Our mission is to alleviate the pain and suffering that poverty brings to seniors and children in DuPage and Kane Counties, Illinois, without discrimination or exclusion for any reason.
The Humanitarian Service Project (HSP) is a grassroots organization founded under the guiding principle of “people helping people in need.” Karole and Floyd Kettering started the project in 1979 in a spare room of their home. Karole’s wish was for local families to experience the joy of Christmas with a holiday meal and gifts for the children. She took it upon herself to call friends and family to donate food and toys to make her vision a reality. The Theosophical Society in Wheaton graciously donated the space needed to take on such an enormous task. On that Christmas day, 35 families celebrated the joy of the season with a delicious meal and parents watched their children open presents. The smile on the kids’ faces and the sense of happiness moms and dads experienced that first Christmas decades ago, still drives the purpose of the Christmas Offering Program to this day.
Three years later Karole and Floyd made the decision to help serve others in their community year-round. Through their work with the Christmas Offering, they realized many seniors went to bed hungry because they lived on limited incomes making it difficult to purchase enough food to eat. In 1982, the Senior Citizen Project began with the desire to help 3 seniors with a healthy grocery delivery so they could cook meals in their homes. Through the enrollment in this program the elderly never again had to worry about where their next meal would come from. During this year another big step was taken, and the Humanitarian Service Project was incorporated as a not-for-profit charitable organization.
In 1992, ten years later, the Children’s Project was born and provides birthday celebrations to children in need. The desire to help the young and the old came to fruition as children could be celebrated on their special day with presents to open and a birthday party with family and friends. In subsequent years it was determined that these children also needed food support and that element was added to the program.
Karole was the guiding force of HSP as its founder in 1979 and as the Executive Director until she passed away in 2013. Before Karole passed away, she and her husband Floyd, selected Kristin Senne as her successor to lead the project when she retired. Under the leadership of Kristin, who has been Executive Director since 2013, with the support of Co-Founder, Floyd, HSP continues to grow and expand the breadth of its services to support the changing needs of the elderly, children, and their families. The high cost of living in our area has made it necessary to provide nutritious groceries on a weekly basis to the elderly, children, and their families enrolled in HSP’s programs. While much has changed since HSP was founded, the desire to help those in need remains the same. It is through the incredible support of the community that meals can be enjoyed around the table, birthdays can be celebrated, and the elderly, children, and families know they will never be alone. Their “HSP Family” and their loving community is always there for them.
We invite you to learn more about our programs and services so you can see how your support makes a world of difference to the elderly, children, and their families. We can’t do the work without you!