Unita Sims (left), vice president of children and family services for Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, helps a child during a One Warm Coat giveaway at Burlington Coat Factory in Crestwood. | Supplied photo
Updated: January 26, 2013 6:11AM
Here is a look at charity news in the Southland.
Superheroes Gathering: A superhero event to raise money for Make-A-Wish America will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. Dec. 28 at Dave & Buster’s, 49 Orland Square Drive, Orland Park. Costumers With a Cause and The Outfit Costuming and Cosplay Chicago are putting on the event, which will feature popular superheroes and villains, including Spider-Man, Dr. Doom, Batman and more, who will entertain and take pictures with guests. There will also be a special appearance by Kitty Zombie, a popular zombie character in Chicago. Anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult at least 25 years old. For more information, call (708) 428-2100.
Hat and Mitten Tree: The Chicago Ridge Public Library, 10400 S. Oxford Ave., is accepting donations for its Hat and Mitten Tree throughout December. It is requesting new or handcrafted winterwear items such as hats, mittens/gloves and scarves for adults and children to be distributed to local families. Information: (708) 423-7753 or www.chicagoridge.lib.il.us.
Winter Sports Fundraiser: The Oak Lawn Community High School boys basketball and wrestling programs are holding a Gift-checkbook fundraiser that enables participants to take advantage of savings when shopping and dining locally. Containing over $200 in valuable offers, the Oak Lawn Gift-checkbook is on sale for $20. It features 16 gift-checks that can be used like cash at local restaurants and merchants. The books can be bought from members of the basketball and wrestling teams or by visiting www.goboostershot.com/store/, where the offers also can be viewed. For more information, email Jason Rhodes at email@example.com or contact John Kowieski at (630) 306-2244 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Pantry Drive: The Frankfort Park District and the chamber of commerce are collecting nonperishable items throughout December to assist people in the township who are in need. Items being collected include paper products, shampoo and hair care products, bar soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, jelly and canned juices. The items can be dropped off at the Frankfort Park District, 140 Oak St., or the chamber of commerce, 123 Kansas St., Frankfort. All donations will go to the township food pantry. Information: (815) 469-9400.
Retirees Needed: The Gaylord Building, 200 W. 8th St., Lockport, is seeking volunteers to help lead educational activities and community outreach. Retirees with experience in education, business or a variety of building trades are especially ideal. For more information, call (815) 838-9400 or email email@example.com.
Help the Hungry: Through Feb. 2, Food 4 Less and Foods Co. customers and associates can support local food banks by donating their spare change in collection canisters at the checkouts. For more information, visit www.food4less.com.
Heart to Heart Extravaganza: The Crisis Center for South Suburbia’s annual Heart to Heart Extravaganza dinner dance is scheduled for Feb. 9 at Silver Lake Country Club, 14700 S. 82nd Ave., Orland Park. There will be cocktails, dinner, auctions, live entertainment and a raffle with $9,500 in prize money awarded. Raffle tickets are $50 and for sale by visiting www.crisisctr.org/events. A ticket order form (also available online) can be downloaded and mailed with payment to the Crisis Center, P.O. Box 39, Tinley Park, IL 60477. Only 500 tickets will be sold. Dinner dance tickets ($90), ad book advertising space, and sponsorship opportunities also are available. Contact Christopher Beele at (708) 429-7255, Ext. 118, for reservations and more information. The Crisis Center for South Suburbia provides emergency shelter and other essential services for individuals and families victimized by domestic violence.
Sunday Shoppers: Sertoma Centre’s Good as New Thrift Store, 4331 Lincoln Highway, Matteson, now has Sunday hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The store features merchandise from the International Housewares Show. Everyone is welcome to shop, volunteer or donate. For more information, call (708) 481-5627 or visit www.sertomacentre.org. Sertoma Centre, Inc., serves more than 700 individuals with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities, and/or mental illness.
10th Anniversary: One More Thing Resale Shop, at 343 Main St., Park Forest, benefits victims of domestic violence and homeless women with children. The shop, owned by South Suburban Family Shelter, just celebrated its 10th anniversary. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Information: Contact Sharon at (708) 228-5077.
Repeat Boutique: The Repeat Boutique resale shop, at 18157 Dixie Highway in Homewood, is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. All workers are volunteers, and all proceeds go to Grand Prairie Services clients. Items in the shop include clothing, furs, jewlery, shoes, books and household items. Information: (708) 957-5052.
Seeking volunteers: The Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Illinois Chapter is seeking individuals interested in becoming Alzheimer’s Association Community Representatives in Will County. New volunteers will receive training. To become an AACR, visit alz.org/illinois, click on “volunteer” and select “Alzheimer’s Association Community Rep” on the application form.
Donate unused tickets: Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens, 7402 W. Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, has joined tix4cause.com, an emarketplace ticket service that turns unused tickets into cash donations for nonprofits. Individuals, businesses or corporations can donate unused tickets for sports, music, theater or leisure activities to Lake Katherine. The public can buy tickets via tix4cause.com, and 90 percent of the ticket proceeds go to support Lake Katherine. To make a donation and/or buy tickets, visit www.lakekatherine.org or tix4cause.com. Be sure to identify Lake Katherine as your charity of choice. Information: (708) 361-1873.
Text to Give: Nonprofit organization Park Lawn, 10833 S. LaPorte, Oak Lawn, has recently launched a new “Text to Give” mobile giving campaign to benefit the programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The program allows donors to make a $5 donation through Give by Cell by texting the phrase GIVEPL to the number 20222. Donations are tax-deductible and pledges are billed through your monthly cell phone bill. Users must be 18 or older or have parental permission to participate, and must agree to the terms and conditions. Message and data rates may apply. For more information, visit www.givebycell.com.
Staples: Together We Cope is seeking certain staples that are in short supply at its food pantry. Canned soup, pasta, rice and breakfast cereal in particular can be dropped off at the pantry, 17010 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Contact Carol Ettema, pantry director, at (708) 633-5040 if you wish to conduct a food drive for those items.
Purr-fect Donations: The South Suburban Humane Society is seeking donations to help take care of kittens. The humane society is registered at Target and Wal-Mart. Donated items also can be dropped off at The South Suburban Humane Society at 1103 West End Ave., Chicago Heights, or the SSHS Spay/Neuter Clinic at 18349 S. Halsted St., Glenwood.
Donations sought: The Silver Cross Hospital resale shop, the Encore Shop, is accepting donations of gently used seasonal decorations, adult and children’s clothing, household items and books. Donations can be dropped off 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and the first Saturday of the month at the Encore Shop at 1200 Maple Road, Joliet, just north of the former Silver Cross Hospital Emergency Department. Call (815) 300-7642 or Volunteers Services at Silver Cross Hospital at (815) 300-7117.
Pizza for a cause: St. Christopher School and Kenootz Pizzeria have teamed up for an Eat and Earn Fundraiser on the first Tuesday of each month. Kenootz Pizzeria, 4659 W. 147th St., Midlothian, is donating 25 percent of all profits for dine-in, carry-out and delivery order (before taxes, gratuity, and coupons) to the school. Be sure to mention St. Christopher when ordering to have the percentage donated. Call the pizzeria at (708) 535-0005.
Target St. Christopher School: St. Christopher School in Midlothian is continuing its participation in Target Corp.’s “Take Charge of Education” program. To help the school, individuals need to use their Target REDcard and inform the checkout person that they would like St. Christopher School to receive credit for the purchase. It does not cost the purchaser anything and Target Corp. will donate up to 1 percent of the REDcard purchases to the school.
Shopping for school: The Summit Hill Educational Foundation is part of the Dominick’s family of stores’ eScrip program. To participate in the SHEF fundraiser, individuals need to register their Fresh Values cards at Dominick’s. For information, call (815) 474-9052 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations needed: Neat Repeats Resale stores in Orland Park and Worth are in need of gently used women’s and children’s clothing, accessories, handbags, shoes and jewelry along with small household appliances and kitchen items in good working order. The Neat Repeats stores depend on community residents to provide the inventory for the retail operations. All donations benefit women and children who are receiving services free of charge from the Crisis Center for South Suburbia. Items can be dropped off at either store location: 7026 W. 111th St. in Worth, (708) 361-6860; or 9028 W. 159th St. in Orland Park, (708) 364-7605.
Donations sought: The Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn is seeking donations as part of its annual appeal. In 2012, the museum is trying to raise money for its new “We the People” interactive exhibit, which will teach kids about the importance of patriotism and includes pieces of two beams from the World Trade Center. Donations can be made online at the museum’s website, www.cmoaklawn.org, by following the links to donate or become a member; by mail at Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn, 5100 Museum Drive, Oak Lawn, IL 60453 or in person at the museum. Call (708) 423-6709.
Sharing soles: Orland Township, 14807 S. Ravinia, is collecting shoes for the Share Your Soles organization. Any gently worn shoes will be accepted 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays. The goal of the charity is to provide shoes to underprivileged families worldwide. Call (708) 403-4222.
Pets for vets: To ease the financial costs associated with pet ownership, the Animal Welfare League offers all veterans with military ID an exclusive 20 percent adoption fee discount. Adoptions include a free leash and collar or cat carrier, AVID Microchip, 10-day health care and one-year rabies vaccination. Adoptable pets can be viewed online at www.animalwelfareleague.com or by visiting the Chicago Ridge location, noon to 8 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Veterans can also get a 10 percent discount off veterinary services through its clinic, which is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. Information: visit www.PetsforPatriots.org or call (877) 473-8223.
Volunteers sought: Catholic Charities is seeking volunteers to help at “The Giving Tree” donation center at 3016 S. State St. in Lockport. Volunteers will assist with sorting, organizing and distributing a variety of items. Volunteers must be available to help on weekdays and be at least 18. Contact Marianne Holzhauer at (815) 774-4663, Ext. 3105 for information. If you are in need of services, contact Daybreak Center at the same phone number. For more information about the programs and services provided by Catholic Charities, visit catholiccharitiesjoliet.org.
Ring up donations: South Suburban Family Shelter is seeking cell phone donations and new cell phone collection sites for its ongoing fundraising program. The agency works with a company that specializes in the collection and recycling of used cellular phones. Some cell phone collection sites include: SSFS administrative office, 18139 Harwood, Homewood; Bergstein’s NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights; and Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Road., Flossmoor. Call (708) 794-2140, Ext.303.
Opportunities for animals: The Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge is selling Golden Opportunities Books 2012 for $25 each to raise money for its homeless animals. The books offer 50 percent-off coupons and two-for-one discounts at local restaurants, movies, grocers, sporting events and more. The Chicagoland South Suburban/Northwest Indiana Edition is available at the shelter. Call (708) 636-8586, Ext. 268.
Filling pantries: Working to meet unprecedented demand at its pantries in Worth and Summit, Catholic Charities southwest regional office is accepting donations of food and money earmarked for the pantries at its office, 7000 W. 111th St. in Worth. Call (708) 430-0428.
New program: Sertoma Centre Inc. hopes to reach a growing population of individuals who have been dually diagnosed with a developmental disability and mental illness. Its new program is a part of the Developmental Training Programs at Sertoma Centre, which will provide the opportunity for individuals to receive group or individual counseling. Participants in the program also will be given alternatives to talk therapies to better suit the needs of a wide range of individuals. Art, sand and play therapy techniques will be utilized for those who struggle with expressing their thoughts and feelings. Also, the utilization of poetry, music, and journaling will be implemented for relaxation and therapeutic interventions. Contact Heather Beckner at (708) 730-6333 or at email@example.com.
Gift cards aid shelter: South Suburban Family Shelter is participating in Jewel-Osco’s gift card program. Gift cards are available for purchase in $25, $50 and $100 increments, and the shelter will receive a 5 percent rebate for cards sold by the agency. Payment is made to South Suburban Family Shelter for the face value of the gift card: Proceeds benefit the programs and services provided free of charge to victims of domestic violence and their families. Contact the shelter at (708) 794-2140, Ext.303, or visit the administrative offices at 18139 Harwood, Homewood.
Tickets for a cause: Sertoma Centre Inc. has joined Tix4Cause.com, a ticket exchange website, to offer a new way for supporters to donate. The Tix4Cause website provides an online platform where ticketholders can donate unwanted tickets to Sertoma Centre and receive a tax deduction. Buyers then purchase these tickets, often at reasonable prices, and Tix4Cause passes 100 percent of the proceeds on to Sertoma Centre. Tix4Cause handles every aspect of customer service including ticket processing and handling. Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park is the first to donate tickets on behalf of Sertoma Centre. The tickets are valued at $140 and include four rounds of open play, 1-18 holes on their course. Sertoma Centre Inc. is a nonprofit agency that provides services to more than 625 individuals with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities and/or mental illness. Contact Melanie Jones at (708) 730-6206, www.sertomacentre.org or visit www.tix4cause.com.
Shop for PADS: South Suburban PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) has joined the network of charitable organizations that turn gently used fashions and accessories into cash at the Spree store at 151st Street and LaGrange Road in Orland Park. All donations of gently used clothing, shoes, jewelry, purses and other accessories donated at the Spree store can earn money for PADS. When individuals drop their items at Spree and select PADS as the charity of their choice, PADS receives a check for these donations. Information: Contact Dawn Thrasher at (708) 754-4357, Ext. 107, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Furniture helps Sertoma: Sertoma Centre is seeking donations of furniture for resale at its Good as New thrift store, 4331 Lincoln Highway in Matteson. Sertoma will pick up used donated furniture items and provide a receipt for tax purposes. The thrift store sales benefit more than 625 physically or developmentally challenged clients being served at the Sertoma Centre each day. To schedule a free pickup, contact Karey Wentz, Thrift Store manager, at (708) 481-5627, or e-mail email@example.com.
Replenish the pantry: Elsie’s Pantry, located at Moraine Valley Community Church in Palos Hills, has an ongoing need for canned goods and monetary donations to keep up with the increasing need. Since June 2000, the pantry has served more than 27,000 people living in Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Palos Park, Hickory Hills and parts of Bridgeview, Justice, Orland Park, Willow Springs and Worth. However, donations have decreased over the past two years, forcing the pantry to use its reserves, which, if not replenished, would run out by the end of the year. Canned goods can be brought to the church between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Donations by check may be made to Elsie’s Pantry, 8601 W. 107th St., Palos Hills, 60465. Information: (708) 598-4435.
Free bag of food: New Mercies Community Services was organized in 2003 to provide support services to low-income, elderly and disabled families in south Cook County. The organization operates a food pantry in Midlothian that distributes bags of food twice weekly to this same targeted population. Food distribution is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at New Mercies Community Services, 3824 W. 147th St., Midlothian. Donations to support the service also are sought. Information: Laurie Reed at (708) 606-2864.
Come clean: Together We Cope is seeking donations of personal care items — including shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap and disposable razors — that will be shared with families utilizing food pantry services. Donations of any quantity may be dropped off at 17010 S. Oak Park Ave. Tinley Park. Together We Cope is a nonprofit agency assisting families in temporary crisis from 22 south suburban communities. Information: Suellen or Tina at (708) 633-5040 or www.togetherwecope.org.
Reaching out: Together We Cope in Tinley Park has established an emergency outreach food program with Faith United Methodist Church as a partner. Emergency bags of nonperishable food will be delivered to the Orland Park church to increase outreach to families needing food. The organization seeks to establish similar partnerships with other area churches. Information: Mary Ann Baer at (708) 633-5040.
Furniture pickup: Together We Cope has added an additional day to its schedule for furniture pickups in Tinley Park and nearby suburbs. With pickups on Tuesdays and Fridays, there now is new inventory of gently used furniture twice a week at the organization’s resale shop, located at 17010 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park. The shop is open six days a week, and a small donation is requested for furniture pickups. Information: Call the shop at (708) 633-9180 or visit www.togetherwecope.org. Together We Cope is a nonprofit agency assisting families in crisis from 27 south suburban communities.
Help soldiers call home: “Cell Phones for Soldiers” was started by two teenagers to help buy calling cards to send to U.S. military stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world. They are collecting old cell phones and accessories. The cell phones are recycled for cash and proceeds used to buy the calling cards for the soldiers. “Cell Phones for Soldiers” has raised almost $2 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas. Daniels Printing and Office Supply, 14800 Cicero Ave., Oak Forest, is an official drop-off point for any make or model cell phone. Information: www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
Seeking senior volunteers: The Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Catholic Charities is seeking people 55 or older willing to share their talents and help those in need at a variety of local organizations, mainly in the Joliet Diocese. Catholic Charities will match individual interests with available volunteer opportunities and will provide supplementary insurance, mileage and meal reimbursement during volunteer service. Information: Cindy, (815) 933-7791, Ext. 125.
Donate cell phones: South Suburban Family Shelter is collecting old cell phones to be recycled. The recycling process produces revenue to support the shelter’s services. The Rotary Club of Park Forest has paired up with the shelter to help in the collection process. For a list of donation sites, visit www.rotaryofparkforest.org and click on “cell phone locations,” or www.ssfs1.org and click on “donate.”
Wendy’s Night: VFW Post 177 MacDonald-Linn has a fundraiser between 5 and 8 p.m. the last Wednesday of each month at the Wendy’s Restaurant at 79th Street and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview. Proceeds benefit the VFW National Home for Children, located in Michigan. Participants simply order food (drive-through or sit-in) from Wendy’s during this time period, and Wendy’s donates a portion of its profits to this cause.
Food for victims: South Suburban Family Shelter is in need of nonperishable food items such as canned soups, vegetables and fruit for its clients who are experiencing domestic violence. Personal hygiene products (regular, not sample size please) are also needed. Donations may be dropped off at 18139 Harwood, Homewood. Please call ahead before dropping off items. Contact the shelter at (708) 794-2140, Ext. 303.
Text to Give: St. Xavier University’s Department for University Advancement has announced a new “Text to Give” mobile giving campaign to benefit the university’s Class Gift Fund and the St. Xavier Fund. The program allows donors to make $10 donations using their mobile phones through Give by Cell. You can make a gift to the Class Gift Fund by texting CLASSGIFT with your first and last name to 20222, or make a gift to the St. Xavier Fund by texting SXU with your first and last name to 20222. Donors can give multiple times a month depending on your carrier. Donations are tax-deductible, and pledges are billed through your monthly cell phone bill. Messaging and data rates may apply. For information, visit www.givebycell.com.
CARE Program: ComEd offers customer assistance programs that help deployed members of the military and disabled veterans who have fallen behind on their bills, plus programs for low-income families and for nonprofits. For more information or to enroll, visit ComEd.Com/CARE or call (888) 806-2273.