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Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006 11:36 am

Lend a hand

Springfield area nonprofits share their holiday wish lists

Illinois Times invited local nonprofit organizations to tell our readers what’s on their wish lists, other than financial support, for the holidays.

American Red Cross
1045 Outer Park Dr., 217-787-7602
The American Red Cross, Illinois Capital Area Chapter, provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The organization requests small canisters of shaving cream, razors, tissues, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, shampoo, washcloths, deodorant, razors, and bar soap; coloring books and crayons; gift cards for gas; photocopy paper; cartridges for HP1100, HP9040, and HP1020 printers; 25 tables and 100 chairs for training classrooms; two laser projectors; industrial appliances (double oven, dishwasher, grill, refrigerator, and freezer); six computers and three laptops (with processors faster than 2.0 GHz for Intel-based chips or faster than 2200 for AMD-based chips; at least 512MB of RAM; USB 2.0; Windows XP Professional (not home); pull-behind enclosed trailer; 50 cots, blankets, and pillows (new); DVD player for training classroom; cases of bottled water and Gatorade; a vacuum cleaner; gift certificates to restaurants, movies, the mall, athletic events, and grocery stores; volunteer Meals on Wheels drivers (needed 11 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday, especially during the winter months); a college intern interested in disasters and emergencies; a small photocopier; desk calendars; large canisters of coffee; and three-ring binders.

Big Brothers Big Sisters
444 S. Grand Ave. W., 217-753-1216
Big Brothers Big Sisters matches children ages 5-18 in need of a positive influence with adult mentors in one-on-one mentoring relationships. The children and adults engage in a variety of activities, playing games, eating lunch at school, and talking. The organization requests board games and supplies for site-based mentoring activities, a DVD-VCR combo unit, coupons to local establishments for match activities, and tickets to sporting events or other activities that matches can enjoy together. Volunteers ages 16 and older are also sought.

Camelot Community Care
2924 Stanton St., 217-585-9185
Camelot provides specialized foster care for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems. The organization requests Christmas gifts — preferably $25 gift cards — for approximately 60 foster children, gift cards for foster parents to area restaurants, food for a Christmas party for foster parents and children, and more foster parents.

Catholic Charities
120 S. 11th St., 217-525-0500
The mission of Catholic Charities is to extend to all the healing and empowering presence of Jesus without regard to age, race, income, gender, or religion. Catholic Charities requests toys for Christmas distribution to around 2,000 kids, three new computers for the crisis office, one compact car for the foster-care program, volunteers to serve meals at St. John’s Breadline, and hams for Christmas food baskets at Holy Family Food Pantry.

Family Service Center
1308 S. Fifth St., 217-528-8406
The center, which provides a variety of services to assist families, requests volunteers to work at its Tree of Wishes at White Oaks Mall, as well as people who will adopt individuals whose cases are posted on the Tree of Wishes.

Friends of the Sangamon County Child Advocacy Center
1001 E. Monroe St., 217-522-2241
The organization supports the multidisciplinary investigation and recovery services for victims of child sexual abuse in Sangamon and Christian counties. It requests these contributions: a new refrigerator for snacks and drinks for child victims, money to provide prevention materials for the 5,000 students each year, volunteers to do reception work, teddy bears to be given to child victims at the center, toys for needy children at Christmas, and volunteers to enter data.

Girl Scouts Land of Lincoln Council
3020 Baker Dr., 217-523-8159
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The Land of Lincoln Council requests walkie-talkies, power strips for indoor use, a 5-horsepower power washer, volunteers for one-day camp-improvement projects, youth and adult lifejackets, pie irons, a chainsaw, and a radio with a CD player.

Goodwill Industries
800 N. 10th St., 217-789-0400
Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries’ mission is to assist people with special needs to build their futures in partnership with our community. Goodwill requests a projector for training and presentations; a laptop for use with a projector; educational videos, CDs, DVDs, and books for use in classrooms; cooking utensils for cooking classes; nonperishable food items for cooking classes; any type of arts-and-crafts items; a sewing machine; fabric, thread, patterns, and any other items used for sewing; notebooks, pencils, markers, and educational supplies for classrooms; volunteers to help paint at various store locations; and donations to help cover costs associated with painting.

Kids Hope United
3 S. Old State Capitol Plaza, 217-789-7637
The mission of Kids Hope United is to promote the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of children in need and their families through a wide variety of family-focused child-welfare services. The group requests 9-volt batteries; smoke detectors; first-aid kits; digital thermometers; family games such as Candyland, Uno, Scrabble, and Clue; hats, gloves, and scarves; and antibacterial soaps and wipes.

Lutheran Child and Family Services
431 S. Grand Ave. W., 217-544-4631, ext. 230 and 233
Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois is a leading provider of a comprehensiverange of high-quality community-based and innovative social services responsive to the needs of children and families. The Springfield office provides foster care, adoptions services, and family counseling. The organization requests a round office table with four chairs; a fax machine; a television, VCR, and DVD for the playroom; G-rated videos and DVDs; Play-Doh; large blocks or Legos in a case; diapers and baby wipes; and a color printer.

Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery
1011 N. Seventh St., 217-525-6800
The Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing care for children, birth through age 6 who are at risk or whose parents are experiencing a crisis. The Crisis Nursery, which has more than 2,000 admissions a year, is open 24 hours a day, and all services are free. The organization seeks donations of Pull-Ups, batteries, canned fruit and vegetables, diapers (sizes 4, 5, and 6), fruit juice, Hamburger Helper, Similac and Advanced Similac with Iron, and trash bags (extra large). The organization also seeks volunteers for its annual Children’s Holiday Store at Fairhills Mall to help kids shop and wrap gifts. The store is open through Dec. 23.

Phoenix Center
109 E. Lawrence, 217-528-5253
The Phoenix Center provides HIV/AIDS prevention and education services and transitional housing for HIV-positive men and women and their children and sponsors a youth group that assists teenagers struggling with gender issues. For its residential clients, the organization requests donations of laundry soap and toiletries, blankets and towels, nonperishable food, and DVDs, games, and books. For its youth activities, the organization requests DVDs, games, and books; art supplies and journals; and a volunteer to do craft projects.

Positive Options, Referrals and Alternatives
930 S. 11th St., 217-522-3922
PORA helps sex workers, survivors of prostitution, and other vulnerable people who want to change their lives. In addition to operating a food pantry and a six-bed recovery home for women, the organization provides support to victims of human trafficking, the incarcerated, homeless, people with HIV, and the recovery community. PORA requests donations of canned goods for the food pantry; cleaning supplies; trash bags; toilet paper; bus passes; personal-hygiene products; gloves, hats, scarves, coats, and blankets (for street outreach); and packaged snacks (for street outreach).

Salvation Army
530 N. Sixth St., 217-525-2196
The Salvation Army’s Department of Social Services is committed to making positive changes in the lives of individuals and families who participate in our services. The Salvation Army seeks donations of canned goods; soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste; feminine products; shampoo and conditioner; laundry products; diapers and diaper wipes (all sizes); and razors and shaving cream. Volunteer bell-ringers and office staff are also welcomed.

Ronald McDonald House
610 N. Seventh St., 217-528-3314
Ronald McDonald seeks volunteers, including volunteers to prepare meals for families, and food for its pantry.

Rutledge Youth Foundation
534 W. Miller St., 217-525-7757
The mission of the Rutledge Youth Foundation is to help abused and neglected youth become productive, independent members of society. The foundation seeks donations of winter coats for group-home residents (2XL or larger); bedding sets for twin beds that include a comforter, sheets, and pillowcases for both boys and girls; twin-size blankets; DVDs for agency training, and cab vouchers for TLP/TIL clients.

Senior Services of Central Illinois
701 W. Mason St., 217-528-4035
Senior Services of Central Illinois is a not-for-profit organization serving individuals age 60 and older living in Sangamon, Logan, Mason, and Menard counties. SSCI’s mission is to provide older adults with nonmedical services that enhance quality of life and promote independent living. The organization seeks food vouchers ($5 or $10 gift certificates at Cub Foods or Shop ’n Save so clients can buy perishable food items occasionally); cash donations for emergency funds (we desperately need these for utility and pharmaceutical assistance and shelter); a weatherproof unloading zone to keep ice from forming in the winter where we load and unload seniors at the north door; blankets; nonperishable food (canned meat, vegetables, fruits, soups, ravioli, boxed potato flakes, regular and sugar-free flavored gelatins, dry biscuit and roll mixes); hats, gloves, scarves, and skid-proof socks; vouchers for public transportation, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army; paper products and toiletries; video/TV for the new addition; a 15-passenger van for senior-center activities; 39-cent and 23-cent postage stamps; four pool cues, chalk, and supplies; and sponsors for SSCI-program advertising on TV and radio and in newspapers.

Sojourn Shelter & Services
1800 Westchester Blvd., 217-726-5100, ext. 213
Sojourn Shelter and Services was founded in 1975 with the goal of providing a safe place in which to help victims of domestic violence. Sojourn currently provides 24-hour emergency shelter and hotline services, court advocacy, prevention and education services, and volunteer opportunities and operates Sojourn Westside Fashions. Sojourn requests donations of holiday meals; everyday meals (pasta dinner, pancake-and-sausage breakfast, pizza dinner, soup-and-sandwich lunch); cleaning supplies, a baby monitor, alarm clocks, umbrellas, DVD and VCR players, towels and washcloths, backpacks, gas cards, grocery gift certificates, board games, over-the-counter medications, and baby supplies (bottles, pacifiers, teething rings, sippy cups, and baby food).

Sparc
232 Bruns Lane, 217-793-2206, ext. 167
Sparc supports children and adults with developmental disabilities, including autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy primarily in Sangamon, Menard, and Morgan counties. Every individual with a developmental disability has the right to learn, to grow, and to thrive in the community. The organization requests a laminator for its respite summer camp, labor and materials for a privacy fence at a group home, a new minivan, lawn furniture, six computer systems (please contact the agency for specifications), bus passes, fall landscaping cleanup around the Epilepsy Resource Center, and a new tabletop display board.

Salvation Army
530 N. Sixth St., 217-525-2196
The Salvation Army’s Department of Social Services is committed to making positive changes in the lives of individuals and families who participate in our services. The Salvation Army seeks donations of canned goods; soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste; feminine products; shampoo and conditioner; laundry products; diapers and diaper wipes (all sizes); and razors and shaving cream. Volunteer bell-ringers and office staff are also welcomed.

Triangle Center
120 N. 11th St., 217-544-9858
Triangle Center is a not-for-profit community-based behavioral health-care and prevention and education service provider. The organization serves more than 2,500 clients each year. The center welcomes the donations of a new phone system; photocopiers; educational materials, including books, workbooks, and audiovisual materials; furniture for counselors’ offices; bedding and linens for residential clients; client transportation to and from treatment services, home, and job sites; personal-hygiene items for clients; and routine nonprescription client medications.

United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln
130 N. 16th St., 217-525-6522
UCP Land of Lincoln assists individuals with cerebral palsy and other disabilities from birth through adulthood by maximizing independence and facilitating opportunities for full participation in the community and by raising the standard for quality programs, service, and advocacy. The organization seeks volunteers ages 14 and older to assist in a holiday campaign Dec. 27-29, antibacterial wipes, individual-serving juice boxes, board games for children 6 years and older, books for children up to 10 years of age, plastic shoebox-size containers, puzzles for various age levels, and Kleenex.

Youth Service Bureau
2901 Normandy Rd., 217-529-8300, ext. 203
The Youth Service Bureau diverts young people ages 10-21 from the juvenile-justice or child-welfare system by providing access to needed comprehensive community-based services aimed at prevention, diversion, or treatment. The bureau also serves the homeless adolescent population. Requested donations include school supplies, disposable diapers and baby wipes, twin-size sheets and blankets, pillowcases and pillows, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, laundry bags and clothes baskets, white socks and underwear, gloves and hats for teenagers, sweatshirts, and a volunteer to paint a mural in the youth shelter.

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