Wednesday, November 27, 2013

HSP is Thankful for Living Lord Lutheran

Today, a group of 11 youth and adult volunteers from Living Lord Lutheran Church in Bartlett volunteered their time in the HSP warehouse.  The volunteers worked diligently for nearly three hours, helping to prepare the warehouse for the arrival of all of the wonderful Christmas gifts that will soon fill it.  They assembled and labeled over 200 boxes to be used for the first wave of Giving Tree donations that will be dropped off by sponsors over the next week. 
Once the donations come in, they will be packaged in these boxes before being distributed to over 1,600 impoverished children and 123 seniors in our local community during the month of December.  Their labors will go a long way in helping us prepare to provide needy children and seniors with a memorable Christmas.  We would like to thank the volunteers from Living Lord Lutheran for the work they did benefiting the Christmas Offering!  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive benefits needy children

A variety of great reads from Barnes & Noble
            Today, we received 1,884 brand new books from the generous patrons of the Barnes and Noble in Oak Brook.  As part of their annual Holiday Book Drive, Barnes & Noble gave customers the option to purchase a book for a child in need.  Along with HSP, the book drive benefits other organizations that serve impoverished children.
            Books play an integral role in both our Christmas Offering and Children’s Birthday Project.  A child who is enrolled in the CBP will receive 6 new books in their birthday box, and will receive the gift of reading for Christmas, as well.  The children served by both these programs have very limited access to books, so we put a very big emphasis on providing them to needy children.
            To spark children’s interest in reading, customers donated such classics as The Adventures of Captain Underpants, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and a new Hardy Boys adventure: Into Thin Air.  As a fundamental tool used to develop young minds, it is key that children in need have access to fun and engaging literature.  We would like to thank everyone who purchased a book for a child in need, and also thank the Barnes & Noble in Oak Brook for hosting the drive.  We believe that the importance of children reading cannot be overstated, and thankfully the staff and customers at the Barnes & Noble in Oak Brook are on the same page as us.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Food Drives Fight Hunger this Christmas Season

Divine Savior Food Drive
In the past couple of weeks, HSP has been blessed to receive many generous food drives to help serve the needy seniors and families in our programs. Much of the donated food will go to the families served by our Christmas Offering. All the children in the Christmas Offering receive Christmas gifts, and 150 of the neediest families receive 3-4 weeks’ worth of groceries, including fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, meat and non-perishable items, to help them get through the Christmas season. Some of the donated food will also be given to the needy seniors in the Senior Citizen Project. The impoverished seniors enrolled in this program receive monthly deliveries of groceries, paper products, and gifts. HSP would like to thank everyone who donated much needed food to feed the kids and seniors we serve.
Downers Grove North Direct Action Club

 HSP would like to recognize a few for their outstanding contributions. The Willowbrook High School Key Club and Jackson Middle School Builder’s Club filled up one of our cargo vans with the food they collected. Divine Savior Parish’s Religious Ed Department collected over 50 bags of non-perishables. A new friend of HSP, Panalpina in Elk Grove Village, donated a full van of food. Last, but not least, the Downer’s Grove North High School’s Direct Action Club organized an extremely successful food drive and brought in over 1500 items! Many more organizations and individuals have generously contributed, and HSP is so grateful for all the selfless giving that helps us fight hunger through the Senior Citizen Project and Christmas Offering.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Handcrafted Toys from DuPage County Woodworkers Club

Yesterday, HSP received a generation donation from the DuPage County Woodworkers Club, delivered by project organizer Rick Ogren and club President Dale Gustafson.  The donation consisted of beautiful wooden children’s toys, individually handcrafted by club members.  The skillfully made toys range from cars to animals, boats, crayon holders and more!  They are a wonderful addition to the gifts HSP is distributing to children this Christmas. 
            In all, the club members made more than 2,650 toys over the course of the year to be donated to the needy children across DuPage.  HSP is grateful to have received a portion of their efforts and is excited to distribute them to the children we serve.  In addition to HSP, their project will benefit the Eisenhower Cooperative in Midlothian, the Lions Club of Darien, Mutual Ground in Aurora, St. James Catholic Church, Family Shelter Service in Downers Grove and Ronald McDonald House. 

            It is generous donations like these that enable HSP to serve the children of our community.  If you are interested in hosting a toy drive or contributing to the Christmas Offering email us at or visit our website at for more information.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thank You, Carol Stream Woman’s Club!

          Earlier this week, HSP welcomed visitors from our friends at the Carol Stream Woman’s Club. These longtime supporters dropped in to deliver their $800 donation to HSP to continue the club’s sponsorship of one of the impoverished seniors in the Senior Citizen Project.  The Woman’s Club, currently headed by President Nancy Bagdonas, has been supporting HSP’s mission through an enduring partnership dating back to 1991.  Over these past twenty years, the women have committed to annually sponsoring a senior, and have additionally made generous donations of food and paper supplies for the seniors and school supplies for the children. 
          The sponsorships made by groups like the Carol Stream Woman’s Club go a long way in helping HSP serve the 123 senior citizens currently enrolled in HSP’s Senior Citizen Project.  Needy seniors enrolled in the program receive monthly deliveries of personal care items, paper products and 100 lbs. of groceries, consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats, non-perishables and Pepperidge Farm bread.  The seniors also receive a monthly “Secret Pal” gift, gifts at Christmas time, and other individually requested items.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Birthday & Christmas Gifts Delivered to Schools

In partnership with two local schools, today HSP delivered gifts to needy children who are part of our Children’s Birthday Project and Christmas Offering programs.  Today marks the first delivery of gifts to our newest school partner, Army Trail Elementary in Addison.  As part of the Children’s Birthday Project, HSP delivered 41 birthday boxes for the neediest students at Army Trail.  Given to a severely impoverished child, each box contains 6-10 new toys and games, 6 books, school supplies, stuffed animals, and a complete party-in-a-bag kit that includes decorations, cake mix, and candles.

            We also made a visit to another partner school, Valley View Head Start in St. Charles.  There, our volunteers delivered 35 bags of Christmas gifts, and eight birthday boxes.  Aside from providing over 1,600 children and 123 senior citizens in DuPage and Kane counties with Christmas gifts, the Christmas Offering also supplies 150 needy families with 3-4 weeks of groceries, including fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats, non-perishables, and a turkey & holiday meal kit. 

At both schools, the children served by HSP all suffer under the weight and stress poverty brings.  Thanks to our delivery volunteers, Dean Senne and Jeff Marker, these children are able to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and Christmas.  Thanks to all of our supporters, including volunteers like Dean and Jeff, HSP is able to reach out to these children who otherwise would have nothing, at a time when every child should have special recognition.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanks to the YMSL

Yesterday HSP hosted 18 boys and moms from the Carol Stream “Panther” Chapter of the Young Men’s Service League (YMSL.) This volunteer group spent over two hours in our warehouse yesterday afternoon sorting bread for the needy senior citizens and families we serve. The YMSL have dedicated themselves to assisting HSP reach out to those suffering under poverty in our communities, and have been very thoughtful and prolific volunteers. In fact, the volunteer event yesterday was the third time YMSL volunteers came to help out this month! We also hosted YMSL volunteers on November 8th and 11th who helped sort food for the needy families we will be serving through our Christmas Offering.

The Young Men’s Service League is an organization in which mothers and teenaged sons work together to engage in “meaningful community work.” The Carol Stream Young Men’s Service League Chapter have definitely accomplished this goal through all that they have done to help us meet the needs of the impoverished seniors, children, and families we serve!

            Being deep in the preparation stage of our Christmas Offering, it was great having these wonderful YMSL volunteers helping out. We still have a few volunteer spots open in the months of December. If you are interested in helping HSP provide wonderful Christmas memories to needy children and seniors, like YMSL, call or email HSP at 630-221-8340 or

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thank You, First Trust Cares!

          FT Cares, the charitable division of First Trust in Wheaton, generously donated 87 children’s coats as well as some additional hats and gloves. First Trust brought the donation to our center on Friday last week. First Trust donated these very warm, brand-new coats in all sizes and in both boys’ and girls’ styles. They showed extra care by matching scarf sets to the coats.
          These donated items will be given to the families in the Christmas Offering. Some of the children will receive these greatly needed coats, hats, and gloves as extra items in addition to the toys, books, and games they receive through the Christmas Offering. HSP would like to thank FT Cares, who began partnering with HSP earlier this year, for their thoughtful and generous donation. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thanks to Syracuse High SOS and BMW!

Today was a very exciting day here at HSP, as we had two wonderful volunteer groups helping us end the week on a strong note.

The first group made its way to us all the way from Syracuse, Nebraska. This group of 43 students and chaperones from Syracuse High School, was one of, if not the largest single volunteer groups HSP has ever had. These students volunteered with HSP as part of their SOS (Students of Service) Club’s service trip. The SOS club branched off of the school’s former FCCLA club with the mission of getting students directly involved in community service. Allison Beers, the FACS teacher at Syracuse High, said that the purpose of the trip was to allow the students to get out of their familiar surroundings and experience how giving service can do so much for those in need. On top of spending two hours making Christmas gift packages for needy children, organizing meat packages for hungry families, and organizing paper products for impoverished seniors, while they are in the area, these students will also be volunteering with Feed My Starving Children, as well as the Mike Hike Charitable 5k in Homer Glen tomorrow.

The second set of volunteers who graciously gave their time today was a group of 10 from the Central Region of BMW North America in Schaumburg. BMW encourages its employees to spend a day serving the community, so these volunteers generously spent nearly the entire day at HSP assisting with a number of tasks including the sorting of non-perishables to be distributed to needy families during Christmas, organizing bread for needy seniors and families, and even helping send letters to the families in our Christmas Offering! These employees of BMW were really gung-ho volunteers, and even brought a donation of non-perishable food as well!

Both of these groups were full of enthusiasm and took to the tasks we had for them with great attitudes. We wish to thank both of them for the invaluable support they provided today to benefit the needy children, families and seniors we serve. With the first distribution of our Christmas Offering less than a month away, it takes the heartfelt support of many groups like these in order for us to reach the over 1,600 children and 123 seniors served through the program. We still have a few open volunteer spots in the month of December, so if you are interested in lending a hand, like these two magnificent groups, please call HSP at 630-221-8340.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thank You, Girl Scout Troop 1836!

Today, Girl Scout Troop #1836 from Wiesbrook Elementary in Wheaton donated 8 party in a bag kits they had made for needy children plus extra party supplies. Each party in a bag included everything needed to create a memorable birthday party – cake mix, frosting, candles, balloons, streamers, cups, napkins, plates, and party favors. The girl scouts brought the kits to HSP’s center and received a tour of our facility to learn about how their support has helped us serve kids in need.

The kits the girls made will be used for the birthday boxes in our Children’s Birthday Project (CBP). Children in the CBP receive a birthday box on their birthday, filled with 6-10 toys and games, 6 books, school supplies, stuffed animals, and a complete party-in-bag kit. The donated party in a bag kits will help the children celebrate and make their day special.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Christmas Offering Food Drives

            As December draws nearer, preparation for the upcoming Christmas Offering is kicking into high gear here at HSP.  Many organizations and individuals have generously been hosting food drives to help us collect over 20 tons needed to provide 150 families and 123 seniors with food this Christmas.  Over the past couple of days in particular we've received several food drives from local groups that we would like to take this chance to thank!

The first we received is from St. Walter’s Parish School.  The school has been a dedicated supporter of HSP and in the past, they have contributed their time, supported our seniors through monetary donations and held food drives on our behalf.  Recently they collected well over half a van full of non-perishables for the Christmas Offering!  Black Hawk School also showed their support for the Christmas Offering by donating 6 large bags of food and paper products that will greatly benefit the families and seniors in our programs.  Finally, with the donations of its residents, the Homeowners Association of Danada North made a very generous donation of non-perishables to HSP

            We are so grateful for the continued support of these generous donors.  Thank you all for your dedicated support!  The food donated makes a tremendous difference in the lives of the children and seniors we serve. 

            These donations have given us a great start to this giving season, but we still need your help.  Serving 150 families and 123 seniors this Christmas requires over 20 tons of food! If you are interested in hosting a food drive or making a food donation to benefit our Christmas Offering and Senior Citizen Project please contact us at or visit our website at  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thanks for Everything, Alex!

Alex, pictured fourth from right, on her last day.
            Last Friday, we here at HSP bid farewell to a member of our wonderful intern team, Alex Carpio.  In the two months she was here, Alex lent immeasurable support to HSP by assisting with a number of different projects.
             Among these projects, Alex helped manage the waiting list for our Christmas Offering.  She took and organized requests from families in need who wished to be added to the list so that they might share in our Christmas Offering.  Thanks in major part to Alex’s hard work, HSP will be able to provide many of the children in these needy families with exciting new Christmas gifts and warm holiday memories.
            In addition to her assistance with this important part of our Christmas Offering, Alex also helped with a number of other projects, including community outreach campaigns and by contributing to HSP’s social media sites.  Aside from her given assignments, Alex was always very quick to assist with her Spanish-speaking skills.
            We are truly thankful for all Alex has done for the sake of the needy families and seniors in our programs.  Alex will surely be missed around HSP’s office for her hard-working, sunny attitude.  We wish her the best as she moves forward onto new and exciting experiences!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Michelle!

          Today at HSP we had the opportunity to celebrate a very special birthday, that of our staff member, Michelle Heron. Michelle joined HSP’s staff in June as the Senior Citizen Project Coordinator. She is an incredible member of HSP’s team, and does so much to coordinate every aspect of the Senior Citizen Project (SCP). The project is a complicated one, but Michelle picked up the ins and outs of organizing it very quickly. In addition to everything she does with the SCP, Michelle also has responsibilities with both Feed the Kids and the Christmas Offering. We are so happy to have Michelle as part of the HSP team. She brings so much great energy to the SCP and her cheerful personality brightens the office every day!

          The HSP staff and interns celebrated Michelle’s birthday by decorating the cafĂ©, having lunch together, and enjoying a delicious homemade cake. HSP is so thankful for Michelle and was delighted to be able to celebrate with her. Please join us in wishing Michelle a happy birthday!


Friday, November 8, 2013

Girl Scout Troops Collect Food for Impoverished Families

          Yesterday, Girl Scout troops 1197, 4880, and 4895 from Norton Creek Elementary in West Chicago brought an extremely generous food drive donation to our center for the Christmas Offering! The girls and their troop leaders came to the center for a tour and to drop off the food they collected. They spread the word about their food drive by canvassing their neighborhoods with flyers and putting an article in the school newsletter. Their drive was enormously successful! They brought in over 50 bags of non-perishables! We want to thank these girls for putting so much spirit into helping the 150 impoverished families we serve through the Christmas Offering. Each family receives 3-4 weeks worth of groceries, including fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, meat and non-perishable items, to help them get through the Christmas season. 
          The girl scouts were also very excited to go on the tour and learn more about HSP. Many of them had come last year and were incredibly enthusiastic to help again! HSP would like to thank them for putting this food drive together and helping us serve needy families at Christmastime.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Power PAWS Volunteers

           Yesterday HSP had a group of 5th graders, the power PAWS, along with their parents from Weisbrook Elementary in Wheaton volunteering for us. There were 18 students and parents altogether helping sort non-perishables as well as organizing boxes and other things for our Senior Delivery Day coming up this Saturday. The Senior Citizen Project delivers nutritious food to the needy elderly in the areas of Dupage and Kane Counties.
          Power PAWS is the school’s way of achieving one of its goals which is to have all students participate in a community service activity for college and career readiness. The volunteer opportunity was arranged and led by one of our regular volunteers, Kristin Dixon, whose daughter was in the group. The power PAWS were also able to take a tour of our building and learned more about our programs here at HSP.
         These young volunteers were really happy and enthusiastic about volunteering, and they helped out a ton! HSP is happy to have had this great group of volunteers with us yesterday.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Senior Care Kits Needed!

HSP is still in major need of personal care items for the 123 impoverished senior citizens we serve. We are committed to providing each of these seniors with personal care essentials to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle, every three months. The next time we are set to deliver these items is December 7th, but currently, we only have enough items for 60 of the 123 needed kits. Once again, we need the help of our wonderful supporters in completing this task! 
Personal Care kits are distributed every three months and include:
·        2 Shampoos
·        2 Conditioners
·        1 Lip Balm
·        1 Toothbrush
·        1 Toothpaste

·        2 Dental Floss
·        3 Lotions
·        6 Bars of Soap
·        2 Hand Sanitizers

          Presently, the specific items we have the greatest need for are conditioner, dental floss, lotion, hand sanitizer and bar soap.  Any and all donations of individual items or complete kits are greatly needed and appreciated.  Please let us know if you are able to help us in providing this service to our seniors!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Two Phenomenal Volunteer Groups Visit HSP

Already in the spirit of giving, we’ve had volunteer groups from Philips Healthcare, based in Roselle, and the DuPage division of Junior Achievement of Chicago donate their time to HSP.  They helped us prepare boxes of non-perishables that will be delivered to impoverished families in DuPage and Kane Counties through our Christmas Offering.
            Yesterday we welcomed a group of 16 volunteers who graciously gave their time because of Philips’ inter-company service program.  Requiring every employee to give back to the community, regional managers and office staff from Philips offices all over the Midwest came out to help HSP get ready for Delivery Day.  Drawing on their slogan of “Innovation that matters to you”, our volunteers from Philips Healthcare certainly did work that matters to people in need.

            Our second group of volunteers work for a non-profit that aims to teach kids valuable business skills, financial literacy, and work readiness.  Thanks to business professionals who donate their time, Junior Achievement of Chicago provides their services free of charge to children in grades K-12.  Serving the same DuPage County community as HSP, one of their staff thought it would be a good idea to get out of the office and do some volunteer work themselves.  Just like HSP, Junior Achievement is always looking for volunteers, so if you have any business know-how visit them online at

            HSP would like to again thank these groups for their dedicated service and valuable time!

            During the Christmas season, we here at HSP are always looking for volunteers, specifically during the first few weeks of December, so if you or your group would like to come help at our center, please give us a call at (630) 221-8340 to set up a time to volunteer.

Monday, November 4, 2013

High School Students Help Needy Families and Seniors

          Recently, HSP has had several volunteer groups and donations from local high schools that are helping us with the Christmas Offering and our other programs.
          Last Friday we were once again blessed to have Ms. Heggen’s class from Glenbard South volunteering with us. The eight students sorted meat that will go to the needy seniors in the Senior Citizen Project on delivery day this Saturday. The class has recently begun volunteering regularly, and we are thankful for all the work they do to help the needy seniors and families that we serve.
          Also on Friday, we received a vanload of food from Hinsdale Central High School. They hosted a food drive for our Christmas Offering. Through the Christmas Offering, we provide 150 families with 3-4 weeks’ worth of groceries, and the non-perishables that Hinsdale Central collected will go to those families.
          Not willing to let Hinsdale Central have all the fun, the Business Professionals of America Club from Hinsdale South High School volunteered with us today. These 12 students contributed by packing food boxes of non-perishables for the Christmas Offering.
          HSP would like to thank each of these groups for volunteering or donating to help us serve needy seniors and families in the community!

Friday, November 1, 2013

“Good Night, Sleep Tight”

Piper with a few sample "bundles"
Yesterday, we received 77 “Good Night Bundles” for the needy children enrolled in our Children’s Birthday Project. These bedtime bundles were donated by a local high school freshman, Piper Winkler, who started the project named “Good Night, Sleep Tight” with her friend, 8th grader Ana Powell. Each bundle includes items such as pajamas, books and either a stuffed animal or a blanket and socks depending on the age of needy child the bundle was made for. They even went the extra mile and themed these wonderful bundles. For example, the “Monkey Bundle” contained monkey print pjs, a monkey stuffed animal, and a Curious George book. In addition to giving these items to HSP, Piper and Ana also donated bundles to impoverished children at Hesed House in Aurora.

This project is aimed to provide needy children with “added warmth and comfort for the cold winter months ahead, because every child should go to bed comfortably and peacefully.” After Piper realized that many children don’t have this luxury and reading about her high school’s (Rosary High, in Aurora) long history of service, she was inspired to create the project. 

Piper received much support from her parents, Chris and Michelle Winkler, as well as the congregation at First United Methodist Church in Geneva. Piper said that one of the most valuable things that she learned is that “service helps bring people together” and is very thankful for the opportunity to serve those in need as well as the chance to be able to grow closer to those that supported and helped her with this project.

HSP would like to thank Piper, Ana, and everyone that helped contribute to her “Good Night, Sleep Tight” project. As the holidays approach and winter rolls around, these bedtime bundles will come in handy and bring joy to the needy children in our Children’s Birthday Project.