About Friends In Deed

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 Jennifer Phillips.  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.  There was 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.  We couldn’t do what we do without the contributions of these dedicated volunteers.

Our Team


Steve and Nancy

Steve and Nancy Hadgisava have been married over 30 years. They have four children and seven grandchildren. Both Steve and Nancy have worked in the printing industry for several decades, as they do today. Both had a desire to volunteer in some way, to make a difference. Once they had that first fundraiser in 2009 they found their calling, a way to do that. No special skills were brought to the venture but much has been learned along the way.


Jim and Pamela

Jim and Pamela Miller are very active members of the Friends in Deed committee.


Kristen McCusker

Kristen McCusker lives in Algonquin, IL with her husband and two children. Kristen manages materials and coordination of fundraising in Illinois. She also participates in planning and managing fundraiser events as well as distributing recipient donations.


Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips lives in southern Indiana with her husband and three children. Jennifer works on Development and Fundraising for the Southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky areas.


Stan Lewandowski

Stan is a long time member of Friends in Deed. He has been helping with all our charity activities from the very beginning. Stan is starting a new venture, being retired, while continuing his charitable work. His presence at planning meetings and at events is always appreciated.