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58 Doing Good

District 58 teaches more than academics – teachers and staff also instill a sense of volunteerism and compassion in their students, recognizing the importance of instructing children to be good stewards at a young age. The District’s students and schools complete an impressive variety of charity fundraisers and volunteer work each year. Service projects benefit those in need on a local, regional, national and even global level!

58 Doing Good showcases some of these wonderful service projects for our community. This page also serves as a connector between organizations in need of help and classes/groups within District 58 who might be looking for a service project to complete.

To submit an item for the Service Spotlight, please email details to Community Relations Coordinator Megan Hewitt at mhewitt@dg58.org.
2016-17 school year:
Herrick seventh grader named Blackhawks Fan of the Game for outstanding service
Published: March 2017

Gabriella FrankThe Chicago Blackhawks will name Herrick seventh grader Gabriella Frank the “Blackhawks Fan of the Game” for her outstanding community service during their game tonight, Thursday, March 9!

“Gabriella received this honor due to her ongoing commitment to her program, Gabi’s Helping Hands,” said her mother, Heather. “She created her own program to donate books and school supplies to low-income schools in the Caribbean. She will be donating her 2,000th book during our spring break visit, as part of the 200 pounds of supplies that she will be bringing.”

Learn more here.

Belle Aire and Lester commit to the Great Kindness Challenge
Published: January 2017
Belle Aire and Lester students and staff proudly committed to the Great Kindness Challenge last week. Throughout the week, they kept track of every kind act they committed, aiming to reach 50! Nice work!
For example, Lester students wrote down every kind act they committed. When the challenge completed, students linked all of the kind acts together, creating an incredibly visual chain of kindness! (See photos above).
Belle Aire Principal Brent Borchelt challenged his students to do 50 acts of kindness. View this 1-minute video featuring Belle Aire’s Great Kindness Challenge kickoff assembly.
Pierce Downer families pack 300 meals to help local kids in need
Published: January 2017
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A group of Pierce Downer students and parents recently gathered for an after-school meal packing event, benefiting the non-profit, Blessings in a Backpack. This organization helps District 58 students in need by providing them with meals for the weekend. Thanks to their time and effort, these families packed 300 meals!
Thank you, holiday helpers!
Local groups donate toys, winter clothes to DG58

Published: December 2016
20161213_201919Downers Grove is an incredibly generous community! This holiday season, District 58 received many winter clothing and toy donations from a variety of organizations, including the Downers Grove Roadrunners Soccer Club, the Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club, Family Service Shelter, the Knights of Columbus, Cubs Scouts. several PTAs and Student Councils, and countless others.

District 58 sincerely thanks each of you for your time, thoughtfulness and donations. Together, these efforts will help our District 58 children and families in need enjoy a warmer and merrier holiday!

Hillcrest Girl Scouts collect laundry soap for local charities
Published: December 2016
Contributed by Jen Haselhorst

Hillcrest third grade Girl Scout Troop 50972 collected 55 containers of laundry soap.  A guest speaker from the St. Vincent de Paul Society spoke to the girls about how to help those less fortunate while working on their Philanthropy badge.  He told them some of the items that shelters always need but rarely get are milk, bread, laundry soap, cooking spices and cooking oil.  The girls took this information and decided to make a difference by collecting laundry soap.  They each reached out to six neighbors asking for donations.  The girls put all their donations together at their December meeting and gave them to the guest speaker.  This soap will help support several local charities who do laundry for the homeless including Fr. Phil Marquard Center,  St. Leonard’s House, Grace House and Franciscan House Shelter.  Their leader said “I am so proud of the girls for making a tangible difference in the Chicago-land community.”


Large donation to Blessings in a Backpack will help District 58
Published: December 2016Blessings in a Backpack is a national nonprofit that provides children in need — including children in District 58 — with food to eat over the weekend.Recently, Tyson Foods held a local employee fundraiser, during which staff purchased, sorted and donated nearly 1,800 bags of food to the District 58 chapter of Blessings in a Backpack. This food will feed all District 58 students in need for six weekends! In addition, Classic Cinemas/Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove offered to store the bags until they’re ready for weekly distribution to schools.Thank you, Blessings in a Backpack, Tyson Foods and Classic Cinemas/Tivoli Theatre for your generosity!


Kingsley/El Sierra Cub Scouts donate to Toys for Tots
Published: December 2016
Cub Scouts from Kingsley and El Sierra recently held a toy drive, benefitting Toys for Tots. Thank you for your donations, boys!

O’Neill Cadettes spend their day off helping a good cause
Published: November 2016

O’Neill Middle School Cadette girl scouts kicked off their Thanksgiving break in the best way
possible — by helping those in need. The girls volunteered their time packing boxes of food for Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit that provides food to children in need worldwide. Each volunteer packed enough food to feed one starving child for seven months! Thank you for your service, Cadettes!
O’Neill’s Connections class serves the community
Published: November 2016

doy-toys-5Seventh grade Connections classes at O’Neill Middle School participated in two community service projects this year.  They made dog pull toys out of old t-shirts and donated them to the “4 PAWS 4 U 4 Ever,” a no-kill pup rescue.  The Connections classes also organized a school wide collection of items needed for the PADS shelters in Downers Grove.

Hillcrest says, “Donut Forget our Troops”
Published: November 2016
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The Hillcrest Service Club raised more than $1,600 during their recent Donut Forget our Troops fundraiser! This fundraiser invited Hillcrest classrooms to compete to see which could raise the most money for our troops. The winners – Ms. Flannery’s first graders and Ms. Cerny’s fifth graders – won full sized donuts for each student! Yum! The funding raised will provide toiletries, food and other comfort items to our troops through Operation Care Package.
El Sierra fifth graders volunteer at Feed My Starving Children
Published: November 2016
El Sierra fifth grade students recently packed meals at Feed My Starving Children. Collectively, the students packed 148 boxes containing 31,968 meals totaling $7,032.96. That’s enough food to feed  88 children for a year. Way to go, El Sierra fifth graders! Thanks also to your awesome teachers, Mrs. Vivona and Mrs. Rohlfing.
O’Neill’s Connections class serves the community
 Published: November 2016
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Seventh grade Connections classes at O’Neill Middle School participated in two community service projects this year.  They made dog pull toys out of old t-shirts and donated them to the “4 PAWS 4 U 4 Ever,” a no-kill pup rescue.  The Connections classes also organized a school wide collection of items needed for the PADS shelters in Downers Grove. View more photos.

Herrick eighth grader helps Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods 

Published: October 2016

abby Herrick eighth grader Abby Goodman is making the world a better place. It started when she joined a student-led march for peace in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago last April. She then attended a call for peace march with St. Sabina Church in June. Abby listened as mothers who lost their children to gun violence shared their stories. She observed as Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Sen. Dick Durbin and other community members spoke about how violence plagued Chicago’s inner city.

“During the marches I saw what other kids have to see when they walk to school,” Abby said. “I listened to kids explain the fear they have just walking to school or playing outside. This inspired me to do more, so I did.”

Through a family friend, Abby and her little sister, Penelope, began volunteering with The Healing Corner, a volunteer group that targets corners known for gun violence and provides free food, free hugs and help for those most at risk in the community. Her volunteerism brought her to some of the toughest parts of Chicago, where she has directly helped people in need.

“I have met the most wonderful people volunteering with The Healing Corner,” Abby said. “I’m blessed to not have to be afraid to play outside or walk to school and I don’t think any else should either.”

Herrick seventh grader commended for charity

Published: October 2016

gabriella16 This summer, Meatheads restaurant featured Herrick seventh grader Gabriella Frank as its Cowmunity Spotlight Nominee. As a first grader, Gabriella started a service organization, in partnership with Sandals Foundation, that collects and donates books to low-income schools in the Caribbean. Since then, Gabriella has donated more than 1,400 books and countless school supplies.

In addition, Gabriella has collected travel size toiletries and created over 200 toiletry bags for the homeless shelters in the Downers Grove area. Gabriella noted that homeless citizens usually only have a backpack or small bag to carry their belongings, and she coordinated efforts to provide these personal hygiene items.