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Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 01:48 pm

2009 Community Wish Lists

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Lend a hand to these central Illinois organizations this holiday season. Thank you to all of the organizations who participated!

Sojourn Shelter and Services, Inc.
1800 Westchester Blvd., 726-5100 (office), 726-5200 (24-hour hotline)

Sojourn Shelter and Services, Inc. was founded in 1975 with a goal to provide a safe place to help victims of domestic violence. Sojourn currently provides 24-hour emergency shelter and hotline services, court advocacy, prevention, education, volunteer opportunities and operates Sojourn Westside Fashions.  Sojourn is funded through state and federal grants, as well as donations from the community. Each year, Sojourn assists approximately 1,600 victims of domestic violence and their children.

Wish List:

  • Boxed and canned foods: Hamburger Helper, spaghetti and sauce, mac and cheese, tuna and Tuna Helper, Manwich, ramen noodles, crackers, cold cereal, Pop Tarts
  • Milk, juice
  • Frozen waffles
  • Microwavable breakfast biscuits
  • Sugar
  • Condiments
  • Eggs
  • Cleaning supplies: Clorox wipes, 409/Fantasik, Windex, bleach cleaners, floor cleaner, Lysol, laundry soap, paper towels
  • Linens: bath towels, washcloths, twin sheets, pillows, laundry baskets,
  • Baby items: diapers, wipes, monitors
  • Electronic items: alarm clocks, VCR/DVD    player, digital camera
  • Umbrellas
  • Board games
  • SMTD bus tokens
  • Gift cards: grocery gift certificates, gas cards, pre-paid phone cards
  • Medicine and sickness aids: Kleenex, thermometers, DayQuil, infant Tylenol, children’s cold medicine
  • Hats and gloves


Serving Jesus Willingly Urban Ministries
P.O. Box 6543, 753-0430

Serving Jesus Willingly is a national Christian urban outreach ministry working to bring help, hope and healing to needy families locally and nationally. The ministry physically provides 1,400-1,700 families with food, clothing, household items, cars and other emergency items as needed, while spiritually providing prayer and Bible studies. 

Wish list:

  • Canned goods (meat, soup, fruit)
  • Paper goods (paper towels, toilet paper, window envelopes, 6 inch envelopes)
  • Household items (bar soap, dish soap, laundry soap, bleach)
  • Ziplock bags (gallon size)
  • Trash bags (33 gallon size)
  • Dry goods (macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, rice, cereal)
  • Projects at the ministry: porch repairs, fence repairs, lawn clean-up, tree trimming, data entry, chuck hole repairs
  • Daily prayers
  • Monetary donations



Central Illinois Foodbank
2000 E. Moffat, 522-4022

Central Illinois Foodbank collects and distributes food and grocery items to over 160 charitable agencies in 21 Illinois counties. In addition to their partnerships with those various agencies, they are proud to host the Kids Cafe program. Kids Cafe is a nation-wide program through Feeding America that feeds children a hot, nutritious meal in a safe environment.

Wish List:

  • Canned fruit & vegetables
  • Canned meat
  • Peanut butter
  • Cereal
  • Chili
  • Beef stew
  • Pasta & canned pasta sauce
  • Soup
  • Macaroni & cheese
  • Rice
  • Soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Laundry soap
  • Shampoo
  • Diapers
  • Toothpaste

Forever Home Feline Ranch
3600 Persimmon Dr., 679-1593

Forever Home Feline Ranch is an organization created to provide a “forever home” to every cat in need. The ranch is a sanctuary where cats have a second chance to live a full life in a no-cage, no-kill environment. At the present time, while raising funds for property, the group is assisting local residents in keeping their companion pets by providing programs such as the Pet Food Bank and Vet Care Assistance (includes dogs). Helping people keep their companion pets is the best way to keep animals out of shelters and will help achieve their ultimate goal of establishing central Illinois as a no-kill community.

Wish list:

  • Pet taxis - all sizes
  • Dry cat and dog food
  • Wet cat and dog food
  • Cat toys
  • Litter
  • Gift cards: PetSmart, K-Mart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards, Walmart, Petco, Big R and Target
  • Cat brushes
  • Crates
  • Litter pans and scoops
  • Copy paper
  • Forever stamps
  • Fleece material (animal themed) to make cat and dog mats
  • Raffle items such as gift certificates, gift baskets or any items to put in baskets 


Animal Protective League
1001 Taintor Rd., 544-7387

The Animal Protective League operates a no-kill shelter for abandoned, abused, sick and injured cats and dogs. In 2009, APL has taken in 1,800 animals and found homes for 1,600 of them. In April 2006, APL opened a high-quality, high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic that has performed 28,000 surgeries to reduce cat and dog over-population.

Wish List:

  • Cleaning supplies (paper towels, liquid laundry detergent, bleach, liquid hand soap, dishwashing liquid, scouring pads, fabric-softener sheets, Playtex gloves, brooms, dustpans)
  • Office supplies (AAA, C, and 9-volt batteries; copy paper, postage stamps, file folders, filing cabinets)
  • Food (canned food for cats and puppies, jars of all-meat baby food; dry cat food; Milk-Bone dog biscuits)
  • Maintenance supplies (trash bags of all sizes, snow shovels, heavy-duty indoor-outdoor extension cords, storage totes with lids)
  • Animal-care supplies (serviceable sheets, blankets, pillow cases, rugs, towels, cat and dog crates, nail clippers, new litter boxes, leashes, sandwich-sized Ziplock bags)
  • Gas cards
  • Sam’s Club gift cards
  • Monetary donations to cover emergency veterinary expenses

The Salvation Army
530 N. 6th St. or 100 N. 9th St., 525-2196

The Salvation Army has been in Springfield since 1886.  Over 90% of their funding comes from individual donations, and over half their operating budget is funded by their red kettles that run from the first weekend in November until Christmas Eve.  The Salvation Army offers clothing, food and shelter, and their homeless shelter is open year round, 24 hours a day.  They offer counseling; job assistance; computer training; youth programs; senior programs; free health clinic; Sunday worship services; Bible study; Christmas assistance, including food, coats and toys; and also provide alcohol and drug rehabilitation.  When funds are available they offer rent and utility assistance.

Wish list:

  • Canned food - meat, vegetables, fruit
  • Clothing
  • Office supplies - paper, pens, etc.
  • Pillows
  • Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Hygiene products
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Meals for shelter residents
  • Volunteer bell ringers
  • Volunteers at their Christmas Castle
  • Volunteers at their Corps
  • Gift cards from any store, including gas stations


Springfield Area Arts Council
420 S. Sixth St., 753-3519

The Springfield Area Arts Council, founded in 1976, works to “enrich the community by promoting and supporting all art forms and providing creative opportunities to participate in and enjoy the arts.” The council serves over 20,000 adults and youths in Sangamon and Menard counties, and provides a variety of annual performing and visual arts events, such as First Night Springfield, Washington Street Jazz & Blues Festival and the ongoing Uptown Friday Night and Artist on the Plaza. The council’s arts programming includes placing performing and visual artists in the schools though its Arts-in-Education program and hosting the regional and state contests for Poetry Out Loud, a program for high school students based on the recitation of poetic works. The council also serves as a re-granting agency for funding area artists, arts organizations and social service agencies with arts programming.

Wish list:

  • Volunteers for First Night Springfield on Dec. 31 and other activities
  • Office assistance
  • Experienced speakers willing to conduct free workshops for area organizations that might cover topics such as board recruitment, organizational development, fundraising, grant writing, marketing, and business skills
  • Monetary donations that would assist with the Arts in Education program, Community Arts Access grant program, City Arts program or Rosie Richmond Artist Advancement Awards

The Parent Place
314 S. Grand West, 753-8730

The Parent Place works towards preventing child abuse by teaching positive parenting skills, and serves children, parents, grandparents, foster parents and non-relative caregivers in Springfield and surrounding counties. These services are provided through parenting classes, support groups, court advocacy, Relatives as Parents Network, The Diaper Pantry, Kids’ Rights and community presentations.

Wish List:

  • Bus tokens
  • Large file cabinet
  • Postage
  • Copy paper
  • Wireless all-in-one copier
  • Refrigerator
  • A computer technician 
  • Office supplies
  • Gas cards
  • Grocery store gift cards
  • Movie gift cards
  • Restaurant gift cards
  • Diapers


Central Illinois Community Blood Center
1134 S. 7th St., 1-866-GIVE-BLD (1-866-448-3253)

The CICBC is a not-for-profit organization originally formed in 1971 by St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center to provide the blood needs of their hospitals, and now 19 hospitals in central and southwestern Illinois. This involves blood collections through the hundreds of Bloodmobile drives held throughout the area. Donor recruiters work with area organizations to schedule blood drives and to communicate with existing blood donors to meet routine blood needs through regular blood donations.

Wish list:
First and foremost, their wish is for good health for everyone. To reach that goal, they need help from the community.  They constantly need new donors — to be prepared for emergencies that may arise and to replace their regular donors when they are ill, traveling or must be deferred for various reasons.    

To assure that this area always has an adequate blood supply for friends, neighbors and family members throughout the area who may need it for a trauma, cancer treatment or other medical procedure, their wish is that more healthy donors would commit to regular blood donation. It is safe, easy and takes only about an hour every two months, and this volunteer activity saves lives of patients in area hospitals.

Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County
1514 West Jefferson, 523-2710

Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County is a community-driven nonprofit organization that develops working partnerships with local businesses, churches, community organizations and other individuals to build simple, decent and affordable housing for all people in need. Since its founding in 1989, Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County has built 79 houses in the local community while providing shelter for more than 300 individuals.

Wish list:
Readers can help fulfill Habitat’s wish list by donating to the Habitat ReStore and by spending their holiday shopping dollars in the ReStore to purchase new furniture, housewares, holiday décor, lighting, rugs, flooring,etc. at great savings over retail. Proceeds help to fund their mission to provide affordable housing in Sangamon County. The ReStore is open Monday though Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Also, cash donations are needed to fund 2010 housing projects


M.E.R.C.Y. Communities
For Donations:
Cash: 108 E. Cook St., 753-1358
Furniture: 1650 Wabash Ave., 787-7488
Household: 1111 N. 19th St., 744-1126


Formed in 1999, M.E.R.C.Y. (Mentors, Empowerment and Resources for Change in Young families) Communities fulfills its mission of providing housing and supportive services to foster the independence of homeless and at-risk families through the provision of four programs: the flagship program is two years of transitional living with follow up aftercare services, designed for female-headed households in which mom needs to develop further education, job and daily living skills in order to become self-sufficient; permanent supportive housing for disabled heads of households with children for the purpose of helping families with special needs to remain intact and stable in housing; and income-tested affordable housing for very low-income families. In 2009, M.E.R.C.Y. has served 30 moms and 52 children. This year they are increasing to 32 units of housing.

Wish List:

  • Living room, bedroom and kitchen furniture
  • Enthusiastic, compassionate volunteers willing to assist with families and/or the furniture store
  • Volunteers to be on a speaker’s bureau to help spread the word about M.E.R.C.Y.
  • Donations to the MERCY Communities fund through Sangamon County Community Foundation
  • Children’s activity items — crayons, washable paints, markers, craft idea books, board games,
  • DVD’s, toys appropriate for infancy through age 18.
  • Linens — mattress pads, blankets, pillows, comforters, sheets
  • Infant and toddler beds and linens — sheets, mattress pads
  • Child size tables/chairs, desks, toy boxes
  • Kitchen utensils, including pots/pans, silverware, dishes
  • Kitchen linens — towels, washcloths, potholders
  • Small microwaves, coffee pots, toasters
  • Trash cans and tall kitchen trash bags
  • Wall hangings — pictures, mirrors, etc.
  • Bath linens — towel sets, shower curtains, rugs, bowl brushes
  • Baby supplies — sippy cups, diaper rash ointments, diapers, wipes, etc.
  • Shelving — to include bookcases
  • Cleaning supplies — dishwashing soap, 409, Lysol, oven cleaner, Swiffers, etc.
  • Household paper products — toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, etc.
  • Laundry Supplies — detergent, fabric softener, bleach, etc.

United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln
101 North 16th Street, Suite 5; 525-6522

United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln was founded in 1957 by a group of community leaders and parents of children with cerebral palsy. The first program offered by UCP was a school for children with cerebral palsy that operated in a church basement. UCP Children’s Services is in need of additional toys for their toy lending library. This program helps disabled children practice and learn new skills through play. A play specialist visits the child’s home and creates an individualized service plan with goals for the child to work on.Goals are written specifically for each child’s needs, and can include any of the following: fine and gross motor skills, developmental skills, speech and communication skills and social skills.Children with disabilities may not fit into the age range listed on a toy, and this program helps eliminate the guess work.To find out which toys are needed, please call Ashley at 525-6522 or email her at amt11@hotmail.com.

Wish List:

  • Toys that have music and lights
  • Toys such as puzzles with knobs and blocks with pieces to practice fine motor skills
  • Games are great for targetingsocial skills
  • Learning toyswith components, such as color, shape, number and letter recognition
  • Toys in the age ranges ofbirth to 8 years old



Grace Lutheran Church
714 E. Capitol Ave., 522-3965

For over 40 years, the Grace Lutheran Church Food Pantry has provided food for the families of Springfield. The all-volunteer pantry serves over 1,500 individuals monthly with support from sister congregations and local organizations. Out of the food pantry ministry has grown the Grace Lutheran Church Holiday Food Basket Project. Volunteers assemble food baskets three times a year to assist families at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. The all-volunteer program is currently coordinated by Caroline Guy, a freshman at Springfield High School. Other churches also participate in the project. Recipients are referred by the parent educators and staff of two middle schools, three elementary schools, and Lutheran Children & Family Services Foster families, and local ELCA congregations. The Christmas baskets will serve another 150 families.

Wish list:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Cake mix
  • Frosting
  • Canned sweet potatoes
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned green beans
  • Soup
  • Gravy
  • Pork and beans
  • Cranberry jelly
  • Jelly
  • Peanut butter
  • Cereal
  • Jell-O
  • Corn bread mix
  • Canned corn, peas, carrots
  • Fresh celery
  • Fresh carrots
  • Margarine
  • Bread
  • Ham
  • Milk
  • Cereal


Readers may adopt a basket, give a smaller gift that will be greatly appreciated or drop off donations of the non-perishable foods listed above between 9:00 and 3:00, Monday through Friday at Grace Lutheran Church.


Springfield YMCA
701 South 4th St., 544-9846


The Springfield YMCA was established in 1874 and has continuously served the Springfield area for 135 years. It began as an organization serving boys and young men, but over the years has broadened its services and target population to meet the changing needs of the community.
The Springfield YMCA has helped to strengthen its community through inclusive programs that encourage healthy lifestyles and Judeo-Christian values. The YMCA has earned a well-deserved reputation as a thriving, responsive organization that evolves to meet the emerging needs of those it serves.

Wish List:

  • Craft items – beads
  • Games supplies – AA batteries, pool sticks
  • Games – board games, card games
  • Electronic – large screen TV, Playstation 2 or newer, Wii, Beatles Rock Band game, DVD player
  • Creative play – dolls, action figures, Barbie dolls and accessories, water play table, baby dolls (multi ethnic), plastic toy animals, plastic dinosaurs, hopscotch rug, safety mirror for dress up, FP Little People sets
  • Furniture/office supplies – book shelf (any size), free standing shelves (for art supplies),
  • glider rocking chair(s), dance mirrors
  • Child care - baby blankets various sizes and weights, Exersaucer(s), umbrella stroller
  • Art supplies - children’s paint brushes, stickers, stamp pads, markers, crayons, safety scissors
  • Drip coffee
  • 12-Cup Bunn Coffee Filters
  • 8-10 oz hot cups for coffee
  • Creamer
  • Sugar
  • Multi-pot coffee maker
  • Popcorn machine
  • Popcorn, popcorn bags, popcorn oil
  • Basketballs – adult, junior and youth – indoor use
  • Racquetball racquets – adult, junior and youth
  • 25-30 “ TV/monitor
  • Radio ads
  • SJR ads
  • Courier ads
  • Medical scale
  • Yoga straps
  • Zafus pillows (barefootyoga.com)
  • Bosu (10)
  • Standing punching bags (4)
  • Adjustable light floor lamps
  • Yoga music
  • Kettle balls different weights 5 and up
  • 10 Spinning bikes
  • Floor fans (4)
  • Gears
  • Cabinets with shelves
  • Printer

Gift of Time by Volunteering to be:
  • Coffee host: Monday-Friday 6:30-9:00 a.m.- make coffee and restock supplies as needed through morning
  • Member retention volunteer – make phone calls and prepare mailings
  • Secret shopper – visit and report on our service to you
  • Member satisfaction volunteer – develop, implement and report member satisfaction survey and results


Haitian Development Fund
4043 Guilford Dr., 546-6360


The Haitian Development Fund was founded in June of 2002 and supports the Sarthe Neighborhood Medical Clinic in inner city
Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

In addition, HDF offers five, scholarships for elementary education. The Healthy Mother-Baby Program is a program designed for first time pregnant mothers and is education and health based. Each woman in the program receives services, goods, vitamins and food amounting
to $250.

Wish List:
  • Cash or checks so they can transport goods and medicine to Haiti.



Sparc
232 Bruns Ln., 792-2100


Sparc’s many programs for developmentally disabled adults do just what their mission entails: improve the quality of their lives. These programs include residential support, supported living, developmental training, respite, supported employment, family support and the Epilepsy Support Center.

Wish List:

  • Educational games for adults with developmental disabilities Please check out the website www.MindWare.com or call 1-800-999-0398. These games range in price from $15.95 to $29.95.
  • Nintendo Wii - Please consider donating a Wii to provide exercise and skills training
  • Television
  • Computers for training lab
  • DVDs – CDs (any educational)
  • Drawing and other types of paper for arts and crafts
  • Beads, craft supplies, washable markers
  • Paper goods of all types to supply our residential homes (15 homes)
  • Laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, Clorox towlettes
  • Gift certificates of any type and amount (restaurants, grocery stores, etc.)
Angel Tree – Sparc’s Angel Tree is in their office lobby. Please stop by and take an ornament with the name, age and gender of a special needs individual, and purchase holiday gift items for that person.


Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault
3 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 206, 744-2560


Prairie Center provides support for victims of sexual assault and their families, and serves as a resource for the larger community on issues relating to sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Their mission is threefold: to support and advocate for men, women, children and families who are affected by rape and child sexual assault; to offer compassion and ensure justice for victims; and to reduce the prevalence of sexual assault in the community, with a vision to create, through leadership and action, a community that is free of sexual violence.

Wish list:
  • Journals
  • Angels or inspirational stones/trinket items that clients can hold in their hand while testifying in court
  • Personal care services- massage, haircut, manicures, yoga, etc
  • Gift Cards- coffee shop, restaurants, book stores, gas, etc.
  • Clothing for Survivors to wear home from the E.R: *Specifically— New non-logo adult and youth shirts, sweatshirts, sweat pants, and shorts in neutral colors (grey, black, tan, white) in all sizes. New flip flops (sandals) in all sizes. New women’s, girls, and boys underwear in neutral colors (grey, black, tan, white) in all sizes.
  • In-Kind Printing- for newsletters, special events and community trainings.
  • Sponsors for 2010 Walk a Mile In Her Shoes event scheduled for April 17, 2010.
  • Financial support for the “Hug Away The Hurt” children’s project.
  • PCASA Logo items- pens, bags, water bottles, stress-ease balls and safety whistles to circulate at schools and during community events.
  • Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Committee Members- This committee plans and implements the organization’s annual Walk a Mile In Her Shoes fundraising and awareness event in April.
  • Raffle Items- gift certificates, electronic items, gift baskets, etc.
  • In-Kind Website Design- PCASA is in need of a website makeover.
  • Bus Tokens/Passes and Taxi Vouchers
  • Crisis Accommodations- Hotel gift certificates and/or vouchers to provide a short term safe place for victims of sexual assault.

Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery
1011 N. 7th St., 525-6800

Started in 1989 with a mission to prevent child abuse and neglect, the Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery provides free emergency, temporary care, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for children from birth through age 6, who may be at risk of abuse or neglect or whose parents are experiencing some type of crisis. In addition to crisis care, the nursery offers continuing support to families, in-home visits, crisis counseling, parenting classes, and referrals to other agencies.

Wish List:

  • Diapers
  • Laundry detergent
  • Baby wipes
  • Children’s shampoo
  • Children’s conditioner
  • Trash Bags
  • Lysol
  • Lawn bags
  • Volunteers for the Children’s

Holiday Store Catholic Charities of Springfield
800 S. 5th St., 523-9201

Formed in 1925, Catholic Charities of Springfield serves thousands of individuals and families each year through eight programs:  St. John’s Breadline, Crisis Assistance and Advocacy, MedAssist Program, Holy Family Food Pantry, St. Clare’s Health Clinic, Adoption Services, Foster Care and the Intact Family program. 

Wish list:

  • Monetary support to cover general operating costs
  • Chest freezer for the pantry
  • Turkeys for Thanksgiving baskets
  • Emergency medication (financial contributions to help cover medications for those in need)
  • New phone system for the crisis office and Pantry, cost around $4,000
  • Carpet and padding for two foster care, parent/child visiting rooms
  • Toothbrushes for preschool, school age and adults – St. Clare’s Health Clinic
  • Sample toothpastes (for children under age 6) – St. Clare’s Health Clinic
  • AT 555auto non-contact tonometer and table and hand-held tono-penavia for St. Clare’s vision program, cost $11,000
  • Dental chair with mounted light for St. Clare’s Health Clinic
  • Vacuum for St. John’s Breadline
  • New clothes washer for St. John’s Breadline 


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