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updated: 11/20/2013 11:36 AM

Help Serve the Community this Christmas

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  • Christmas gifts for needy children arranged in HSP's warehouse during the Christmas Offering in 2012.

    Christmas gifts for needy children arranged in HSP's warehouse during the Christmas Offering in 2012.
    Humanitarian Service Project

Matthew McGahan

The Humanitarian Service Project (HSP,) of DuPage County, is calling for donations of new toys, non-perishables and paper products to benefit its annual Christmas Offering. HSP has been putting gifts under the Christmas Trees of needy children since it first opened its doors in 1979. Last year, the project served 1,636 children and 121 senior citizens through the Christmas Offering. This year HSP has already committed to providing Christmas to 1,311 children and 123 seniors and anticipates serving several hundred more children from their waiting list. Additionally, they will be providing the 123 seniors, as well as 150 families with over 25 tons of nutritious groceries. HSP is excited to be providing these services to needy children and seniors once again with the help of generous contributions from members of the community.

In order to serve as many people as possible this Christmas, HSP is asking for the support of local individuals and organizations. This is the thirty fifth year that the Christmas Offering has been serving the poor. Individuals or group donors can help by participating in the "Giving Tree" program. Donors are provided the gender and ages of needy children along with a list of suggested gifts for children of that age group. HSP is asking that they buy a $25 gift, wrap it, and deliver it to their Carol Stream Center by December 17th. Every day HSP receives calls from other impoverished families in DuPage and Kane Counties, hoping desperately that a donor will come along for their children as well. They have 321 children on the waiting list presently, which is above and beyond the more than 1300 already committed. HSP hopes to provide gifts to all of these needy children as well.

Interested parties can also make donations of unwrapped toys, in lieu of providing giving trees to specific children. HSP's greatest need is gifts for children in the underserved "tween" age group, from 8-15 years old.

Non-perishable food and monetary donations are also needed to support the Christmas Offering's goal to provide 150 families with over 250 lbs. of nutritious food each this Holiday Season. For a monetary sponsorship of $60 per family, donors can ensure the children and other members of these needy families have access to healthy foods during this time of particular financial stress for those sadly living in poverty.

HSP also has volunteer spots available for community members interested in participating in the program. The charity has volunteer hours during daytime hours on December 6th, 11th, 12th, 16th, and 18th as they prepare to distribute the food and gifts to the needy families and seniors. Volunteers can also sign up to help distribute gifts on December 19th and 20th. Those interested in volunteering should contact the Humanitarian Service Project to reserve a timeslot.

Since its beginning in 1979, HSP's Christmas Offering program has brought Christmas joy to the neediest members of local communities. HSP's Executive Director, Kristin Maxwell said of the project, "The goal of the Christmas Offering has always been to serve those burdened most by poverty. We at HSP have been blessed to be at the forefront year after year, to see the amazing impact that we can make as a community to spread the spirit of compassion and giving."

Contact the Humanitarian Service Project:

HSP's website:

HSP's blog:

About The Humanitarian Service Project:

HSP's mission is to alleviate the pain and suffering that poverty creates in seniors and children living in DuPage and Kane counties, Illinois. Last year during the Christmas Offering Project, 1,636 children received gifts and 150 impoverished families received three weeks of groceries, frozen meats, and fresh produce. With the Senior Citizen Project, HSP provides a monthly food delivery and secret pal gifts to 123 low-income seniors. The Children's Birthday Project reaches the youngest underprivileged, making birthdays and Christmas truly memorable occasions for 900 children. Feed the Kids provides 100 low-income families with groceries and fresh produce during the summer months. HSP conducts an annual school supplies drive that benefited a total of 5,200 children by giving supplies to the DuPage Back to School Fair and directly to schools and individual children.

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