Friday, January 30, 2015

Meet HSP's Newest Intern!

This week, HSP welcomed another new member to the team: Adrienne Bell. Adrienne is currently studying Media Management at Columbia College. She came to HSP for her first internship as a way to be involved in the community and also to connect to her past. As a child, she and her mother often participated in programs like HSP, helping out her grandmother and giving to others in the community. Through her internship with us, Adrienne hopes to gain more knowledge of HSP's programs as well as gain experience working in an office setting. At HSP, Adrienne will be assisting our Administrative Assistant Bridget, working with families we serve through the Children's Birthday Project and other programs. In her free time, Adrienne enjoys singing and spending time with her 1-year-old daughter Camille. Please help us all welcome Adrienne to our team!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Join HSP for the Human Race

Now is the time to register to represent HSP at the DuPage Human Race! The Human Race is a charity 5k run/2 mi fitness walk to benefit a number of charities that do great work in DuPage County. This will be the fourth year of the event, and also the fourth year HSP will be participating. You can run (or walk) on behalf of HSP, or donate to show your support of our runners and walkers. All of the funds HSP raises from this event will support the needy seniors, children, and families enrolled in our programs.
            The race will be held April 25th at the The Espalande in Downers Grove. While the race is a still a few months away, there are only a few days left to register at the lowest price. Whether you have dreams of crossing that finish line in record time, or just like getting out and moving for a good cause, please consider joining HSP for this fun event.
To register for this event, click here (please list “Humanitarian Service Project” as the agency you’ll be representing):

For more information, visit their website:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Senior Wish List Items

Gifts donated to seniors in our Secret Pal program.
While HSP serves the seniors in the Senior Citizen Project with groceries, there are always additional needs that the seniors have. Living with low incomes, our seniors have little means of acquiring what they need to live comfortably.

We fulfill as many of these needs as possible for the seniors through “wish lists.” Our seniors call in to request items that they need, and we then send them that item if we receive it from a donor.
For our donors out there, or those of you considering donating in the future, here are some of the items most commonly requested by our seniors:

  • Laundry detergent/dish soap
  • Pots/pans
  • Dishes/glasses
  • Stamps
  • Batteries (especially AA)
  • Furniture (gently used)
  • Appliances (gently used)
    • Microwaves
    • Blenders
    • Toasters, etc.

So please keep these items in mind, and thank you for your continued support of HSP and our Senior Citizen Project!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Giant Steps and the Indian Lakes Hilton Volunteer Today

We at HSP are always incredibly grateful when a volunteer group chooses us and comes in to lend a hand.

Today, we felt truly blessed to have two groups come in on the same day. We had a group of six volunteers from the Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort who were here to help wrap birthday gifts for disadvantaged children. We are also thankful to have had both students and staff from Giant Steps come in to sort food for seniors in need.

The volunteers from the Hilton came from all departments of the resort. They do at least one service project a month, and said it is something that they really enjoy doing.

Giant Steps is a school in Lisle that provides educational, therapeutic and recreational programs for elementary, junior high and high school students with special needs. Students and faculty from Giant Steps regularly donate their time to assist with our Senior Citizen Project, and we were happy to have them here today.

If you are interested in coming in to volunteer by yourself or with a group, give us a call at (630) 221-8340. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Volunteers from the School of Expressive Arts and Learning

Today HSP was grateful to have a group of 8 volunteers from the School of Expressive Arts and Learning (SEAL) in Lombard. They spent an hour and a half sorting food and paper products for the impoverished seniors enrolled in our Senior Citizen Project. Students and faculty at SEAL volunteer their time at HSP on a nearly monthly basis, and today was their first visit of 2015. Through their many visits, the volunteers from SEAL have contributed a great deal to the success of our Senior Citizen Project, which provides 100 lbs. of groceries to 125 needy seniors every month. We at HSP wish to thank SEAL for their ongoing support.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Helping Out at HSP

HSP was visited once again by our friends from Ms. Heggen’s class from Glenbard South High School. After helping us out almost every month last year, we are excited to welcome the students back for a whole new year of volunteering. They stopped by and gave an hour of their time helping us out in our warehouse where they sorted and inventoried bread.
The bread sorted today will be distributed to our 125 impoverished seniors. Their time here volunteering helps the students to learn real world vocational and community service experiences, lessons that are the central focus of the class. As always, we are so grateful for Ms. Heggen and her wonderful students who continue to help us make a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A New Intern Joins HSP

This week HSP was excited to welcome a new member to our intern team, Eric Placek. Eric is a graduate of the University of Illinois where he studied editorial journalism. Eric is joining HSP because of his interest in Public Relations. During his internship Eric will be contributing to HSP’s social media sites, performing outreach to local groups, and helping to spread the word about HSP and our programs. Eric says he was interested in joining HSP as an intern not just for the experience, but also for the opportunity to use his skills to help others. He spent much of his time in high school doing community service to help feed the hungry, and he looks to forward to continuing that work with HSP. Outside of work and service, Eric’s major passion is hockey, which he has played nearly his entire life. Please join us in welcoming Eric to HSP.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Thank You Christmas Offering Donors and Volunteers!

Believe it or not, it has been nearly a month since we wrapped up our Christmas offering here at HSP.

The 2014 offering was the largest Christmas offering in our history. 2,014 children and 126 seniors received gifts, and over 400 families received groceries!

What made this year so successful was the generosity and tireless work from all of our donors and volunteers, so we wanted to share with you a few of the “thank yous” we received from grateful families.

“This Christmas was extremely lean and we didn't know if we were going to be able to get gifts for our son. Thank you so much for giving us that ability”

“Thank you for all the wonderful gifts and food, you gave our family at this holiday time.  Your kindness is very appreciated.”

“Thank you so much for your help this past year. It's helped my grandson and me so much this year. The gifts were wonderful and very much appreciated. Your thoughtfulness and your help, we thank you.”

“I really appreciate these gifts.  I could not afford these things and now I can put a smile on my daughter’s and her cousins’ faces. Thank you!” 

And of course we at HSP would also like thank everyone who participated in the Christmas offering. We couldn't have done it without all of you. We look forward to seeing all our friends through the year as we continue in our mission to serve seniors, children and their families.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Get Involved with the Secret Pal Program

A new year means another year of secret pals here at HSP!

The Secret Pal Program is something that is open to all of the seniors in our Senior Citizen Project. It is a program where volunteer donors are each paired up with a senior, and the donor will buy the senior a small gift on a monthly basis.

The gifts may be something practical the senior could use, such as candles or pots and pans, or they may just be something to bring a little more enjoyment into that senior’s life, like a book of crosswords or a puzzle.

Our donors typically spend between $5 and $25 per month.

While these gifts may seem of little significance, their impact can be huge. Take for example this excerpt from a thank you letter written by one of our appreciative seniors:

“Thank you for your kindness all year. My appreciation is great, and I am overwhelmed with your generosity. You are a very special person! I wish I could give you a big hug.”

The gifts are dropped off or mailed in to our center in Carol Stream and are then delivered to our seniors by their delivery day drivers, along with their monthly food.

To become a Secret Pal, please contact us at 630.221.8340 or email us at

Monday, January 19, 2015

Thank You South Outreach

South Outreach Volunteers at HSP last Spring
HSP would like to extend a big thank you to the students of the South Outreach club of Wheaton Warrenville South High School who took time out of their day off of school to volunteer with us on Friday. Six volunteers from the club spent two hours in HSP’s warehouse, sorting frozen meat for the impoverished seniors enrolled in our Senior Citizen Project. The goal of the South Outreach club is “to spread awareness and education about poverty and violence and use [their] resources to make change.” By regularly giving their time on days off of school, South Outreach has definitely been doing their part to make a positive change in the community. We at HSP wish to thank them, and all of our other steadfast volunteers, for helping us make a difference in the lives of seniors, children, and families in our programs through their service.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Care Kits and Valentines from Forest Glen Elementary

Yesterday, HSP received a wonderful donation from the 5th grade Ambassadors of Forest Glen Elementary school. The students made 30 personal care kits, each containing various hygiene items, to give to our seniors. The club has been making these kits every year since 2012. The children were also kind enough to make handmade Valentine’s Day cards to pass to our seniors next month. These personal care kits are essential to our seniors in helping maintain their health and wellness. It’s especially comforting to see such generosity from young students. HSP thanks Forest Glen Elementary School for their thoughtful donation.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wrapper’s Delight!

Birthday gift wrapping has begun again at HSP! Having taken a break from wrapping birthday gifts for a few months while our Christmas Offering program was running, the New Year brings with it new birthday gifts to wrap. With 925 impoverished children served through our Children’s Birthday Project every year, there are a lot of birthday gifts to wrap. Volunteer wrappers pick up the gifts at HSP’s Center, and take them home to wrap with their own paper and ribbon. After that, they bring the gifts back to HSP to be boxed up and ready to bring smiles to children on their special day. Helping us get started on the wrapping this week were two different groups from Midwestern University, and a group from St. Pius Parish in Lombard who picked up gifts to wrap for a total of 33 of the children we serve. We wish to thank these three groups for helping us begin our birthday wrapping with a bang!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy Birthday Floyd!

It's a day of celebration here at HSP! Today we celebrate our co-founder and CFO Floyd Kettering's birthday! Floyd is such an important person in the HSP family and he does so much around here--whether it's managing our finances, helping to oversee our programs, or just being the "go-to" guy for all of our questions. HSP wouldn't be what it is without Floyd, so please join us all in wishing him a very happy birthday! We love you Floyd!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Goodbye to Lisa

Yesterday, HSP said goodbye to Lisa Szilagyi. She had been our accounting intern since early September. At HSP, Lisa assisted our CFO and co-founder Floyd with HSP’s accounting needs. In this capacity, Lisa even took on the involved, but much needed task, of keeping track and reporting all of the hours volunteers spent with us over our busy season these last few months. This was just one of the many important tasks that Lisa took on. Lisa brought a sunny, bright, but also hard-working, spirit to HSP, and we know she will succeed as she moves on to a new and exciting adventure. She will be sorely missed by us at HSP, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Monday, January 12, 2015

HSP’s First Delivery Day of 2015

This past Saturday, HSP held its first monthly “delivery day” of 2015 for the seniors enrolled in our Senior Citizen Project. Dozens of volunteers braved the cold and assisted us in delivering nutritious groceries directly to the seniors’ homes. In addition to the volunteers who helped on Saturday, there are a number of volunteers who give their support on a monthly basis to keep our Senior Citizen Project running smoothly. This includes our Monday Morning food sorters who sort and package the groceries every month, the volunteers from UPS Supply Chain Solutions in Carol Stream who sorted fresh produce and bread for the seniors on Friday, and the numerous donors that keep the program going strong. HSP wishes to thank everyone who plays a role in enabling us to make a difference in the lives of the needy and deserving seniors we serve. We’re looking forward to another year of successful delivery days!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy Trails to Michelle

            Though we are all sad to see her go, we were happy that she has been able to spend her last few weeks here imparting her knowledge to her successor Allyson. Michelle will be traveling to Peru with her husband Bruno for several months. We wish her nothing but the best and thank her so much for all the hard work and dedication she has shown as our SCP Coordinator. Safe travels!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

HSP Welcomes a Trio of Interns

Today, HSP had the pleasure of welcoming three new members to our intern team. Like Rabije, who we welcomed on Monday, these three ladies are joining HSP from Adler University and will be completing their Community Service Practicum with us. They will be interviewing the needy senior citizens enrolled in our Senior Citizen Project and writing “senior updates” about their lives, needs, and how the Senior Citizen Project has impacted their lives.  Without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to them.

                First we have Alinda Lord who is studying Counseling at Adler with a specialization in Forensic Psychology. Alinda is studying for a career working in correctional facilities or alongside police officers. Alinda says she is very excited to have been placed at HSP for her practicum as a chance to build on her past experience in non-profits. For two years Alinda volunteered a crisis hotline connecting people with the services they need. At HSP, Alinda says she is looking forward to getting to know our seniors, and gaining more experience working with a specific population.

                Second we have Roxanne Gajewski who, like Alinda, is studying Counseling with a specialization in Forensic Psychology. Roxanne also wishes to work in a correctional setting, and may choose to get a doctorate. She says she looks forward to her time at HSP as a valuable learning experience. Roxanne will feel right at home at HSP as she has been volunteering at non-profits her whole life either in the form of food pantries, animal shelters, Children’s Miracle Network, or her involvement in Relay for Life.

                Finally, we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Haines who is in the Sports and Health department at Adler. Once she graduates, Natalie intends to work with student athletes at a college. Natalie’s main passions are serving others and golf. She combined her two passions for six years while volunteering for the Kids Golf Foundation. Natalie says she is very excited to be working at HSP for the opportunity to gain new experiences and because, as a Geneva native, she will be working around the community she grew up in.

We are looking forward to working with Alinda, Roxanne, and Natalie. Please join us in welcoming them to HSP!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

First Birthday Boxes of the Year

The New Year has begun, and yesterday, HSP stopped by two schools and delivered some of the first birthday boxes to underprivileged children with January birthdays. Our Executive Director, Kristin Maxwell, delivered three boxes to St. Charles Head Start, and another seven went to Carol Stream Head Start, delivered by our dedicated volunteer Bill Fehling. We have partnerships with these (and more) Head start locations and two elementary schools in Addison, which enable us to reach more needy kids through the Children's Birthday Project (CBP).

Through CBP, HSP provides 925 impoverished children with all the necessities to make their birthday truly special. Each child on their birthday receives 6-10 new toys, small "filler" gifts, stuffed animals, and 4-7 new books. Additionally, the package also features a "Party-in-a-Box" which contains cake, candles, balloons, streamers--everything needed to ensure that the child has a truly happy birthday.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

D-Day is Coming!

This Saturday, January 10th, marks the first Delivery Day of the New Year. Delivery Day--or "D-Day" as we like to call it--is our monthly distribution in which we deliver 100 pounds of groceries to each of the 125 seniors in our Senior Citizen Program. Each delivery includes fresh produce, meat, bread, non-perishables, paper, and Secret Pal gifts! We have volunteers who load the groceries into the cars of the volunteer drivers who deliver the packages to the seniors' homes.

As you can imagine, D-Day is a fun and very busy day. Because of this, we would like to have additional people help us load up the groceries for all of our deserving seniors. D-Day runs from 8-11 AM. If you are interested in coming by for a few hours this Saturday and helping us to load all the good into the volunteers' cars, we would very much appreciate it! Please give us a call at 630-221-8340. It's a great time and we hope to see everyone there!

Monday, January 5, 2015

HSP Welcomes a New Intern

Today HSP had the pleasure of welcoming the first new member of our intern team of 2015, Rabije Hajdini. Rabije is joining us from Adler University (formerly the Adler School of Professional Psychology) to complete her Community Service Practicum. At Adler, Rabije is studying to be a Clinical Mental Health Counselor. Once graduating she intends to work as a counselor with youth, but she has a passion for working with people from all walks of life. At HSP, Rabije will interview the needy senior citizens enrolled in our Senior Citizen Project and write “senior updates” about their lives, needs, and how the Senior Citizen Project has impacted their lives. Rabije says she is looking forward to connecting with the seniors in our program. While in high school Rabije regularly volunteered at a nursing home and greatly enjoyed spending time with the seniors there. Outside of her studies Rabije spends much of her time with her two pit bulls Jada and Diesel. Please join us in welcoming Rabije to HSP.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The DuPage Human Race

2015 is here! The New Year brings with it a new start, new opportunities, and the opening of the registration for the 4th annual DuPage Human Race—a 5K run/2 mile fitness walk put on by Giving DuPage in order to help local charities. For the last three years, HSP has been a participating charity in this event, and we will continue that this year. During the DuPage Human Race, you can run (or walk) on behalf of HSP, or donate to show your support of our runners.
            Even though the race isn’t until April 25th, registration is cheaper the earlier you sign up. So dust off those running shoes and get started on those New Year’s resolutions! 

To register for this event, click here:

For more information, visit their website: