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Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 07:16 pm

Holiday help for nonprofits

holiday wish lists from local nonprofit organizations


If you’re like most Illinois Times readers, your life is safe and secure and the holidays are a time for family fun and delicious meals. Sadly that isn’t the case for everyone in our community. Many won’t have packages to open or a festive celebration to look forward to. Thousands around the area count on help from a nonprofit organization just to have the most basic comforts in life.

Below are the first of nearly 20 holiday wish lists IT has assembled from local nonprofit organizations. These groups need your help all year round but they are especially eager for help during the holidays. Look for this feature each week during the holiday season; we’ll publish as many wish lists as space permits in print each week. If you represent a nonprofit organization that has not yet submitted a wish list please send email to swhalen@illinoistimes.com or call 622-6700 for details.

Animal Protective League
1001 Taintor Road, 544-7387

The Animal Protective League (APL) is a private,nonprofit 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 to spay/neuter and medical needs
* Canned cat food, pate
* Dawn dish soap
* Paper towels
* Liquid laundry detergent - non-HE
* Bleach
* Trash bags – 13-, 33- and 55-gallon
* Baby washcloths
* Karo syrup
* Sharpies, pens, Index cards (3x5), manilla folders, White Out tape
* copy paper, letter size
* Forever postage stamps

First Presbyterian Church of Springfield
321 South Seventh Street, 528-4311

First Presbyterian Church’s physical location remains emblematic of its mission to live and serve within the heart of the city. The church’s Food Pantry assists 800 to 1,200 people monthly. Staffed by volunteers, the pantry is stocked solely through generous donations of cash and shelf-stable food. The pantry is always in need of items such as peanut butter, canned fruit and vegetables, pasta, chili, soup, cereal, and Spam. The pantry is open for those in need on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon.

Food donations may be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you are unable to deliver your donation, need help unloading it or parking directions please call 528-4311 and ask for the administrative assistant. At this time the pantry is not in need of volunteers but keeps a list of those willing to help in the future.

Central Illinois Horse Rescue
Roodhouse, 720-2905.
Facebook: Central Illinois Horse Rescue
Steve Alexander, owner
Save a horse: Cilhorserescue@yahoo.com

Founded in 2003, Central Illinois Horse Rescue’s mission is to rescue horses from abuse and/or neglect situations. We rehabilitate the horses with a strict diet and health / behavior evaluations; after they pass the horses are available for adoption. We also aid (when money and space permits) those individuals who are unable to care for the horses due to financial or hardship situations. Steve Alexander and his family started this rescue for the love and beauty of the horses and are the primary providers for the horses.

Central Illinois Horse Rescue has rescued and successfully rehabilitated and re-homed 46 horses. Based in Roodhouse, CIHR serves Greene, Scott, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Macoupin and Cass counties.

Wish list:
• Volunteers and foster homes across the state
• Horse blankets
• Feed/hay
• 4 rolls of 360-foot field fence
• 4 ft 3pt scraper blade to clean out stalls
• Construction labor and materials to complete the barn:
- Building materials: 80 2x4x16, 20 2x4x12, 40 2x8x12
- Nails
- Smaller “out barns” for horses during inclement weather.
- Donations to purchase tin for building. (Estimated $1,600 to finish the barn)
- Electric wire 10-3 underground 250 feet to connect electricity to barn
- Three 52’ frost-free water hydrants
• Someone to cut hay fields / prepare square bales.

Tower of Refuge, Inc.
329 S. New Street, 241-9911
www. towerofrefugeinc.com

Tower of Refuge is a grass-roots organization whose primary purpose is to reduce the rate of prison recidivism in the state of Illinois. It works in collaboration with several local and state organizations to provide a continuum of reentry services to address the needs of individuals who are currently or formally incarcerated and their families. Tower’s services include training, education, employment readiness, HIV/AIDS education/testing/counseling, help with housing, toiletries, clothing, medical assistance and counseling. The group’s success is determined by former inmates becoming and remaining healthy, productive members of their neighborhoods and communities.

Wish list:
• Adult bicycles in good condition to provide transportation for TOR’s clients to get to work
• Bus tokens or bus passes
• Gift cards
• Monetary donations
• New underwear for men and women in all sizes, including socks
• Toiletries for men and women. (razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, bars of soap. (Please provide full-size items.)
• Volunteers. If you would like to assist with projects, programs contact Bobbi Norman, 241-9911 x228 or bobbi@towerofrefugeinc.com

M.E.R.C.Y. Communities
108 E. Cook Street
753-1358 Office
217-753-1360 Fax
Email: info@mercycommunities.org
Contact: Joan Hysler, marketing director, joan@mercycommunities.org

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 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 additional volunteers helping throughout the year on various projects.

Wish list:
• New towels and washcloths
• New dish towels and pot holders
• Sheets -- full and twin sets
• Laundry and cleaning supplies
• TV converters
• Bus passes

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Illinois Capital Region
928 South Spring St., 753-1216
Contact: Carissa Brownback, director of programs

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Illinois Capital Region (BBBS), an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, was organized and incorporated in 1972 in Sangamon County.
The mission of BBBS is to help children reach their full potential through life-changing, professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships. BBBS serves youth in five counties: Christian, Sangamon, Logan, Macoupin and Montgomery.

Wish list:
• Mentors, mentors, mentors!
• Child-size scissors
• Markers
• Individually wrapped snacks
• Copy paper

Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery
1011 North Seventh Street, 525-6800
Karen Cox, executive director

MOCN’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing emergency care for children who may be at risk or whose parents are experiencing some type of crisis. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The nursery opened on May 15,1989.

Nursery Programs: Infants and children from birth to age six are cared for by trained, nurturing staff in a homelike environment, free of charge. The children we care for participate in learning activities, interacting with other children and staff. Developmental and medical screenings also are provided.

Family Support: Support services from our professional staff are available 24 hours a day to help families though a crisis. Family services include --
• Crisis counseling and follow-up home visits
• Parent education classes and support groups
• Referrals for food, clothing and shelter
• Referrals for drug/alcohol treatment or domestic violence protection
• Necessities for children such as diapers and formula.

Wish list:
• Updated furniture and supplies for all the children’s areas
• Metal shelving units
• Three-drawer horizontal (lateral) filing cabinet 42X18X40
• Weekend volunteers to help in the nursery with children
• New stove/oven
• Digital camera
• Children’s winter clothes, socks and underwear (size newborn to 8/10)
• Office furniture for our intake office (desk, storage credenza, etc)
Financial donations are always welcome

Sojourn Shelter & Services
1800 Westchester Boulevard,
726-5200 (24-hour hotline), 726-5100 (office)

Sojourn Shelter and Services, Inc. was founded in 1975 to provide a safe place to help victims of domestic violence. Sojourn currently provides 24-hour emergency shelter and hotline services, court advocacy, prevention and education, volunteer opportunities and operates Sojourn Westside Fashions. Each year Sojourn assists approximately 1,600 victims of domestic violence and their children.

Wish lists:

For women:
• Winter hats, gloves, scarves
• Slippers (all sizes)
• Bras (all sizes)
• Bath robes, pajamas
• Socks
• Journals/diaries
• Shampoo, conditioner, lotions, deodorant
• Combs, brushes

For children:
• Winter hats, gloves, scarves
• Snow boots (all sizes)
• Slippers, socks (all sizes)
• Bath robes, pajamas (all sizes)
• Board games, puzzles, books
• G-rated DVDs
• Action Figures
• Dolls

For shelter:
• Rock salt
• Alarm clocks
• Cough drops, allergy medicines, chapsticks
• Toilet paper
• Umbrellas
• Paper towels
• Garbage bags (39 gallon)
• Clorox wipes
• Prepaid calling cards
• Canned foods
• Clear garbage bags for recycling (39 gallon)

The Phoenix Center
109 E. Lawrence Ave., 528-5253
Contact: Jonna J Cooley PhD, executive director

The Phoenix Center provides quality, confidential HIV/AIDS-related services to the community including free testing, counseling and outreach as well as transitional housing for homeless men and women who are HIV. The Phoenix Center is also Springfield’s LGBTQ Community Center, offering groups and services for the LGBTQ community as well as organizing Springfield PrideFest.

Wish list:
• We are in desperate need of a chest of drawers
• Van for client transportation to medical appointments and grocery runs.
• Bath towels
• Personal hygiene products
• Dish and laundry soap
• Twin-size bedspreads and blankets
• Nonperishable food,
• Toilet paper and paper towels
• Two vacuum cleaners

Central Illinois Foodbank
2000 E. Moffat Avenue, 522-6418
Contact: Kaleigh Friend, kfriend@centralilfoodbank.org

The purpose of Central Illinois Foodbank is to collect donated food and grocery items from growers, manufacturers, processors, distributors and retailers for distribution to charitable agencies serving people in need. The Foodbank, established in 1982 by a coalition of churches, distributes more than 8.5 million pounds of food annually to about 150 food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs and after-school programs in a 21-county region. Central Illinois Foodbank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, and is a United Way certified agency.

Wish list:
• Canned vegetables
• Canned fruit
• Ham/turkey
• Boxed mashed potatoes
• Stuffing mix
• Peanut butter
• Canned chili
• Canned beef stew
• Hygiene products

Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault
3 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 206, 744-2560
Catherine Walters, executive director
Shelley Vaughn, assistant director

Our work began in 1975, when a dedicated cadre of Springfield women organized to create a rape crisis center. They established a grass-roots organization with 24-hour crisis hotline and named it The Rape Information and Counseling Service (RICS) now known as the Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault. Now celebrating 37 years of service, Prairie Center is third largest rape crisis center in Illinois, serving 11 counties with offices in both Springfield and Jacksonville. The center has 12 staff members and 30 volunteer crisis workers.
Our mission today is the same today as it was in 1975: to 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.

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.
• 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.
• Sponsors for 2013 Walk a Mile In Her Shoes event scheduled for April 20, 2013.
• Raffle Items -- gift certificates, electronic items, gift baskets, etc.

Historic Grace Lutheran Church Food Pantry
714 E. Capitol Ave.
217 / 522-3965
Pastor Tom Christell

Historic Grace Lutheran Church Food Pantry has operated in downtown Springfield since the late 1960s. Historic Grace’s goal is to provide the best nutritional l food for families and individuals in need. The economy has created more need than ever before; we’re grateful for the community’s support with cash donations and / or non-perishable food items which go directly to our clients. The pantry is supported by many congregations across Springfield and is volunteer run.

Our wish list is primarily non-perishable food:
• Soup
• Vegetables, fruits
• Dried beans
• Canned meats of all kinds
• Cereal
• Ramon noodles
• Peanut Butter, Jelly
• Pancake mix and syrup
• Cake mixes and frosting
• Spaghetti Sauces
• Pasta , rice
• Instant potatoes and stuffing
• Macaroni and Cheese
• Bar soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper

Illinois Humane
P.O. Box 512
Springfield, IL 62705
Doug Mayol, thecardologist@att.net

Illinois Humane (www.illinoishumane.org) relies on foster homes and paid kennel space to house homeless – rescued - sick or in-need animals until they can be adopted. IH’s costs are mainly for food and medical needs of the animals. The group does not have a kennel facility - and thus no storage space is available for donated supplies.
Animals in need are featured on our website. There is a link on the site to donate money as well as a link to purchase t-shirts and other merchandise that aids in our support of the animals.

IH’s wish list:
• Foster homes to house animals in need
• Monetary donations to defray the medical costs
• Gift cards for grocery/pet/farm stores to help with the cost of feeding

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois
610 N. 7th Street, Springfield
Contact: Megan Mueller, development and communications coordinator

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois (RMHCCI) exists to provide a supportive home away from home for families with children receiving medical care in Springfield. Located in the heart of Springfield’s medical community, 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. Donations are accepted daily from 8 a.m. till 8 p.m.

Wish list:
• Volunteers! Please visit our website
or call the House for more information
• Converter boxes and antennas for TVs
• Queen sheets (bleachable, white)
• Queen-sized zippered pillow protectors
• AAA, AA, C, & D batteries
• Postage stamps
• Slipper socks
• Long bathrobes
• Gallon size Ziploc bags
• Certificates for haircuts, manicures for guests
• Ingredients for baking: butter, eggs, sugar, chocolate chips


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