Friends in Deed is a not-for-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status based in the northwest suburban Chicago area. We have a Board of Directors and a core committee. Our core committee is Steve and Nancy Hadgisava, Jim and Pamela Miller, Stan Lewandowski, Kristen McCusker and Freddy Velasco. We appreciate the efforts of large charitable organizations that raise money for a cause, however we want to focus on directly helping local charities.
We had our first fundraiser in 2009. Our daughter found out that a high school friend, Steve Joseph, had been in a car accident and would need years of therapy. Jennifer had a fundraiser in Washington and we had a fundraiser here in Illinois, her friend’s home state. That first fundraiser was very gratifying; we felt we had been able to help a person in need and his family. This was the beginning of Friends in Deed. You can see, on this website, that we have helped several recipients.
We have shifted our focus to supporting local charities that need our assistance. We are raising most of our funds by working with our favorite department store, Kohl’s. We are very fortunate to be part of their Associates in Action program which assists small local charities. Our main mission is to help children but we consider all charities. The recipients that we select are small, well-vetted local groups in need.
One of the benefits of this mission is that we have met some wonderful people who have joined our cause. Past committee members have been related to recipients, like Cindy Lang and Elisa Vine. Some of our past committee members have just been friends of recipients or friends of ours, like Laurie Pawelek and Larry and Denise DeVera. Our committee also includes family members like Jennifer Phillips. We couldn’t do what we do without the contributions of these dedicated volunteers.