Friday, February 28, 2014

We Envelope You in a Hug for the Big Check, NJWC!

Pictured (from left): Molly Capo, Gina Jones, Kristin, Floyd,
and club president Diana Williams.
            Pardoning the pun, it’s hard to imagine what HSP would do without the help of our many partners and sponsors. Today, our thanks goes out to the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club (NJWC). Several club members including Molly Capo, Gina Jones, and club president Diana Williams visited our office this afternoon, providing a very generous monetary donation of $5,000.
            We are grateful to be the NJWC’s chosen “Community Improvement Project” partner for 2013 and 2014. The donation from the NJWC’s fundraising efforts is given to HSP, which allows us to help local seniors and children in need. Last year, the club held a “fashion show” and other fundraising events to raise awareness. Their Mardi Gras fundraiser will be going on tomorrow night and we expect it to be a great time.
            Not only has NJWC supported our cause through financial contributions, but they have also volunteered during Feed the Kids, wrapped presents for the Children’s Birthday Project, provided gifts for our Christmas Offering, and a number of members have become secret pals for the seniors we serve.
            We really appreciate all your work and thoughtfulness, NJWC. We couldn’t do it without you!
            If you are interested in joining the fun, the Mardi Gras Fundraiser will be 7-10 pm this Saturday at Aurelio’s Pizza at 1975 Springbrook Square Drive in Naperville.  


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Forget Jay-Z or Macklemore--These Castrol Employees are the Best Wrappers Around!

Castrol Industrial "Wrap Stars" hard at work
At HSP, we continuously give thanks for the many volunteers that help us carry out our projects. Yesterday, we were once again grateful for the help of gracious volunteers, this time from Castrol Industrial. The corporation, which is headquartered in Naperville, held their North American Sales Conference this week at the Naperville Marriott. As part of the conference, the employees spend some of their time doing service in the community. Over forty Castrol Industrial employees wrapped gifts for the needy children of the Children’s Birthday Project! HSP is honored that Castrol chose to serve us. Our lovely staff member Bridget Dooley and volunteer driver Bill Fehling took HSP on the road to the Naperville Marriott, where Castrol employees eagerly got to work, wrapping gifts quickly and beautifully, like a well-oiled machine. They even donated the extra wrapping supplies when they finished!

The Castrol employees with all their beautifully wrapped gifts!
While they worked, Bridget talked to the employees about HSP’s programs, including the Children’s Birthday Project. CBP serves around 925 needy children by giving them everything needed for a great birthday: 6-10 new toys and games, 6 books, school supplies, and a Party in a Bag kit with all the supplies for a birthday party. The Children’s Birthday Project can only happen because of volunteers like the Castrol Industrial employees, who donate their time and wrapping supplies. Thank you, Castrol Industrial, for your excellent service!
            If you would like to learn more about any of our projects, or find out how you or your group can volunteer with us, please give us a call at 630-221-8340 or email us at hsp@humanitarianservice.org.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fun Fundraiser This Saturday!

For those looking for some excitement this coming weekend, there is still time to get tickets for the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club Mardi Gras Fundraiser this Saturday! The funds raised by the event will benefit the needy children and seniors in HSP’s programs. The event will be 7-10 pm, this Saturday, at Aurelio’s Pizza at 1975 Springbrook Square Drive in Naperville. The event will feature such fun as a raffle, celebrity bartenders (including HSP’s Executive Director Kristin Maxwell,) and a performance by local group The Acoustiholics, a chance to meet Martial Arts Champion Danny “the Machine” Morales, and a silent auction including items such as jerseys from Chicago sports stars. You can purchase tickets for $25 at: https://www.tix4cause.com/donations/tickets/2441/  or for $30 at the door. Tickets include admission, 1 free drink, pizza, a raffle ticket, and, of course, beads.


This Mardi Gras Extravaganza is the latest in a number of ways the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club has generously helped us serve the needy seniors and families in our programs. We wish to thank them for hosting this event, and we hope many of our supporters will be able to attend.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cloaked with Love and Support

As always, Humanitarian Service Project is incredibly thankful for all the volunteer work we receive.  Volunteering is immeasurable to not only your own personal self, but by the people whose lives are touched by the efforts. Delivery day last Saturday flew by as quickly as it arrived, but thanks to dozens of regular volunteers helping out; everything went very smoothly.  As for yesterday, we were delighted with the presence of six volunteers from Kohl’s in Wheaton! These heart warming ladies came to gift wrap presents for 15 needy children.  In just three hours, every present had been wrapped to perfection and bundled with love. We are positive that these gifts will surely bring pleasure to these children’s lives. 

We cannot thank these prolific volunteers enough, helping numerous times in the past (with produce sorting, food sorting, etc.).  Under the Kohl’s Care Foundation, once Kohl’s employees choose an organization to volunteer at, the company will then monetarily back up the organization as well.  This foundation from Kohl’s is a charitable initiative to keep its employees engaged in the community. Thank you, Kohl’s Cares Foundation; we are undoubtedly appreciative towards your virtuous services!

            If you are also a part of a group that would like to donate to Humanitarian Service Project, you can email us at hsp@humanitarianservice.org, or call us at 630-221-8340 to find out about needs that we might have. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Confirmation Group Builds Generosity in Kits

The confirmation group at St. Joseph’s Parish in Downers Grove gave HSP a generous donation of 38 “Party in a Bag Kits” last Thursday. These kits include party favors, cake mix, frosting, streamers and other necessities for a child’s birthday party. Every child deserves a festive celebration, which is why HSP is glad to have St. Joseph’s contribute to our Children’s Birthday Project. The Parish has a revolving group of youth seeking confirmation, where they look for opportunities to help their community. The confirmation group has worked with HSP annually since 2011. This specific group of youth not only donated kits last Thursday, but also made “Senior Care Kits” for us last fall, which includes items to help the seniors enrolled in our Senior-Citizen Project maintain their daily routine of hygiene.

Representing HSP was Cheryl McGarrity, a long time supporter and HSP Board Member, who spoke with the class as she met with them to receive the donation. HSP would like to thank the St. Joseph’s Confirmation Group for their hard work in collecting and building the kits, as well as Cheryl’s support in helping us in our effort to ensure more cheerful birthdays for children. It is people such as them that allow HSP to fully support the people we serve. If you’re interested in being a part of our efforts you can visit our website at http://www.humanitarianservice.org/, or contact us at hsp@humanitarianserivce.org

Friday, February 21, 2014

Smooth Sailing for Delivery Day

With delivery day approaching, the end of the week couldn't be better at HSP thanks to our many wonderful volunteers. There has been a lot of focus on our seniors this week, but we would like to thank the volunteers from Redbox who wrapped gifts from the Children’s Birthday Project for about two and half hours yesterday.
            We also enjoyed the hard work of our regular volunteers in our CBP program. Kristin, Pat, Alice, Bill, Sue and Katie put together over 30 March birthday boxes and pulled gifts for the children in the project. Larry and Evelyn joined the team as well, bundling books for the children to enjoy on their special day.
            Today, we had another spectacular group of eight volunteers from UPS supply chain solutions that have been longtime supports of HSP. They helped us sort bread and produce that will be delivered tomorrow to all of our seniors enrolled in the Senior Citizen Project. All of the food was packaged with good care thanks to our diligent volunteers.
            Delivery day is almost here! Tomorrow we will provide more than six tons of groceries to needy seniors within Dupage and Kane County. Once again, this would not be possible without the assistance of our thoughtful volunteers who help make that a reality.

            All of us at HSP genuinely appreciate your help. Thank you again!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Love and Service Through Lotion and Shampoo


The contents of each Personal Care Kit 
Not only do the 123 seniors served by the Senior Citizen Project struggle to purchase healthy and nutritious groceries for themselves, but they also cannot afford other necessities like toiletries. Once every three months, each senior’s delivery also includes a Personal Care Kit. On Tuesday, the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva generously donated 123 Personal Care Kits for each and every one of the seniors we serve. The church compiled each kit, which contains: soap, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, toothbrush and toothpaste, hand sanitizer, floss, lotion and body wash. As a bonus, they also included fun items that typically do not come in the kits, like candy, activity books, and a fleece blanket. The Unitarian Universalist Society has been doing this project every winter since 2009.  We are sure that the seniors will enjoy the warmth and care that has been put into each of the kits. Thank you, Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva, for your faithful service to the Senior Citizen Project!.
123 Kits for 123 seniors 
If you belong a group that would like to donate to the Humanitarian Service Project, you can email us at hsp@humanitarianservice.org or call us at 630-221-8340 to find out about any needs that we might have.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Waubonsie Valley High School Paper Drive a Huge Success

Yesterday, Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora gave the Humanitarian Service Project two-cargo van full of paper products for our Senior Citizen Project. This very generous donation was the result of a school wide drive that was sponsored by the Student Council. The students and staff at the school collected an amazing amount of paper towels, tissues, and toilet paper for the needy seniors we serve. Two of our volunteers, Dean Senne and Larry Erven, picked up these products, and drove fully packed vans back to the Humanitarian Service project. They couldn’t believe the size of the mound of paper products WVHS collected, and it took the help of several Student Council members to get it all to fit in HSP’s two vans.




            This is the third year in a row WVHS has run a successful paper drive for our seniors, and HSP is grateful for their support. We greatly appreciate all the students and volunteers who helped make the paper drive a huge success. If you are interested in donating or volunteering for Humanitarian Service Project, call us at 630-221-8340, or visit our website at http://humanitarianservice.org. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Boy Scout Brings Joy to 51 Kids on their Birthdays


Connor, center, with fellow scouts and the party bags he contributed
Becoming an Eagle Scout, which is the highest ranking a Boy Scout can receive, is no easy accomplishment. Among other troop-related activities, an aspiring Eagle Scout must also do service for his community. Connor McNamara, of Troop 926 at Immaculate Conception Parish in Chicago, chose to serve the needy children that are a part of the Children's Birthday Project for his Eagle Scout requirements. Connor collected and compiled a whopping 51 "Party in a Bag" kits, which will be distributed to children for their birthdays. He accomplished this massive undertaking with the assistance of fellow scouts, his community, and his mother. Connor wanted to serve the under-privileged through his Eagle Scout project, to uphold part of the Boy Scout oath: "To help other people at all times."
Some of the typical contents of a party in a bag
The Children's Birthday Project serves 935 needy children whose families cannot afford to throw them a birthday party. Each "Party in a Bag" contains birthday cake mix, frosting, candles, streamers, balloons, and plates, cups, and napkins--all the essentials for throwing a fantastic birthday party! Thanks to the support of Connor and his family and friends, 51 children will be able to celebrate their birthdays with a fun party that they could not otherwise have. We wish to thank Connor for his contributions and wish him luck on becoming an Eagle Scout!

If you are interested in supporting the Children's Birthday Project, like Connor, or learning more about our other programs for the under-privileged in DuPage and Kane counties, please visit our website at http://www.humanitarianservice.org, or contact us at hsp@humanitarianservice.org.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jan!

All of us at HSP would like to send a little love to Jan Thompson, in celebration of her birthday. Jan works part-time as our toy room supervisor, guiding volunteers and keeping the large book and toy area neat and organized. She devotes so much energy to making children’s birthdays special and we hoped to share some of that joy with her today. With all of her hard work here at HSP, this birthday definitely had to be a special one.


Everyone gathered for lunch in our cafĂ©, which was festively decorated for Valentine’s Day. Our Administrative Assistant, Bridget Dooley, once again graced us with one of her fabulous cakes. The cake was pink and heart-shaped with a rainbow interior. It was super colorful and delicious! Please join us in wishing Jan a very happy birthday.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

“Race Against Hunger” Brings in 8 Carts of Food for HSP

Luanne and Ryan prepare to race!
Last week on the blog, we introduced the DuPage County Farm Bureau’s annual “Race Against Hunger” event in conjunction with National Food Check-Out Week. Today, HSP was grateful to be one of the beneficiaries of the race through the aisles of the Carol Stream Jewel-Osco supermarket. In this ten-minute race, participants aim to grab as many items containing wheat, corn, or soybeans as they can within the time period. Luanne Triolo-Newman, Executive Director of the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce, once again chose HSP to benefit from her participation in the race. This year, Luanne raced against Ryan McPherrin, the Community Relations coordinator at Community School District 93, representing the Neighborhood Food Pantry at the Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream. Luanne collected 397 items in eight shopping carts for HSP! She was able to grab a lot of much-needed items like peanut butter and jelly, pasta, cereal, and more. The groceries will be used for HSP’s Senior Citizen Project and Feed the Kids Project.

            By holding this event during National Food Check-Out Week, the Farm Bureau hopes to increase public awareness of local hunger needs and promote support of local food pantries. The groceries highlight crops grown by Illinois farmers. All the groceries gathered in the event have been donated to both HSP and the Neighborhood Food at the Lutheran Church of the Master Pantry by the Farm Bureau. We are excited to receive the many groceries that we will be able to use to benefit needy seniors and families in DuPage and Kane counties. Thanks, Luanne and the DuPage County Farm Bureau, for your continued support of the Humanitarian Service Project!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Attention: Fantastic Fundraiser Announcement

Humanitarian Service Project would like to take this opportunity to let all of our supporters know about an upcoming charity event that is sure to be a fun way to give back. Our friends from the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club are hosting a Mardi Gras Fundraiser to benefit the needy children and seniors in HSP’s programs. The event will be held on March 1st from 7-10pm at Aurelios Pizza at 1975 Springbrook Square Drive in Naperville. The event will feature such fun as a raffle, celebrity bartenders (including our favorite celebrity HSP Executive Director Maxwell,) and a performance by local group The Acoustiholics. You can purchase tickets for $25 at: https://www.tix4cause.com/donations/tickets/2441/  or for $30 at the door. Tickets include admission, 1 free drink, pizza, a raffle ticket, and, of course, beads.


This March event is sure to thaw us out of our February deep freeze. This Mardi Gras Extravaganza is the latest in a number of ways the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club has generously helped us serve the needy seniors and families in our programs. We wish to thank them for hosting this event, and we hope many of our supporters will be able to attend.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

School of Expressive Learning Returns to HSP

Humanitarian Service Project had the pleasure of once again hosting volunteers from the School of Expressive Arts and Learning in Lombard. Seven students and teachers spent their time in our warehouse sorting paper products for the Senior Citizen Project. Each month, the needy seniors in the Senior Citizen Project receive toilet paper, tissue, and paper towels along with their grocery delivery. SEAL helped us prepare each senior’s paper products for Delivery Day on February 22ndWithout the help of volunteers like the SEAL students, we could not serve the needy seniors of DuPage and Kane counties. We are extremely grateful for their service!


The school works hard to prepare its students for life beyond academia. They volunteer in a variety of settings to instill important values such as community involvement and service. We are grateful that they continue to choose HSP as a place for their students to volunteer their time. Their service is invaluable to our ability to serve needy populations in our community. If you or your group is interested in volunteering with HSP, please contact us by phone (630-221-8340 or by email at hsp@humanitarianservice.org

Monday, February 10, 2014

Divine Savior’s “Boxes of Love”


This week started out wonderfully at HSP thanks to our friends at Divine Savior Parish in Downers Grove. Today we received the donation of 123 “Boxes of Love” which they made for all of the needy seniors enrolled in our Senior Citizen Project. Every year, the members of the parish create these valentine themed boxes full of donated items for every senior served by our program. Based on our “Senior Care Kits,” these boxes contain hygiene products and other items to help our seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle.

An example "Box of Love"
These amazing boxes were dropped off at our Center today by Rich Patera, a longtime supporter of HSP and a member of Divine Savior. Each box included:
-          Facial Tissues
-          Toilet Paper
-          Toothpaste
-          Toothbrushes
-          Shampoo/Conditioner
-          Moisturizer
-          Mouth wash
-          Soap
-          Lip balm
-          And even tea and hot chocolate

On top of contributing these fantastic boxes every February, Divine Savior has been a huge supporter of HSP for over two decades. We wish to thank Rich, and everyone at Divine Savior, for helping us provide relief to the very needy and deserving seniors in our program.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fruitful Friday Thanks to Lake Park High Transitions

The first full week of February ended on a high note at HSP thanks to a visit from our friends at Lake Park High School’s Transitions program. Eleven volunteers from the program spent two hours in our warehouse today, lending much appreciated support by helping us sort non-perishable food for the needy seniors we serve. These students and staff from the Transitions program spend every Friday engaged in helping the community, and we are very happy to have hosted them today. We wish to thank these volunteers for generously giving their time to help us serve local seniors in need.

Every month, HSP provides over six tons of groceries to 123 impoverished senior citizens living in DuPage and Kane. With all that food going out HSP needs not only volunteers, like this wonderful group from Lake Park High, but also community members interested in helping us by conducting food drives. In fact, much of the food sorted by the Lake Park group was donated by our friends at Benet Academy in Lisle, and the parishioners of Divine Savior Parish in Downers Grove. If you too would like to help HSP give this life altering support to needy seniors, you can learn more at our website: humanitarianservice.org.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Opportunities for students at COD’s Service Learning Fair

College can be a pretty strenuous time in a young person’s life. Between studying, homework, clubs, activities, and part-time jobs, it’s a miracle that students are even able to maintain a social life. Yet many young people over at College of Dupage are taking time out of their busy schedules to make a difference in their community.
Yesterday, HSP staff member Alex and our intern Sara had the pleasure of visiting the Service Learning Fair held at COD. The college offers service learning classes, which require twenty hours of service work for a community organization. The fair is held for students to discover local charities and non-profits that can provide volunteer hours.

Partnering with COD creates a sort of “win-win” situation for both students and organizations—students are enriched with work experience, and the different charities and non-profits have a few extra hands to get things done. Over at HSP, we’ve had a number of exceptional students from COD in the past, and are looking forward to being a hosting site for the program again this year. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Partnership Provides Food for Needy Seniors


The weather has certainly been challenging this winter, but that hasn’t stopped our wonderful supporters from providing some very wonderful donations for the sake of the needy seniors and families we serve. One such donation we would like to highlight specifically is the 72 bags of food we received thanks to the partnership of Caputo’s Fresh Market and the Bloomingdale Roselle Kiwanis Club. Caputo’s has been reaching out to its customers to donate food for the seniors and families in our programs. We’ve made this connection thanks to our friends at the Kiwanis Club, who also graciously delivered the donation to our center yesterday. We wish to thank Caputo’s, their customers, and the Bloomingdale-Roselle Kiwanis for making this amazing donation possible.


            These 72 bags of food are just the latest in a long list of generous donations we’ve received over the past few months to benefit the neediest members of our communities. Thank you to everyone who has made donations recently, including those who responded to our call for the much needed toilet paper for our needy seniors. For those interested in a way to make an impact in the community, please check out our website: humanitarianservice.org.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Feinstein Challenge Is Coming Soon!

Kingsley Elementary students with their food drive donations
March and April bring lots of excitement—the start of spring, St. Patrick’s Day, the Easter Bunny…and, around HSP, the Feinstein Challenge! In the $1 Million Giveaway to Fight Hunger, the Feinstein Foundation divides up and distributes $1 million among non-profit organizations working to end hunger in their area. The amount received from the Feinstein Foundation is directly related to how much money and food the organizations themselves raise from March 1st-April 30th. With the Feinstein Challenge in mind, March and April would be great months to run a food drive or giving campaign. Last year, thanks to our supporters, HSP raised thousands of dollars worth of food and money during the Feinstein Challenge for our programs that help hungry senior citizens and children. This year, we hope to raise even more support than we did last year!


The Feinstein Foundation was founded in 1991 by Alan Shawn Feinstein, who retired from a successful career as a financial writer and adviser to found an organization dedicated to giving. The $1 Million Giveaway has raised $1.25 billion since its inception in 1997, making it the most successful grassroots effort ever to fight hunger. Please start thinking about contributing to HSP for the Feinstein Challenge! More details will be posted on the blog as March 1st nears, including fundraiser ideas. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

HSP All Revved Up for “Race Against Hunger”

Luanne after winning last year's event.
While it may not garner as much attention as last night’s Super Bowl, we at HSP are looking forward to a different match-up that will hopefully be a little more competitive. Next Thursday, February 13th, the DuPage County Farm Bureau will hold its annual National Food Check-Out week event at Jewel in Carol Stream. For the second straight year, HSP will be one of the beneficiaries of the event, a ten minute race through the Jewel a la “Supermarket Shuffle.” Once again, HSP has been selected as the chosen charity of Luanne Triolo-Newman, Executive Director of the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce. Luanne, a good friend of HSP, ran the race on our behalf last year and won the event. This year, Luanne will be racing Ryan McPherrin of School District 93, who will be collecting food for the Neighborhood Food Pantry at the Lutheran Church of the Master, also located in Carol Stream.

The DuPage County Farm Bureau is running this event to coincide with National Food Check-Out Week. One of the major focuses of the week is to raise awareness about the existence of hunger in our communities, and encourage people to support local food pantries. The groceries collected by the competitors will highlight the crops grown by Illinois farmers, and will be donated by the Farm Bureau to HSP and the Neighborhood Food Pantry. Last year’s “Race Against Hunger,” was both great fun and brought in a large amount of groceries and funds for the sake of the needy seniors and families served by our programs. We are excited to be a part of the event this year as well, and grateful that Luanne has selected HSP once again.