Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Silver Hearts is 6 1/2 years old in helping the south east neighborhood of Silverwood (Silver and Vawter area). During the pandemic we helped with a monthly food distribution with about two meals in each bag for residents of that neighborhood. We have also had signature events such as the block party, ice cream social, Halloween costume distribution and more. At Steer Place, we have a monthly event with the Urbana Park District to help the seniors have a fun activity each month from the community.

Here are the locations where you may pick up an ornament:

  • Lincoln Square Mall Urbana from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Saturday, November 26th and December 3rd
  • Urbana Park District – November 28th – December 2nd (next week during business hours)
  • Champaign Church of Christ (Sunday November 27th and December 4th at 11:45 – 12:30)
  • People can also make a donation to our organization through PayPal

We have helped with food, ensuring that senior citizens in Steer Place have a good holiday, we have done a lot of the signature events mentioned above. Questions received frequently is when are we coming back? What people should know is that having a food distribution and the other signature events require time, volunteers and money. We have been able to, thanks to generous donations in the past, do all the things mentioned above and more. However, we want the public to know that we need their help. In order to help others, we need help ourselves. Financially, we are not able to continue the food distribution as we are an all volunteer organization with little money. Without donations, we are unable to continue to have the signature events, food distribution and have monthly events at Steer Place.

We believe we “solve” bringing people together aspect. We had brought people together to stop the violence in the neighborhood. We wish to continue that work but without money and volunteers, we may not be able to continue as we have. Several things have to be scaled back.

I think we’re different because we are in the community. We want to continue, we NEED to continue. I feel that we are in there with the neighborhood as much as possible right now.

Project Wisdom Tree is a chance for the community to give back and give hope to a segment of our society that doesn’t always get our attention, our senior citizens. We have project angel tree and other things for the children to have a great Christmas and that is great. However, some of our senior citizens are despondent, feeling like no one cares. We want them to know that someone does care. While we are only doing Steer Place, we want, and need, to expand but without financial backing and volunteers, we are unable to do so at the moment.

Project Wisdom Tree needs the community to come together and get an ornament, purchase the gift and either have the gift sent back to us (an Amazon List has been set up) or to bring it back to us where they picked up their ornament. We have ornaments with QR Codes and some without. If you have a QR code, shopping for the seniors is quite convenient as you can scan it with your cell phone and go right to the gift the senior desires. If you don’t have a QR code, you can shop anywhere the item may be sold, bring it back, unwrapped or in a gift bag with the ornament you chose. During the week of December 19th, we will have a party for the seniors and give their gifts to them at that time.

Giovanna Dibenedetto, Executive Director, Silver Hearts Community
Silver Hearts Community, Inc
1118 Austin Drive
Urbana, IL 61802