Lend a hand to these central Illinois organizations this holiday season. Check Illinois Times next week for more local wish lists. Send lists to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
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.
- 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 email@example.com.
- 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.
- Mashed potatoes
- Macaroni and cheese
- Cake mix
- Canned sweet potatoes
- Canned fruit
- Canned green beans
- Pork and beans
- Cranberry jelly
- Peanut butter
- Corn bread mix
- Canned corn, peas, carrots
- Fresh celery
- Fresh carrots
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.