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Charity Briefs for April 9, 2013

A multiple sclerosis research fundraiser run by supporters Jenny Gembal(front center) OrlPark will be April 27 Oak Lawn Veterans Foreign

A multiple sclerosis research fundraiser, run by supporters of Jenny Gembala (front, center), of Orland Park, will be on April 27 at the Oak Lawn Veterans of Foreign Wars, 9514 S. 52nd Ave. Information: littlemshopefulms.blogspot.com. | Supplied photo

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Maps

Updated: May 10, 2013 6:14AM



Here is a look at charity news in the Southland.

Volunteers Needed: Park Lawn is seeking volunteers to help on Tag Days from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 12 and 13. During Tag Days, volunteers stand at storefronts and intersections across the southwest suburbs to give out information about Park Lawn and collect donations. All proceeds benefit the programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities at Park Lawn. Safety vests, collection buckets and information will be provided, and convenient time slots are available. For more information, call (708) 425-6867 or visit www.parklawn.com.

Walk for Underprivileged Kids: The annual Light and Leadership 5K Run/Walk is slated for April 13 at Yankee Woods, 165th Street and Central Avenue, near Tinley Park. Check-in starts at 8:15 a.m., with the 5K start at 9 a.m. Funds raised provide free educational services to hundreds of children and women in some of the poorest areas of Peru. Services include after-school classes and field trips for children, and computer courses and seminars for women. The cost is $35 for adults, $25 for students with valid ID. There’s a $5 discount for adults who are official CARA runners. To register, visit lightandleadership.org. The Light and Leadership Initiative is a Tinley Park-based nonprofit.

Seeking Car Show Participants: Memorial Junior High School, 2721 Ridge Road, Lansing, is seeking participants for a car show and 5K to benefit the Lansing Food Pantry. The inaugural Mustang 5k Run/Walk Car Show begins with a 5K at 9 a.m. April 13. The car show is open to all makes and models but cars must be registered in advance to be trophy-eligible. Registration and packet pickup for the 5K will be from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. To register or donate, email lrayappan@d158.net or call (708) 474-2383.

Celebrate With Smiles: Local photographer Robert Wehmeier, of Wehmeier Portraits, 9540 W. 144th Place, Orland Park, on April 14 will join with PPA Charities (the philanthropic arm of Professional Photographers of America) to promote “Celebration of Smiles Day.” The national fundraiser benefits Operation Smile, which treats children around the world who suffer with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. Participating photographers offer an individual portrait session and desk-size portrait in exchange for a $24 donation, which represents one-tenth of the amount needed to help fund a single surgery. Each year, more than 100,000 children are born with a facial deformity in Operation Smile’s 26 partner countries. For more information, visit www.CelebrationOfSmiles.com or contact Bert Behnke at (708) 267-0657.

Seeking Cleaning Products: The Hope and Friendship Foundation is seeking cleaning products, which often can’t be obtained by the needy with food pantry vouchers or state assistance. The wish list includes detergent, spray cleaners, rags, paper towels, toilet paper, toilet cleaners, disinfectant wipes, dish detergent and soap. Donations can be dropped off in the Lemont police station lobby, 14600 W. 127th St.; the Lemont Township office lobby, 418 Main St.; or the Lemont and Calvary Church lobby, 1375 State St. For volunteer opportunities, sorting/bagging days and times are to be announced the week of April 14. For more information, email hopeandfriendship@comcast.net, visit www.hopeandfriendshipfoundation.com or call (630) 816-4972.

Native Plant Sale: The Midewin Tallgrass Prairie Alliance is taking orders through April 15 for native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs and trees. For more information, visit www.fs.us.usda.gov/mntp or contact Jerry Heinrich at (815) 476-6171 or email g.heinrich@sbcglobal.net.

Comedy With a Purpose: Comedienne Patti Vasquez will perform her show “Lipstick Mom” to benefit the Little Company of Mary Hospital Comprehensive Breast Health Center. The show is slated for 8 p.m. April 19 at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago. Tickets are $21 and half the proceeds will go to the breast health center. Tickets can be bought by calling (773) 445-3838 or visit beverlyartcenter.org.

Kids Safe City: Kids Safe City, of Bridgeview, will host its annual candlelight bowl fundraiser at 9 p.m. April 20 at Orland Bowl, 8601 W. 159th St., Orland Park. The $25 cost includes four games of bowling and a buffet dinner. A raffle features cash prizes of $500, $250 and $100. The winner need not be present. Kids Safe City is a nonprofit that uses a child-size village to teach numerous safety lessons to young children. For tickets, contact Adrienne at (708) 769-0707.

Volunteers for Misericordia Sought: Volunteers are being sought to help for the annual Misericordia Candy Days sale April 26 and 27. Misericordia is home to 600-plus children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. All volunteers need is a pair of comfy shoes and a smile, organizers said. To donate $5, Text MIS to 25383. Each donation will be matched by two friends of Misericordia, for triple value of your donation. Bill and Mary Jo Gallaher are the area coordinators for Frankfort and Mokena. To volunteer or donate, contact Mary Jo at (815) 469-7660.

Ruby Anniversary Scholarship Fundraiser: The South Suburban College Foundation will host its Ruby Anniversary Scholarship Fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. April 26. The theme is “Our 40-year Past, Present & Future.” Tickets are $125 and include an open bar, dinner, silent auction, dancing and the music of The Connexion Band. Sponsorships are available for $2,000, $1,000, $500 or $300. Checks can be made payable to SSC Foundation and mailed to 15800 S. State St., South Holland, IL 60473. The foundation staff will pick up donations for the auction. For more information or to learn how to donate online, call (708) 596-2000, Ext. 2463, or email Foundation@ssc.edu.

Chicago Dream House Raffle: The deadline to buy tickets for an early bird drawing in the Chicago Dream House Raffle — with prizes including trips and up to $25,000 in cash — is April 26. Proceeds for the raffle benefit The Hope Institute for Children and Families, which provides educational, residential and health care services to children with developmental disabilities. The grand prize is a $2.45 million Gold Coast dream home or $1.5 million in cash. The deadline for the grand prize drawing is May 24, with the drawing to be held June 9. Buy three or more tickets to be entered into a drawing for a 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 Roadster or $50,000 cash. There’s also a Refer-a-Friend drawing for a chance to win $15,000 cash or a Smart Car. To enter the raffle, call (800) 697-7734 or visit www.ChicagoRaffle.com and register online.

Benefit for Lymphoma Patient: A Benefit for Genna Mayes, 23, who is fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma, will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. April 27 at Crete Reformed Church, 24755 S. Country Lane. Mayes recently suffered a massive stroke and is in the fight of her life. A spaghetti dinner will be offered at the benefit, and there will be T-shirt sales, raffles, baked goods, bracelets and door prizes.

Ike Hike: Eisenhower High School will sponsor its second annual “Ike Hike” at 8:30 a.m. April 27. The walk/5K run will start in front of the school, 12700 Sacramento Ave., Blue Island. Proceeds this year will benefit Blue Cap, a Blue Island agency dedicated to helping those of all ages who have or are at risk for developmental disabilities. Anyone may participate. Registration is $10 for students and walkers and $20 for adult runners prior to the race. Those who register in advance receive a T-shirt. On April 27, the fees increase by $5. To register, visit www.ikehike.com.

Luau Fundraiser: The Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation will host its Fourth Annual Treasuring Our Kids Hawaiian Luau Fundraiser from 6 to 10 p.m. April 27 at Gaelic Park, 6119 W. 147th St., Oak Forest. The foundation provides comfort and distraction from painful procedures to children and teens diagnosed with cancer by providing a toy, gift or gift card in 44 hospitals nationwide. The luau will feature silent and live auctions with prizes including a framed photo of the Blackhawks locker room signed by the entire team, along with a custom jersey autographed by team captain Jonathan Toews. There will be dancing, food and an open bar. To donate an auction or raffle prize, visit whittierway.org/GetInvolved/Whittier2010Auction/AuctionDonationIdeas/tabid/141/Default.aspx. To arrange for a pickup, call (708) 687-8697, or drop off your donation at the foundation’s warehouse, 15430 S. 70th Court, Orland Park. Luau tickets are $35 for adults and $15 for kids under 12, and include auctions beginning at 6 p.m., a buffet dinner at 7 p.m. and music and dancing. For more information or to buy tickets, contact Colleen Kisel at (708) 687-8697 or visit www.treasurechest.org.

Walk MS: Jenny Gembala, of Orland Park, will be among the hundreds expected to participate in the 25th Anniversary Walk MS on May 5 at Centennial Park, 10401 W. 153rd St., Orland Park. Gembala was 25 when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005. The walk is the largest annual fundraiser of the National MS Society, Greater Illinois Chapter. Her 15-person Walk team, known as Little MS Hopeful, holds an annual fundraiser, offering music, food, drinks, a cash bar, a split-the-pot raffle and door prizes. The fundraiser is from 6 to 10 p.m. April 27 at the Oak Lawn VFW Hall, 9514 S. 52nd Ave. Admission is $20; kids under 12 are free. For more information, visit littlemshopefulms.blogspot.com. To participate or volunteer for the walk, visit walkMSillinois.org or call (800) 344-4867.

Walk With Andrew: Walk with Andrew, a 5K fundraiser walk to help Lemont High School sophomore Andrew Podczerwinski, who suffered a life-threatening accident last summer, will be held April 28. Andrew was paralyzed from the waist down when a tree fell on him during a storm. But he has earned high honor roll accolades and his positive outlook has been infectious and served as inspiration for his peers, faculty, staff and administrators as he strives to walk again, school officials said. The noncompetitive event will begin and end at the Lemont High School football field. To register, visit www.lhs210.net and click on the “Walk with Andrew” banner. The $20 registration fee includes a “Walk with Andrew” T-shirt if registration is received by April 19. Walk-up registration is at 9 a.m. April 28, with the walk at 10 a.m. For more information, visit www.walkwithandrew.com or call (630) 243-3241, (630) 243-3220 or (630) 243-3280.

Battling Batten Disease: A fundraiser to benefit the family of Becca Collins, of Mokena, who is fighting Batten Disease, will be held from noon to 3 p.m. April 28 at the Mokena VFW, 19852 S. Wolf Road. There will be raffles, food and a cash bar to raise money to defray medical expenses for Becca, 13, the daughter of Mike and Dawn Collins. Admission is $10 for those wearing a Becca T-shirt, or $20 for the general public. Donations can be made online at www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/8s42/beccasstory or at First Midwest Bank, 19648 S. LaGrange Road, Mokena, with checks payable to Benefit for Becca.

Senior American Idol: Orland Township will host its “Senior American Idol” fundraiser, which benefits the township’s scholarship foundation, from 5 to 10 p.m. May 9 at Georgios Banquets, 8800 W. 159th St., Orland Hills. Tickets are $25, include dinner, and are for sale at the township office. For more information, call (708) 403-4222 or visit www.orlandtwp.org.

Family Shelter Seeks Gift Cards: The South Suburban Family Shelter is seeking gift card donations for its May 4 benefit. One of the raffle prizes will be a “Gift Card Bonanza” featuring more than $300 in gift cards to stores and restaurants. Donations of cards from national stores and restaurant chains are preferred, as they make the prize more attractive to a wider audience. Items and local gift certificates are also needed for the silent auction. For more information about the benefit or the shelter, call (708) 794-2140, Ext. 303. All proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence and their families.

5k Walk/Run: The AERO Special Education Cooperative will hold its Fourth Annual 5k Walk/Run on May 11 at Reavis High School, 6034 W. 77th St., Burbank. The registration fee is $20 before April 26 or $25 after that date. Race day registration begins at 8 a.m. and the race at 9 a.m. For more information and a registration form, contact Sandra Eckhaus at (708) 496-3330. Proceeds will go toward developing a Special Olympics program at AERO.

Tea, Wine and Roses: The Crisis Center for South Suburbia Auxiliary will host a fundraiser from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 18 at Lake Katherine Nature Preserve, 7402 Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights. The event will feature a plant sale, tea and cookie sampling, wine and snacks, a raffle, live music, and shopping with a variety of specialty vendors. Admission is $5 and includes a free beverage and one raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets will be sold. There is no charge to attend the plant sale only. All proceeds benefit the center’s emergency shelter for female victims of domestic violence and their children. All services provided by the Crisis Center are free of charge to victims. For more information, visit www.crisisctr.org/events/ccss-auxiliary.

Boost Education: The Occasion for Education event to benefit an incentive scholarship program will be held June 1 at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge. The program, a success in Hawaii, according to organizers, is looking to expand its influence to low-income schools in Chicago. The goal is to raise $30,000 for scholarships to low-income, deserving students. There will be a public skate, bean bags tournaments, rat hockey, the Lincoln-Way Central Alumni Game, a silent auction, food, drinks, music and more. Admission tickets can be bought for $10 by visiting www.occasionforeducation2013.uticketit.com. To donate a silent auction item, a bean bags set, or to volunteer, or for more information, email mcassid3@gmail.com.

Shoe Dazzle Gala: Share Your Soles, founded by Richards High School graduate Mona Purdy, is celebrating 14 years with its “Shoe Dazzle” Gala on June 29 at Alhambra Palace, 1240 W. Randolph St., Chicago. New or gently used shoes will be collected. For more information, email info@shareyoursoles.org or call (708) 448-4469. More information will be announced as the date nears.

Running for a Cause: The South Suburban Family Shelter is looking for runners who plan to participate in the Chicago Marathon. The shelter is a partner with other domestic violence agencies and the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, which has been approved as a contributing-level charity of the marathon’s charity program. To run for a cause, visit www.batteredwomensnetwork.org/marathon.php or contact Vicki at (708) 794-2140, Ext. 303.

Recycling: St. Christopher School, 14611 S. Keeler Ave., Midlothian, is holding a recycling fundraiser, and will be collecting items including empty toner and ink-jet cartridges, cell phones, DVDs, video games and video games systems, PDAs, iPods and laptops. The items may be dropped off at the school, parish office or church. Items should be undamaged, and empty toner should be repackaged into the new box of toner. Companies that want to donate but cannot deliver items are asked to call the school at (708) 385-8776. The school also recycles paper, with three bins on the south side of the gravel parking lot on the east side of the building.

Cell Phone Collection: South Suburban Family Shelter is collecting cell phones for an ongoing fundraiser, and also is seeking schools, businesses or other organizations to volunteer as collection sites. The shelter provides services for victims of domestic violence. Collection sites include the SSFS administrative office, 18139 Harwood Ave., Homewood; Bergstein’s NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights; and Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Road, Flossmoor. For more information, call (708) 794-2140, Ext. 303.

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 info@gaylordbuilding.org.

Resale Shop: 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, 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.

Encore Shop Expansion: The newly expanded Encore Shop, the resale shop of Silver Cross Hospital, is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and the first Saturday of the month. The shop is in the Hershman Building, 1301 Copperfield Ave., Joliet, the former Silver Cross Hospital campus. Donations of gently used seasonal decorations, adult and children’s clothing, household items and books can be dropped off there. Call (815) 300-7642 or Volunteers Services at Silver Cross Hospital at (815) 300-7117. Past proceeds have helped buy X-ray equipment, ICU beds, laptop computers, dialysis and mammography equipment, surgery carts and more for the nonprofit hospital.

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 board@summithillfoundation.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.

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.

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 hbeckner@sertomacentre.org.

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 dawn@sspads.org.

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.



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