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Hinsdale, Illinois |

Published June 23, 2011                                               

HCS reaching out in many ways
to make a difference

   This has been a big couple of years for HCS Family Services, and we’ve been proud to help the organization tell its story over the past nine months.
   The 74-year-old agency has been going through a period of transition, which began when Susan Fritz joined as executive director in May 2009. By the time we wrote our first story about the agency, it already had gotten a new name, new logo, new development director and new board president.
   The changes were designed to help the organization move from providing southeast DuPage County residents with food or rent assistance in times of crisis to equipping clients to avoid those emergencies in the first place.
   As a result, HCS started new initiatives like its Parent Mentor Program. Back in January we were able to introduce you to Deborah Braico, a Hinsdale resident and one of the volunteers who will work with parents to help them with the challenges of raising children.
   Its homelessness prevention programs helps families who are on the verge of being evicted, like Noemi, a single mom who was in danger of being kicked out of her apartment in November. By the time we told her story in April, she was about to begin a full-time job.
   We’ve written about the holiday assistance program HCS offers in December before, and it’s always a wonderful story to tell. One hundred families received frozen turkeys, clothes and gifts from generous community members. Schools, churches and businesses adopted families and a host of volunteers distributed the gifts.
   Of course the food pantries that have been the hallmark of Hinsdale Community Services since it was founded in 1936 remain a part of the agency. In November we offered a first-hand account of the mobile food pantry’s visit to Hinsdale Lake Terrace. The truck arrives once a month filled with 10,000 pounds of food — enough for about 300 families.
   Our most recent piece introduced In Bloom, an outdoor sculpture display and the newest fundraiser for the organization. More than 30 decorated fiberglass benches, birdbaths and frogs are decorating the Oakbrook Center grounds this summer. We invite readers to see them before the exhibit closes Aug. 21 and to consider purchasing one in the Sept. 24 auction.
   One of the goals of In Bloom is to help raise awareness of HCS Family Services and all that it does. We hope our partnership has helped to contribute to that effort as well.
   Of course we will continue to write about the good work HCS does. And later this summer we will announce a new Making a Difference partner for the 2011-12 year.


    Making a Difference is a yearlong partnership between
The Hinsdalean and HCS Family Services, which works to
empower families and change lives.





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