“Wealth is not to feed our egos, but to feed the hungry, and to help people help themselves”.

– Andrew Carnegie

HEAR believes that volunteering should be a regular, recurring part of one’s day-to-day life.

We are all part of many communities, large and small. Each of those communities has different needs that we are all called upon to meet.

What are you going to change in your community today?


HEAR Foundation Mentoring Program

The Health, Education and Relief Foundation (HEAR) began its scholarship program in 2009 and awarded its first scholarships in the spring of 2010. In an effort to extend both the short and long term impact of this program, the Foundation added a Mentoring Program.

Each year, we will be looking for up to 30 new Mentors to help with our Mentoring Program. As our number of awarded scholarships grow, so too does our need for volunteers.

Of all of our local efforts, we feel the HEAR Mentoring Program is the greatest difference-maker.

Would you like to be part of it? Contact us at info@hearfoundation.org.

HEAR Food Relief and Community Building

HEAR Volunteers have taken a special interest in hunger relief as part of our local mission. We have distributed thousands of pounds of poultry at different soup kitchens throughout the city. We have also built community gardens throughout the greater Chicagoland area, including a thriving learning garden for The Julie and Michael Tracy Family Foundation. We’re happy to announce that in June & November 2016 HEAR volunteers once again provided a chicken distribution at parishes on Chicago’s South Side to help ease hunger. If you’d like to help with our next effort, or if you are part of a program or parish that has need, let us know at info@hearfoundation.org.

HEAR Hijas

In May 2015, 17 volunteers went to Jalapa, Guatemala, to build a 200 capacity chicken coop for Casa Hogar, seal the leaking roof and paint a mural on the main building to provide some much needed color for the home’s littlest inhabitants. The volunteers traveled down to Guatemala, spent the night in Guatemala City and then braved a three-hour trip down into the country, where they worked tirelessly for three days straight and came back with an incredible sense of fulfillment. The next Hijas Service Trip is planned for Fall 2016. We plan to address the girls’ dental health, provide cleanings and teach better dental hygiene. Because of the language barrier, for the first time ever HEAR Scholars with Spanish fluency will have the opportunity to travel to Jalapa with us. Other volunteers will host kitchen gardening and food preservation workshops with the girls at Casa Hogar. And as always, some of our manpower will go to repair and upkeep. If you are interested in going with us, please contact vera@hearfoundation.org for more information. If you cannot go but would like to support the trip, consider making a donation for a scholar’s travel cost. Download a copy of the May 2015 Volunteer Trip Report here!

“Imagine if everyone tuned into the joys of service to one another.

There is so much to be gained: a sense of oneness and connection to each other as humans in a shared experience, a camaraderie with people you might normally never spend time with and the satisfaction that comes at the end of a long day of work in service for another. The trip to Jalapa, Guatemala with HEAR provided all that and so much more. Vera and Jim brought together an extraordinary group of people, 17 of us. We all arrived enthusiastic and ready for whatever challenges came with the opportunity to help the sisters and the girls of Casa Hogar. I joined this happy and connected group only knowing one person. I was a little nervous at first but was quickly absorbed into the group in a sense of shared mission. I’ve never worked and played so hard in 5 compacted days. I also never made close friends that quickly. But that’s what happens when people come together to do good — everything about the experience becomes enhanced and joyful: the meals that we shared, the trips in the van going and coming and the efforts to solve the problems that inevitably come up all bubble up with a smile and a kind hand. The experience with the girls and the sisters was on the level of sacred and sweet. Their big open hearts, grace, genuineness, resolve, and pride were nothing more than uplifting and life affirming.

I’d do it again in a heartbeat!”

– Diana Putterman HEAR Volunteer during the 2015 service trip to Jalapa, Guatemala