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Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 02:55 am

Lend a hand 2011

Help these helping agencies by getting them something from their wish lists

These central Illinois organizations need some extra help this holiday season.  If your organization needs help you’re your list to: swhalen@illinoistimes.com

Animal Protective League (APL)
1001 Taintor Rd.
(217) 544-7387

The Animal Protective League (APL) is a private, not-for-profit animal welfare organization, funded by donations. It operates an animal shelter, a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, and maintains numerous programs that benefit members of the community. APL services individuals and other animal welfare groups and animal control facilities within a 90-mile radius of Springfield.

Wish List
  • Monetary donations
  • Canned cat food (pate style)
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Bleach, dish soap
  • Small food dishes
  • Q-tips
  • Sharpies, pens, 3x5 index cards, manila folders, White Out
  • Copy paper, letter or legal size
  • Staplers and staples
  • Paper towels, toilet paper
  • AA batteries
  • Trash bags
  • Volunteers 16 years to:
  • Take shelter animals to offsite adoptions on weekends
  • Provide foster homes for animals
  • Walk dogs at our shelter/socialize cats
  • General cleaning
  • Taking photographs of animals for website and marketing materials
  • Take shelter animals to nursing homes and schools for special programs
  • Work at special events and fundraisers
  • Make surgical packs and clean instruments in our spay/neuter clinic
  • Office help - making phone calls, filing
  • Building maintenance - Carpentry/wiring/plumbing
  • Grounds maintenance – snow removal/mowing
  • Drivers for our clinic transport vehicle

(Ask about our Summer program for 13yrs and up!)

Bethesda Lutheran Communities
1905 Montana Drive

Bethesda Lutheran Communities is a non-profit organization that has provided services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1904. We provide 24-hour support throughout the area. We always need volunteers to help the people the need support to realize their goals and dreams. Household items are greatly appreciated. To volunteer or donate, please contact Leigh Mazrim at leigh.mazrim@mailblc.org.

Central Illinois Community Blood Center (CICBC)
1134 S. Seventh St., Springfield,
(217) 753-1530 

Central Illinois Community Blood Center is the provider of life-saving blood for 12 hospitals throughout central Illinois, including Memorial Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. A division of Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC), Central Illinois Community Blood Center and MVRBC collect more than 180,000 units of blood annually and serve a total of 80 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Our everyday wish is to have more healthy individuals commit to donating blood regularly.  All blood types are needed year round, but we especially encourage donations during the holiday season when needs are high but donations tend to decrease.

All persons age 17 and up (or 16, with parental permission) who are in good health and weigh at least 110 lbs. are eligible to give blood. Additional restrictions apply through the pre-donation screening process. The process only takes about one hour, and you can donate whole blood every 56 days. To find a mobile blood drive or schedule an appointment in CICBC’s Springfield Donor Center, call (217) 753-1530 or visit www.bloodcenterIMPACT.org.  Walk-ins are welcome!

Central Illinois Foodbank
2000 E. Moffat Avenue
(T) 217.522.4022
(F) 217.522.6418

Central Illinois Foodbank, established in 1982 by a coalition of churches, distributes over 8 million pounds of food annually to over 150 food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs and after-school programs in a 21 county region.  The Foodbank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization and a United Way certified agency.

The Foodbank’s most needed items include:

  • Canned vegetables, canned fruit,
  • canned meat, soup
  • boxed meals, beef stew,
  • pasta, macaroni/cheese, rice
  • peanut butter,
  • cereal, chili,
  • canned pasta sauce

Holiday wishes:

  • cranberry sauce,
  • boxed stuffing or
  • boxed mashed potatoes   
Non-food items are also needed:
  • soap, laundry detergent, shampoo,
  • toilet paper, diapers,
  • toothpaste.  

(A reminder that we cannot use anything that is opened, expired, unlabeled, homemade or contains alcohol. )

Forever Home Feline Ranch
3600 Persimmon Drive, Springfield, IL  62712

Forever Home Feline Ranch is a nonprofit organization created to provide every cat in need a forever home.  Forever Home Feline Ranch will be a sanctuary where cats will 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 which 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, 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  
  • Volunteers
  • Monetary donations

Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County

Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County provides decent and affordable housing for families in Sangamon County.  Volunteers build the homes and Habitat homeowners purchase the homes through no profit loans and contribute sweat equity towards their new home.  Since 1989, Habitat has served 86 families in Sangamon County, providing homes for over 350 individuals.  Habitat also operates the ReStore that accepts donated building and home materials and reuses materials diverting over 1 million pounds from the landfills.  The ReStore is located at 1514 West Jefferson in Springfield and is open Monday – Friday from 10am – 6pm and Saturday from 9-5.

Habitat is in need of:

  • Kitchen cabinets:  Free pick up available of used kitchen cabinets.  Any size, variety and condition are appreciated and accepted.
  • Used appliances:  Free pick up available for appliances to support Habitat’s program.  Refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, dishwashers and microwaves are needed.
  • Volunteers: Habitat is seeking volunteers interested in committing to travel with Habitat to build homes in Guatemala in November 2012.  Must be 16 years old and training is provided.
  • Old Electronics: Keep old electronics out of the landfill by donating them to Habitat for recycling.  All electronics accepted, free of charge.  Proceeds from the recycling support Habitat’s new home construction program.
For more information, contact Habitat at 217.523.2710 or visit habitatsangamon.com.

Kumler Outreach Ministries
303 N. Grand Ave. East
Ph. 217.523.2269
Fax 217.523.4920

Kumler Outreach Ministries began as a bag of groceries under Kumler United Methodist Church’s  kitchen sink in 1976 and now serves more than 20,000 people each year, providing groceries, paying for prescriptions for the uninsured, offering clothing and small household items to those in need, and hosting Springfield’s north side GED location for Lincoln Land Community College.  Other available items include layettes for newborns, personal hygiene items and winter coats in limited supply. 

The Outreach Ministries also hosts Hospitality House, open to guests who are homeless or low-income; guests gather each Tuesday evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the church to share a light meal and get toiletries, other needed items.   

Holiday wish list:
  • Pantry Partners who provide a week’s worth of a designated staple item for Kumler’s food pantry (e.g. peanut butter)
  • Individuals/families/organizations to “adopt” a child(ren) at Christmas, buying a new outfit of clothes
  • Financial gifts 
  • Adult coats, winter hats, scarves and gloves
  • Children’s winter coats
  • Diapers, particularly large sizes (5s and 6s)
  • Sleeping bags and blankets
  • Personal hygiene items, e.g. soap, deodorant, shampoo
  • Garden fresh produce, as seasonally available
  • More food drives and collections through the spring and summer, particularly when children are out of school and demand is high
Donations are accepted at the 303 N. Grand Ave. East
Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to Noon) or call 217/ 523-2269.

M.E.R.C.Y. Communities
217-753-1358 Office
217-753-1360 Fax

M.E.R.C.Y. Communities provides housing and supportive services to homeless and at-risk women and children. MERCY started in 1999, serving 10 transitional families and has grown, with our Permanent Supportive Housing, to 30 plus moms and 55 plus children.   The children's ages range from infants to 17 years old.  Our families are working very hard to become independent and self-sufficient, through educational classes, life skills training, and a variety of job training opportunities.  We have a volunteer base of 30-35, with other volunteers helping throughout the year on various projects.  Thank you for your assistance in making their Christmas special!

Christmas Wish List include:

  • Women’s and children’s hats, mittens, scarves - all ages
  • New small appliances like crock pots, hand mixers, toasters
  • New towels and washcloths
  • Sheets - full and twin sets
  • Blankets-full and twin size
  • Laundry and cleaning supplies
  • Toys for all ages (especially children ages 11-17)
National Museum of Surveying
521 E. Washington
(217) 523-3130

(donations will also benefit the Illinois State Historical Society and the Springfield African American Historical Foundation and Museum since they operate out of the same facility)

Our wish list:
  • Stack-able or fold-able chair
  • Projector Screen
  • Printer/Copy Paper
  • Volunteers
  • Tables
  • Bookshelves
  • Americana Bunting
  • Used TVs with built in DVD player
  • Items needed for the Survey Museum
  • Children Craft and Science Kits
  • Give the gift of a tour to a child/family/classroom: Contact the museum at 523.3130 for the gift card form and more information.
  • Used/Recycle fairly new computers; handheld GPS unit for our new GIS/Community Mapping Lab
  • 60 W CFL/Flood Bulbs
  • Pedestals/Display Cases/Display Boxes 
Phoenix Center
109 East  Lawrence Avenue,
217-528-5253 phone 217-528-5260 fax

The Phoenix Community Center provides transitional housing to homeless men and women who are HIV , free HIV testing and outreach, HIV/AIDS prevention education in the schools and throughout the community, and serves as Springfield’s LGBTQ Community Center. This year the Phoenix Community Center organized the first Springfield PRIDE.

Our wish list:
  • Regular size bed pillows
  • Toilet paper, paper towns
  • Cleaning supplies
  • DVD players (for resident rooms)
  • Volunteers to paint resident rooms (can be done any day 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.)
  • 2X / 3X women’s clothing
  • A linoleum remnant for resident kitchen (15x30)

Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault,
3 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 206,
Springfield, IL  62701

In 2012, Prairie Center celebrates thirty-seven years of service in Central Illinois. Our work began in 1975, when a dedicated cadre of Springfield women organized to create a rape crisis center in Springfield, Illinois.   They established a grass roots organization with 24-hour crisis hotline and named it The Rape Information and Counseling Service (RICS).   Today RICS is known as the Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault. We are the third largest rape crisis center in Illinois serving eleven counties.  Prairie Center maintains an office in Springfield and in Jacksonville. We employ twelve staff members and have 30 volunteer crisis workers.  Our mission today is the same as it was in 1975: alleviate the suffering of sexual assault victims, prevent sexual violence, and promote social justice for women and children.  Prairie Center provides emergency room response, legal advocacy and counseling for sexual assault survivors.  We advocate for victim rights in the law enforcement and criminal justice systems. Our school based prevention education programs focus on reducing the likelihood of sexual victimization, particularly in the lives of children and adolescents. 

Holiday wish list

  • 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.
  • Sponsors for 2012 Walk a Mile In Her Shoes event scheduled for April 21, 2012.
  • Raffle Items- gift certificates, electronic items, gift baskets, etc.
  • 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.
Ronald McDonald House
610 North 7th Street  Springfield, IL 62702-5329
(217) 528-3314

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois is located in the heart of Springfield's medical community. Since opening in 1986, we've provided more than 10,000 families with a convenient "home away from home" while their children are hospitalized. We're here to offer a good night's sleep, a hot meal, and everything needed to keep the parents' lives as simple as possible while they tend to the important task at hand: devoting all of their love and support to helping their child get well. We have a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable living and recreations rooms, laundry room, 12 bedrooms each with a private bath, and many other amenities. A large pantry is always stocked with food available to all guests at no charge. The house is owned and operated by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization.

Office Supplies:
  • Postage Stamps
  • White & Pastel Copy paper (8 1/2 x11)
  • HP Ink #96 & #97
  • Sticky Notes – all sizes

Guest Needs:
  • Deodorants (personal size)
  • Personal/feminine hygiene products

Current Pantry Needs:
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Tea
  • Juice
  • Canned Meats or Meat for the Freezer
  • Fast Breakfast Foods (ex. Waffles, HotPockets)
  • Individual Cereals
  • Individual Snack Items
  • Microwaveable Lunch Items
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Saltines
  • Mayonnaise
  • Frosting
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Cream Style Soups
  • Pickles
  • Individual Sized Snacks – crackers, breakfast bars, chips
  • Baking Soda
  • Canned Fruit (other than fruit cocktail)
  • *Gift cards for local grocery stores:
  • County Market, Shop n Save, WalMart
  • (So we can purchase what we don’t have when we need it)

Salvation Army
530 North Sixth Street

Wish List

  • Volunteer Bell ringers for 2 hours (call 528-1310)
  • Food for our Food Pantry
  • Families or groups who can prepare a dinner for 55 to feed our shelter residents
  • Volunteers who can trim the trees around our building at 100 N. Ninth Street
  • Volunteers who can answer our phones from 3 - 5 pm Mon - Fri or any day during the week
  • Volunteers to help with our Christmas Distribution on 12/21 and 12/22 (call 528-1310)
  • Volunteers who can help us on various nights throughout the year collect from cars parking in our parking lot.  (call 525-2196)
  • Volunteers who can work in our food pantry
  • A pickup truck with a snow plow or just a truck or just a snow plow
  • A snow blower
  • Christmas lights
  • Coats for kids of all ages 0 – 99

Senior Services of Central Illinois

Senior Services of Central Illinois provides services to over 35,000 senior citizens across four counties each year.  Our services include the Daily Bread program, transportation, volunteer coordination, information and assistance, elder abuse investigation, counseling and money management.  Our mission is to assist seniors in remaining independent and in their own homes for as long as possible.  Anyone who has questions or needs assistance is welcomed to call 217-528-4035.

Wish list:

  • Grocery gift cards (for holiday food baskets and raffle prizes)
  • Donate books for book sale – April 2012
  • 44 cent, 29 cent or Forever stamps  (45 cent as of Jan. 22, 2012)
  • Volunteers to teach computer classes (twice a week for 4 weeks)
  • Volunteer driver for “Miss Daisy” (14-passenger mini-bus)
  • Gas money for “Miss Daisy”
  • Bingo prizes (Bingo is played on Wednesdays)
  • Small brown paper sacks
  • Paper plates, napkins
  • Donate non-perishable food to our in-house food pantry
  • Small turkey or hams for holiday gift baskets
  • Unwrapped presents to share with our seniors for the holiday  (gift items, toiletries etc.)
  • Cash donations are always welcome

232 Bruns Lane, Springfield.
Training facility:  2929 Stanton Avenue.

Sparc has been enriching the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Our programs consist of 24 hour residential support, developmental training, supported employment, family support services, supported living and Epilepsy Resource Center with three of their own programs.

Keeping our 16 homes stocked with the basic necessities is a big challenge so most of our needs are to support the 24 hour residential programs.  

We always need

  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Disinfectant wipes

We also hope for household goods:

  • blankets, comforters
  • brooms
  • cookware
  • dishtowels
  • garbage bags
  • all purpose cleaners
  • light bulbs

Volunteers are needed for events throughout the year. To volunteer call Morgan at 793-2100 ext. 167 or email her at mfishburn@spfldpsparc.org.

Sojourn Shelter & Services
1800 Westchester Blvd., Springfield
217 / 726-5100

Sojourn Shelter & Services, Inc. was founded in 1975 and operates with a mission to eliminate domestic violence through service, leadership and education.  Services include emergency shelter, individual and group counseling, a 24-hour crisis hotline, community education and training, teen dating violence prevention, court advocacy and pro bono legal services.  All services are confidential and free of charge.  Each year Sojourn serves approximately 1,500 adult and child victims of domestic violence in our community. 

Wish list:

  • Washing machine – new or used
  • New plastic encased twin mattresses
  • Christmas meal for shelter residents (32 people)
  • Curling irons
  • Flat irons
  • Hair dryers
  • Laundry detergent
  • Grocery gift cards
  • Prepaid Phone Cards
  • Bath Towels
  • Women’s slippers
  • Kids socks sizes 2-10
  • Ladies socks
  • Hairbrushes
  • Toilet paper
  • Baby wipes, diapers
  • Large bottles of shampoo conditioner
  • Hair products for African Americans
  • Umbrellas and alarm clocks
  • Cleaning supplies and rags
  • Paper Towels
  • Garbage bags – 13 gallon and 33 gallon
  • Gently used women’s, men’s and children’s clothing - can be dropped off at Sojourn’s Westside Fashions located at 2815 W. White Oaks Drive.
  • Used cell phones - both working and non-working

Monetary donations are greatly appreciated and can be mailed at any time. All other donations can be dropped off at the shelter which is located at 1800 Westchester Blvd., just east of the intersection of Chatham Rd. and Westchester Boulevard

Special Olympics Illinois Area 17/Sangamon
413 E. Adams
Springfield, IL 62705

  • Volunteers! People can contact me at dburnett@soill.org or 544-3023.
  • Plungers. The Polar Plunge is March 3 and we are looking for a few good Plungers! To sign up, go to www.plungeillinois.com and follow the Polar Bears to Area 17
Tower of Refuge
329 S. New Street
(217) 241-9911

Tower of Refuge is a grass-roots organization whose primary purpose is to reduce the rate of recidivism in the state of Illinois.  It works in collaboration with a number of local and state organizations that assists in providing a continuum of reentry services to address the needs of individuals who are currently or formally incarcerated and their families through the vehicles of training, education, employment readiness, HIV/AIDS education/testing/ counseling, housing and medical assistance, toiletries, clothing, and counseling. Tower’s services and programs focus on improving the successful continuous rehabilitation of people who are or have been involved in the criminal justice system at the county, state, or federal level while often rebuilding and reconciling family relationships.  It success is determined by former inmates becoming and remaining healthy, productive members of their neighborhoods and communities.

Wish list for Tower of Refuge (TOR)
  • Adult bicycles in good condition to provide transportation for TOR’s clients to get to work
  • Gift cards
  • Monetary Donations
  • New underwear for men and women in all sizes, including socks
  • Snow removal service for Tower’s office on New Street
  • Time and talent to assist Tower as it begins to bridge the Juvenile Justice System through its new character/integrity enhancement program The E6Advantage Program targeting at-risk youth who are in middle school and high school.  Mentors, tutors, and organizers are needed to help launch this much needed program for the Springfield community.
  • Toiletries, i.e. tooth brushes and tooth paste; deodorant; shampoo and conditioner; lotion; bars of soap
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