Local charities lose out in contest


Randi Kennedy, marketing and management major at Kishwaukee Community College, folds shirts at Feed’em Soup’s clothing closet, 122 S. First St., in April 2012. Feed’em Soup, which is in need of some technological updates, lost a contest that could have garnered it a technology makeover.

By Rachel Scaman

Opportunity House, 202 Lucas St. in Sycamore, won a printer valued at $1,000 in the Make My Non-Profit Run Better online contest by RKDixon.

Each competing organization had to get people to vote online. The organization with the most votes won a grand prize of an office technology makeover valued at up to $15,000.

The 10 runners up, like Opportunity House, were awarded printers valued at up to $1,000 each. Opportunity House provides homes and counseling services, among other things, to those in need.

“We were shooting to win anything we could get,” said Diana Hulst, Opportunity House program director. “Our technology really needs an update.”

Hulst said any money Opportunity House receives goes to other obligations, so the group doesn’t have any to spend on new technology. Hulst said having the printer will help Opportunity House be more organized.

“We want to be more efficient,” Hulst said. “Now we don’t have to worry about printing work across the building instead of in the office.”

Feed’em Soup, 122 S. First St., also participated in the contest, but did not place. The organization provides free meals to the public.

“I currently have a $100 printer sitting next to me that doesn’t work,” said Derek Gibbs, executive director of Feed’em Soup. “We have great need for a new printer, but unfortunately that did not work out for us this year.”

Gibbs said Feed’em Soup plans to compete in the contest next year.

“If we get new technology donated to us we won’t need to, but as of now we hope to compete again in the next contest,” Gibbs said.

Hulst said once an organization competes in the contest and wins, it is unable to participate again.