Mobilizing her community to help kids in need

18/Mar/16 / 02:49

Terese Janik is an avid supporter of Northern Illinois Food Bank in multiple ways. Last year her team District 200 Shares was able to raise more than $19,000 for the Foodie 5K at Cantigny Park in Wheaton! She lets us know how she was able to do it.
How long have you supported the Food Bank and in what capacity?
Monetarily we have supported the Food Bank for years. I personally have been involved with the food drives at my kids’ school for six years, overseeing them for three.
What about the Foodie 5K appealed to you that made you want to participate?
What I liked most about the Foodie 5K was that it allowed me to reach out to a lot of people and bring more awareness to the problem of hunger in our area. It also gave me the ability to raise a lot of money at one time to allow us to bring specific hunger relief programs to the Wheaton area.
What was your process in getting a team together? Any advice for those looking to start a team?
I pulled a team together through my friends, my food drive team and my family – all of these folks know I am passionate about kids and making sure they have the best possible opportunity to learn and grow, and in order to do that, hunger shouldn’t be on their mind. If you’re passionate about something, and believe in what you’re doing, I think it just kind of makes people want to join you and help you reach your goals.
Terese Janik - resized
How much did your team raise last year? Did your team encounter any problems reaching that amount?
Last year was an amazing year where we raised $19,000. I belong to a group called 100+ Women Who Care, and through some incredibly good karma that group gifted us with $11,000 – so that helped!  Our first year we raised around $7,000.
What are some tips you can share with those looking to raise funds for this year?
It’s tough to ask people for money, until you realize you’re not asking for yourself; you’re asking for money to help get a basic requirement to a hungry person.  Then it’s not hard at all, and you ask for a bigger donation. I think the other difficult part is getting the team members to all understand that we ALL need to be raising money and awareness – joining the team is just the beginning.
What was your favorite part of the actual day of event?
We had a big team last year, and there were a lot of families from my kids’ school that came out, and to see so many kids of all different ages supporting us – that was the best part.  Plus they had a great time, and watching kids have fun while doing something good, there’s nothing better.
Of all the charities you could support, why Northern Illinois Food Bank?
I strongly believe that kids cannot pay attention in school, and therefore won’t be able to reach their potential if they’re hungry. I believe the Food Bank is one of the best run organizations out there. I’ve seen the facility, know some of the employees there, and I’m happy to help them continue their mission because they are doing it so well.

Want More?


  • Register for the Foodie 5K on April 9 in Wheaton, on May 14 in Libertyville and June 11 in Joliet.
  • Can’t attend? Donate to an individual or team participating in the Foodie 5K like Team M&Ms.
  • Sign up to receive The Full Plate electronically to read about other Food Bank events and happenings.
  • Watch a video of our 2015 Foodie 5K events