that will be mailed out to the needy families being served at Christmas.  It certainly takes a lot of letters for HSP to get in touch with every needy family served by our Christmas Offering, so we are very thankful to these volunteers for taking the time out of their day to help us communicate smoothly with all the families.

The Joint Commission has been a faithful supporter of HSP in the past, hosting food drives and often volunteering to assist with the preparation for our Christmas Offering.  We are very grateful for their continued support, especially with the Christmas season quickly approaching!

If you are interested in volunteering, hosting a drive or would like more information about our projects please visit our website at or contact us at  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Volunteers Needed This Friday!

Attention friends of HSP! Because of an unforeseen schedule conflict with a volunteer group HSP is in need of volunteers this Friday, October 11th, to sort fresh produce and bread to be delivered to the needy seniors we serve. Our monthly delivery to the 123 impoverished seniors is on Saturday, and in order to guarantee freshness, HSP will receive and sort the produce on the day before. So, if you are interested in lending a hand for the sake of these seniors, and are free from 10:30am to 1:30 pm on Friday, please call HSP at 630-221-8340 or email at to sign up.

                       Included in the 100 lb. delivery that HSP provides the 123 seniors we serve each month are six bags of non-perishables, two bags of paper products, seven selections of frozen meats, 3-4 loaves of Pepperidge Farm bread, and 15 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables we provide in these deliveries are a major source of nutrition for the seniors, who otherwise have no access to the foods they need for a healthy diet. Please let HSP know if you would be willing to volunteer to help us provide this live-altering relief to the seniors of our communities.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Quilts, Blankets, and Afghans Oh My!

Yesterday, HSP received a donation from a group charity quilting/sewing circle from the business of Fabrics Etc. They donated about thirty quilts, blankets and afghans for needy children and seniors making it the first time they worked with HSP. According to a professional quilter and leader of the group, Anne Christopher, this relatively new group has come together with a lot of people from different walks of life for a common goal: to make and distribute blankets to people in need throughout the area.  

With the summer weather gone, these items will be very beneficial in bringing some cold-weather relief to needy children and seniors in our programs this fall and winter. HSP is excited to have received this donation of quilts, blankets, and afghans as well as to have partnered with this group through this donation.

HSP would like to thank Anne and the rest of the quilters and sewers for their gracious donation.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Divine Savior Donates Food for Needy Seniors and Families

          Today HSP received a wonderful donation of food from Divine Savior Parish. The church, located in Downers Grove, collects food every month to donate to the needy in the community. HSP is a recipient of their generous food drives every other month.
            This month, the donated food completely filled the car of HSP volunteer and Divine Savior member Rich Patera. The food we received this month will be used in our monthly grocery deliveries to needy seniors in the Senior Citizen Project. All 123 seniors in the program receive over 100 lbs of groceries each month, including non-perishables, fruits, vegetables, meat, and bread. Food from this month’s donation will also be given to the impoverished families in the Christmas Offering this December. Food drives like these are essential to the success of both the Senior Citizen Project and the Christmas Offering.
          Divine Savior has been one of our biggest supporters for decades! Their consistent donations and continued support have been a huge blessing to all the needy seniors and families that we serve. If you are interested in holding a food drive for HSP, please give us a call at 630-221-8340 or follow the link to view the food drive flyer on our website:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Food Sorting Helpers!

Today HSP received help in our warehouse from the enthusiastic students of Mrs. Heggen’s class at Glenbard South High School.  The students worked diligently for two hours sorting and boxing non-perishables for our Christmas Project Program.  These fantastic volunteers have become regular helpers at HSP and we are thankful for their continued support.  The amazing job they did today will go a long way in making a difference in the lives of our seniors!
            The students are a part of a transitional program housed at Glenbard South High School that aims to teach them vocational, as well as everyday skills through daily, real-world experiences.  As part of the program, Mrs. Heggen regularly incorporates community service based learning opportunities into her curriculum to teach the students basic skills while making a difference in the community. 

            HSP would like to thank them once again for lending a helping hand!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Birthday Boxes For Needy Children at Lake Park Elementary

          Yesterday, HSP delivered more birthday boxes to impoverished children at Lake Park Elementary School in Addison. HSP has partnered with Lake Park Elementary to reach the school’s neediest children for a year and a half now. Many of the school’s students live in families who suffer from extreme poverty; about 90% of the students at Lake Park qualify to receive subsidized lunches. HSP is happy to help these very deserving children by providing them with birthday boxes through the Children’s Birthday Project.

            Our faithful volunteer, Jeff Marker, delivered the 12 boxes to the school for the students who had October birthdays. Each box was filled with 6-10 toys and games, 6 books, school supplies, stuffed animals, and party supplies. The boxes give these needy children gifts that they might not otherwise receive and make their birthdays special and memorable.

            HSP like to thank Jeff for volunteering to drive to Lake Park, and all our volunteers and donors who have made it possible for us to reach these wonderful children. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

School Supply Donation from St. Francis High School

On Monday, HSP received a very generous donation from our friends at St. Francis High School in Wheaton.  They hosted a school supply drive, collecting greatly needed school products including notebooks, pens, highlighter, binders and much more.  

The drive was a competition between homerooms to see which one could collect the most supplies.  The winning room was awarded a uniform free day!  The students and teachers at St. Francis took to this friendly competition with enthusiasm collecting an amazing 15 large boxes full of supplies for needy kids. 

HSP is extremely grateful for the continued support of St. Francis High School.  They have partnered with us many times in the past hosting food, paper and school supply drives for our various programs.  We are so thankful for their most recent contribution, it will go very far in serving impoverished children and schools in our area.
If you are interested in hosting a school supply drive or would like more information about our other projects please visit our website at or contact us at  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


 At HSP, we are committed to providing the 123 needy seniors in our Senior Citizen Project with the items that they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Included in these kits are hygiene products which we provide to them every three months. We were able to present each of our seniors, in September, with a personal care kit containing these products.

Now, we are asking for YOUR HELP in putting together more Personal Care Kits!

 We need over 100 of these kits within the next two months to be able to carry out our goal of providing our seniors with kits on December 6th.
Items to include in the Personal Care Kits:
-2 Shampoos
-2 Conditioners
-1 lip balm
-1 toothpaste
-1 toothbrush
-2 dental floss
-3 lotions
-6 bar soaps
-2 hand sanitizers

All items on this list would complete one Personal Care Kit, or you may choose to donate only a few items. If you choose to put together a care kit, you may do so by putting it together in a basket, shoebox, or gift bag and dropping it off at HSP to be delivered to a needy senior.

If you would like more information on putting together a care kit or donating items, please give us a call at (630) 221-8340 or visit our webpage at