Monday, March 31, 2014

Friday Food Drives

This past Friday we received two outstanding donations from Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and the Subaru of America’s Central Office. Each group held food drives that benefited local seniors and children aided by our Feed the Kids and Senior Citizen Project.
            Last week, the second and third graders from Benjamin Franklin Elementary, in Glen Ellyn, held an “arcade” event at a school fair. In order to participate, arcade goers were required to bring non-perishable food items. In total, the kids gathered 20 boxes of food, which HSP will be able to distribute to the needy senior and families we serve. Earlier in the month, our administrative assistant, Bridget and intern, Sara had the opportunity to speak to these students about the impact of their work. The kids were very excited to bring in as many boxes of food as possible and we are truly grateful for their hard work!
            Also last week, we received a wonderful donation from Subaru of America’s Central Region office in Itasca. They hosted an office food drive focused on collecting pasta, tuna, and pasta sauce, all of which are in high demand here at HSP. They collected seven boxes and six bags of these food items and showed enthusiasm and dedication to the cause.
            Both of these drives will help HSP in the Feinstein Challenge to end local hunger. With still a month to go in the challenge, make sure you consider doubling your impact in the community by starting a food drive!  For more information check out HSP’s website: or, to learn more about the Feinstein Challenge, go to:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Feed the Kids

Although it feels like winter has just finished, HSP is beginning to prepare for one of its major projects, Feed the Kids. Feed the Kids, or FTK, is a summer project run by HSP to help feed impoverished families in the months of June, July, and August when school is out of session and children do not receive subsidized meals. As a response, FTK was started as a way to help combat hunger that children face in the summertime.

Each month in the summer, FTK provides families with at least 3 boxes of non-perishables weighing 25 pounds, 15 fresh fruits and vegetables, at least 3 loaves of fresh bread, and 7 frozen meats. These groceries help to provide children with meals when they have no other option and give children a way to get essential nutrients to stay strong and healthy. Last summer, HSP served 100 different families with 375 children and HSP plans to continue its faithful service this summer.

            For those interested, there are many things that can be done to help with the FTK project, ranging from volunteering time to help sort and bag groceries to conducting food drives and donating to our food pantry. If you or someone you know may be interested in impacting the needy in the DuPage and Kane counties through volunteer service or aid, please feel free to contact HSP by phone at (630)221-8340 or by email at

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Support HSP Participants in the Human Race!

You, too, could be crossing the finish line April 26th!
On the blog a couple of weeks ago, we invited supporters of Humanitarian Service Project to consider running in the 3rd Annual DuPage Human Race. HSP is grateful to be one of 50 local charities participating in the 5K run/2K walk on April 26th in Downers Grove. Sponsored by Giving DuPage, the race supports non-profit organizations by donating the majority of the proceeds from the race to the charities involved. However, if you can’t physically participate in the event, don’t worry—there is still a way to show your support! We currently have 11 people signed up to represent HSP in the race. You can sponsor our runners and walkers through the Human Race by visiting this link: Your donation will go towards funding our programs that provide for needy seniors and children and will also motivate our runners and walkers to do their best! We will receive a majority of the funds raised, and there are additional monetary awards for charities that raise the most funds or have the highest individual donor, so please consider a donation!
Of course, if you would like to run for HSP in the race, there is still time to register. Visit and select “Humanitarian Service Project” under “What non-profit organization do you wish to support?” If you sign up to race and select HSP as the charity you wish to support, we will receive 60% of the race registration fee. When you register, please then let us know so that we can give you a big thank you and a loud cheer at the finish line!
Participating in or sponsoring the Human Race is only one of many ways in which you can support the work of Humanitarian Service Project. If you would like to learn more about other opportunities to get involved, please give us a call at 630-221-8840, email us at, or visit our website,

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

FT Truly Cares

FT Cares, which is the charitable wing of First Trust in Wheaton, purchased materials for and made an astounding 200 “Party in a Bag” kits. A Party in a Bag consists of cake mix, frosting, candles, balloons, streamers, cups napkins and plates for a party of 6-8 children. Each bag helps the families who would be unable to give a birthday party to their kids with all the fun extras that the Party in a Bag provides. The Party in a Bag is included in the birthday box 925 children receive. The kids we serve receive 6-10 presents that include crafts, toys, activities, games, 5-7 books and stuffed animals. We also throw in bubbles, card games, and other smaller items to make their box of gifts a little more fun.
            In the past, FT cares has been very generous with donations to Humanitarian Service Project (HSP). They have been a sponsor of a child since 2012; in the winter of 2013, they donated 87 brand new coats in a variety of sizes, along with new hats and gloves with an estimated value of over $6,000. These winter items helped the families and the kids by providing warm garments during this very cold winter. Also, in the summer of 2013 they put together 50 Party in a Bag, and gave two bags of extra party supplies.

            We truly appreciate all of the “good works” FT cares puts forward for the children we serve.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thanks so much, The LeaderShop!

The Humanitarian Service Project relies on the help of groups of volunteers to accomplish everything that needs to happen for our projects. Today, we were fortunate to have a great group of students from The LeaderShop spend time helping out in our warehouse. These local high school students chose to spend their spring breaks volunteering in their community. Instead of going on vacation or lounging at home watching television, the teens spent their days serving others. At HSP, they cheerfully braved our chilly walk-in freezer to sort our meat for the needy seniors that we serve.
            The LeaderShop is an award-winning organization based in LaGrange that has served children and youth since 1978. It is dedicated to providing youth a way to make a positive impact in their communities. It offers a variety of programs, from one-on-one mentoring to community outreach. The LeaderShop encourages its students to be community-minded individuals, and it is through service that they learn the importance of volunteerism. Thank you, the LeaderShop students and staff, for your hard work today at HSP!

            If you or your organization would like to volunteer at HSP, please email us at or call us at 630-221-8340. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Delivering the Gift of Compassion

            This Saturday, March 22, was HSP’s monthly senior delivery day. The deliveries went very well thanks to the many volunteer loaders and drivers who took time from their busy schedules to deliver the much needed groceries to the 123 seniors in the Senior Citizen Project. Each senior receives 100lbs of groceries, which will help sustain them through the coming month. The Humanitarian Service Project sends our thanks to the many volunteers who helped make this delivery day a success.
            Just as exciting, HSP also had a very special visit from the Pi-Beta-Phi Alumnae of the Glen Ellyn/Wheaton area, a woman’s service fraternity that focuses their philanthropic efforts on literacy. Pi-Beta-Phi applied for a donation of books from First Book and received 500 free books which were donated to HSP, a greatly appreciated donation. They came by on Saturday, the same day as delivery day, and dropped off the books before meeting with HSP Executive Director Kristin Maxwell and receiving a tour of the HSP facility. Here at HSP, we are very grateful for their donation and hope work with Pi-Beta-Phi Alumnae again soon.

If you would like to make a difference in the DuPage and Kane County areas, please feel free to contact HSP by phone at (630)221-8340 or by email at

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lending A Hand for D-Day

It’s time again to send the 123 seniors in the Senior Citizen Project their monthly package! HSP could not accomplish this feat without the help of the many volunteers we have contributing to this project. This month we had new volunteers to help sort fresh bread and produce for delivery day tomorrow.

This fun and energetic group came from the Hilton in Bloomingdale as part of the Hilton’s newly reformed Blue Energy Committee. The committee’s goal is to engage Hilton employees with team members and the community. As a part of this commitment to community engagement, this wonderful group decided to volunteer their time helping others. Lucky for us, we were their chosen site! 

The group of eight motivated volunteers worked for two hours this morning to help prepare us for tomorrow’s delivery. Tomorrow local seniors will receive 100 lbs. of groceries each, including the packages that the Blue Energy Committee helped sort. HSP would like to thank the committee as well as all the volunteers and contributions that make this project possible.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reaching out with CBP

It’s heartbreaking when parents do not have the means to provide gifts for their children’s birthdays.That’s precisely why HSP’s Children’s Birthday Project exists. At HSP, we are more than happy to accommodate those parents in many ways. One way we help alleviate that burden is by partnering with local schools. Through this partnership, we are able to extend the benefits of CBP to children and families who do not have the means to connect with us on an individual basis.
Today, one of our volunteers, Dean Senne, delivered 19 birthday boxes to needy children with April birthdays. All 19 children attend Army Trail Elementary and Lake Park Elementary in Addison—two schools that HSP feels grateful to be partnered with. Inside each of these birthday boxes includes new toys, books, activity kits, and stuffed animals. Each child also receives 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.

Both Army Trail Elementary and Lake Park Elementary have an estimated 80% of children living below the poverty line. All of us at HSP are glad to assist families in need through our connections with the schools to make each child’s birthday as special as can be. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Generous and Yummy Donation from Congregation Etz Chaim

Our friends at Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard hosted a “Mac n Cheese” drive to benefit the needy families we will serve this summer through our Feed the Kids (FTK) program. The FTK program assists 100 families during the months of June, July and August with 150-175 pounds of nutritious groceries. The program is entering its 11th year and fills the need when free or subsidized lunches are unavailable over the summer due to schools being closed.

This annual drive that Etz Chaim holds coincides with Purim (which was this past Saturday). Purim is a Jewish holiday in which they give food to the poor as their first order of their holiday.

We would like to thank Etz Chaim for generously donating in our mission to end hunger alongside HSP for the last decade. Throughout the years, they have held many successful food drives for Humanitarian Service Project. One of our volunteers, Jeff Marker, picked up all the Mac n Cheese yesterday to bring it back to the center. In total, nine very large bags which included hundreds of boxes of food.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tagalong with the Girl Scouts to Volunteer at HSP!

          This Election Day, instead of relaxing at home on their day off, Girl Scout Troop 51526 decided to spend their morning helping out those in need. The troop of six girls and one adult leader came in to our facility today sporting bright smiles and helping hands. They assisted us in sorting paper products to be distributed to our impoverished seniors, helped to set up our warehouse for Delivery Day this upcoming Saturday, and sorted toys for needy kids.
            Every month, two of the girls in the troop set up an activity for the group to participate in. “Our last big event was a behind the scenes tour of the Shedd Aquarium,” their leader explains, “we also plan on going zip-lining and camping in the near future.” The girls are no doubt excited for their upcoming endeavors, and we wish them all the best in their adventures. After all their hard work today, they certainly deserve to go out and have a good time.
We appreciate the help of each and every girl that came out today to volunteer. It is undoubtedly their enthusiasm towards helping others and their drive to improve the world they live in that will lead them all towards promising and fulfilling futures. “Two of the girls decided that they wanted to give back to the community this month, which is why we’re here today,” their leader beams, a proud smile adorning her face. She goes on to explain how they’d coordinated with us here at Humanitarian Service Project to come in to volunteer. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of their efforts, and each and every senior citizen and child we serve here at HSP will definitely be grateful to those who have assisted in our cause.

If you or your organization has a similar interest in assisting the needy families and seniors in Kane and DuPage counties, we urge you to contact us by phone at (630)221-8340 or by email at

Monday, March 17, 2014

Starting out Strong

Mondays can be a day that most people dislike simply because it heralds the end of the weekend and the beginning of another week of work. However, for HSP, Monday means a day when a generous group of volunteers arrive to help with the Senior Citizen Project. This group of volunteers, usually around 6 or 7 people, comes in every Monday morning and graciously spends several hours of their day sorting food and paper products. Through the efforts of these regular food sorting volunteers and another smaller group that volunteers on Wednesdays, HSP is able to have prepared packages delivered to the seniors in the Senior Citizen Project, something that would not be possible without the aid of the volunteers.

This Saturday is HSP’s monthly delivery day for the needy seniors enrolled in our Senior Citizen Project. HSP is continually able to provide these 123 needy seniors with nutritious food thanks to the aid of supporters and volunteers like these regular food sorters. If you would like to make a difference in the DuPage and Kane County areas, please feel free to contact HSP by phone at (630)221-8340 or by email at

Friday, March 14, 2014

Familiar Faces & Helping Hands

Today HSP was visited by the familiar faces of Ms. Heggen’s class from Glenbard South High School.  This wonderful group consisted of twelve volunteers who spent two hours in our warehouse sorting frozen meat for the seniors we serve. Every month the class comes to offer their helping hands so that they can get real world vocational and community service experience.

The time spent sorting frozen meats will help HSP in distributing food to needy seniors enrolled in our Senior Citizen Project. There are 123 local seniors that this project serves receiving 100 lbs. of fresh and wholesome food every month.

HSP would like to thank the volunteers of Ms. Heggen’s class for continually engaging in our mission to  alleviate the pain and suffering that poverty brings, and in this case helping our local seniors in need. Their time spent with us is always appreciated, and we look forward to seeing their friendly faces soon!

In order to offer continued support to our local seniors apart of the Senior Citizen Project, HSP collects donations and is fortunate to have helpers like the volunteers that visited us today. If you have any interest in contributing to the support we provide for the needy in our community, you can find more information by clicking on the following link:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

CBP regulars, you are truly 'gift'ed!

CBP volunteers Sue and Bill
At HSP, we are grateful for all of the support we receive because it is forwarded to those who need it most. Of the many programs offered here, the Children’s Birthday Project serves 925 children and their families—numbers that big translate into a bigger need for volunteers. Today, we would like to highlight our regulars who volunteer in HSP’s “toy room”, making a difference for these hundreds of children in DuPage and Kane County.
Working alongside HSP’s Toy Room Supervisor, Jan Thompson, these volunteers create Birthday Boxes for CBP. The process is a little elaborate: sorting toys and books, selecting age appropriate gifts, wrapping gifts in a neat and presentable manner, and assembling each box with care. Lifting one of these 20 – 25 lbs boxes can certainly get a little labor intensive! After the volunteers complete a box, they are made available for pickup by the family, or in difficult circumstances delivered to their homes. At HSP, every child we serves matters, and every birthday box is important. Our compassionate and reliable regular volunteers working on CBP help us bring smiles to all the children enrolled with the program.
We are more than happy to add more volunteers onto our growing list. For those with time constraints, adopting a child through CBP only costs $54 a year.

Volunteers, as always, HSP thanks you from the bottom of our hearts!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

HSP Salutes our “Secret Pals”

With the March Delivery Day to the needy seniors in our Senior Citizen Project just a week and a half away, the HSP office has been receiving a number of visits from a group who help us make these deliveries special; our “secret pals.” Each “secret pal” is a donor who provides a small gift to one of the 123 impoverished seniors in our program each month. These gifts range from between $5 - $25 and generally consist of items the seniors need (like laundry detergent, dish soap, light bulbs, etc.) or fun gifts to brighten the senior’s days (like books, gift cards, puzzles, etc.)

Every month, we at HSP are delighted to see all the wonderful and thoughtful gifts the secret pals bring in to help us reach out to the needy seniors in our program, and wish to thank them so much for their generosity. The seniors in our program certainly echo our gratitude. Recently one of our seniors called HSP asking us to send a message to her secret pal saying, “I want you to know how much I truly appreciate your lovely gifts. Your generosity has warmed my heart, and you such a giving and wonderful person!”

Currently we have nine seniors who are without secret pals. If bringing smiles and joy to a needy senior through this program seems like something you’d be interested in, please contact HSP at 630-221-8340.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Operation: Board Games for Needy Kids

Every year, there’s that one special day that a child can always look forward to: their birthday. For many low-income families however, a child’s birthday may bring on a lot of extra stress if parents cannot afford to provide the type of celebration every kid hopes for.
            Here’s where we come in.
            Humanitarian Service Project seeks to surprise each and every one of the 925 needy children in the Children’s Birthday Project with a party of their own. We assemble a “Birthday Box” for each child which contains birthday cake mix, frosting, candles, streamers, balloons, plates, cups, napkins, books, toys, school supplies, and board games. The whole shebang!
            Now here’s where you come in.
            HSP is always in need of more board games! Especially board games for the older children served in the program, from ages 8 to 11. Some popular games for children in this age range include Monopoly, Sorry!, Dixit, Scrabble, Heads Up, Guesstures, Apples to Apples (junior,) and Jenga.
            Board games like those listed above provide children and their families with an opportunity to bond and have fun together. Many games help those who play to build critical thinking skills, social skills, and (arguably most importantly) to amp up the fun factor!

If you are interested in supporting the Children’s Birthday Project by donating board games and/or other supplies, or learning more about our other programs for the under-privileged in our area please visit our website at, or contact us at

Monday, March 10, 2014

Partnering with Student Volunteers from the College of DuPage

Two of the COD volunteers (Jamie and Christina) hard at work.
For the past couple weeks, HSP has been grateful for a number of student volunteers from the College of DuPage, or COD. Their time spent at HSP has helped greatly as they have aided in many different tasks ranging from sorting food for the Senior Citizen Project and Feed the Kids to helping out with sorting toys and other projects here at HSP.

            These six student volunteers are part of the service learning classes at COD, through which students put in twenty hours of service work for local charities or nonprofits such as HSP. Working with community organizations provides students with the ability to get connected with the community as well as giving them an experience of work beyond the classroom setting. In return, organizations such as HSP benefit from the students support of upcoming projects.

            We are extremely grateful for the work that these student volunteers have completed and the time that they have put in. It is because of volunteers like these that we are able to keep our projects running and it would be immensely difficult to do so without like minded people. Many thanks to our student volunteers and the COD for partnering with us in combating hunger and need in the DuPage and Kane County areas.

If you or someone you know may be interested in also impacting the needy in the DuPage and Kane counties through volunteer service or aid, please feel free to contact HSP by phone at (630)221-8340 or by email at

Friday, March 7, 2014

HSP wants you!

The 3rd annual DuPage Human Race is April 29th starting at 9 a.m. at The Esplanade at Locust Point in Downers Grove. The 5k run/walk will support over 50 non-profit organizations in DuPage including HSP.
We currently have 10 walkers/runners registered for HSP, and they need all the help they can get. You can sponsor our runners by clicking the link below:

You can also show your support by joining them. If you register in March the cost of walkers is $35 and the cost for runners is $40. After April 1st it is $40-$45, so register soon and save $5!

It’s been a long winter, and a nice spring run will put your cabin fever to rest. If you would like to sign up for the race click on this link:

When asked “What nonprofit organization do you wish to support?” please select “Humanitarian Service Project” in the drop down menu. Finally, let us know about your participation so we can cheer for you! 

With your help HSP can better fund impoverished children and provide care for seniors in our multiple projects. HSP has participated in the race the last two years, and we look forward to the fun that will be had this year. We hope you will join us for a good time!  

A Trio of New Interns at HSP

Over the past couple of weeks, HSP has been very fortunate to welcome several new members to our intern team. These bright, young people will be working with HSP staff to fulfill the needs of the impoverished seniors, children, and families enrolled in our programs. HSP would like to take this opportunity to introduce them.

First up we have Patricia Arenz, who joined us a couple of weeks ago. Patricia is an English major at Elmhurst College with a concentration in writing. Patricia says she decided to apply for an internship at HSP in order to gain experience in a professional setting, as well as learning about the ins and outs of non-profits. When she graduates, Patricia hopes to work in editing and/or as a journalist. In her time here at HSP Patricia will not only be flexing her writing skills, but is also lending her assistance communicating with past HSP supporters helping to set up food drives for the needy seniors and families we serve.

Second we would like to introduce you to Abe Park, a recent graduate of Wheaton College. Abe joined HSP this Monday after moving back up to Illinois from his native South Carolina. Abe says he was attracted to the internship at HSP because he is very motivated to help those in need. Professionally, Abe hopes to travel using his writing to tell the stories and call attention to people in need around the world. While at HSP, Abe will be working with Tricia and working with past supporters setting up food drives, and will be assisting HSP staff on a number of other projects.

Last, but not least, we have Christine Petrowich who, like Patricia and another member of our intern team Melinda, is an English major with an emphasis on writing at Elmhurst College. Christine is also working towards minors in Philosophy and Music. She said she is joining HSP because she is interested in learning more about working in a non-profit, and she wants to gain experience writing in a professional environment. Christine will be contributing to HSP in a number of ways, including interviewing and writing “updates” about the impoverished seniors served by our Senior Citizen Project.

Everyone at HSP is excited to have these three, and the other members of our intern team, with us, not only learning new skills and gaining valuable experiences, but helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of local seniors, children, and families in need. Please join us in welcoming them to HSP!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wholesome Growth and Development through Service

Today HSP is once again grateful for the service provided by volunteers from the School of Expressive Arts and Learning in Lombard, who have become a regular group of volunteers here at HSP. Their help today and on previous occasions has been a great blessing not only to our staff and facility but also to the people we serve, ranging from children to senior citizens.
            Volunteers from the School of Expressive Arts and Learning, or SEAL, have invested their time at HSP since 2012, providing generous and much needed support at HSP each time they volunteer. While the last time they volunteered was spent organizing paper products, today five volunteers from SEAL worked in sorting bread for the impoverished seniors in our Senior Citizen Project, starting at 10:30 in the morning and working until noon. Thanks to their efforts HSP is able to have a larger outreach in combating poverty and providing for the needy.
Guided by their teachers, students at SEAL are provided with the opportunity to not only witness and experience work but also to serve and aid local communities every Wednesday. Here at HSP, we are very grateful that the School of Expressive Arts and Learning in Lombard is a willing volunteer partner. Without the aid of volunteers and partners like SEAL, HSP would not be able to do the things that we do. Thank you SEAL and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
If you or someone you know may be interested in also impacting the needy in the DuPage and Kane counties through volunteer service or aid, please feel free to contact HSP by phone at (630)221-8340 or by email at

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Feinstein Challenge is Underway!

March came in like a lion, with a few inches of snow and freezing temperatures. But that didn’t stop the Feinstein Challenge from beginning on March 1st, and for the eleventh year, HSP will be participating! The $1 Million Giveaway to Fight Hunger, sponsored by the Feinstein Foundation, is an annual event in its 17th year. It partners with organizations nation-wide fighting hunger in their communities, such as HSP, by splitting $1 million between those that participate. The organizations report to the foundation the monetary value of the donations they receive between March 1st and April 30th, and the Feinstein Foundation distributes the $1 million based on how much each organization raises.

The Feinstein Foundation was founded by Alan Shawn Feinstein, a retired successful businessman and currently full-time philanthropist. Mr. Feinstein has dedicated his time and money to putting an end to hunger worldwide. Since its inception, the Feinstein Giveaway has raised over $2 billion for the needy, and has the impressive achievement of being the most successful grassroots effort to fight hunger ever! We at HSP are excited to be a part of this groundbreaking campaign.

You, too, can be a part of the excitement! Help HSP by making a donation of food or money between March 1st and April 30th. Your donation will go directly to serving needy seniors and children. If your group or organization has wanted to do a food drive to support HSP, right now is the perfect time! The more money and food we collect from donors, the bigger portion of the $1 million we will receive. Remember that only items and money donated between March 1st and April 30th will count towards the Feinstein Challenge. For more information about how you can be involved, and for fundraising ideas for your organization, please give us a call at (630) 221-8340 or email us at

Monday, March 3, 2014

Live Music + Delicious Drinks + NJWC = One Fantastic Saturday Night

This past weekend, the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club hosted a spectacular Mardi Gras charity event to benefit HSP. A good time was had by all as guests chowed down on pizza, enjoyed expertly crafted drinks, and participated in a silent auction. Acoustic duet The Acoustiholics put on a great show while HSP’s Executive Director Kristin Maxwell and other celebrity bartenders whipped up some delicious cocktails. All the bartenders did a fantastic job, especially surprise bartender Martial Arts Champion Danny “The Machine” Morales. Despite the fact that Morales was primarily there to sign autographs and meet fans, he also assisted behind the bar mixing drinks.
            We extend our thanks once again to the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club for hosting this fabulous event. Any funds raised by the Mardi Gras Extravaganza will be donated to help the children and seniors in our programs here at HSP. We would also like to thank all who attended! We couldn’t think of a better way to help support our cause than to come out and have a great time with us and the NJWC.
If you or your group would like to help out in the future, or are interested in any of our projects or upcoming events, please visit our website at for more information. You can also give us a call at 630-221-8340 or email us at