About North Shore Helpers

About Us

Our mission is simple: To change lives in Chicago’s underserved communities by hand-delivering hope and happiness to individuals in need.

North Shore Helpers is a 501(c)(3) organization that delivers gifts and new merchandise to individuals in under-served communities in the Chicago area. Inspired by the service of people in our social and professional networking groups, we decided it was time for us to step up and make a difference. “We need to do something,” we collectively said, and before we got organized, we knew that 1) we wanted to change lives and 2) we were going to show up in-person to do so.

North Shore Helpers - December 2016 – Lower Wacker Drive
North Shore Helpers - December 2018 – The Primo Center For Women and Children

North Shore Helpers’ inaugural outing took place in December, 2016. We raised over $4,000 to deliver food, tents, sleeping bags, and clothing to homeless people on the streets of Chicago. In December, 2017, we raised over $6,000 to benefit the individuals of Connections for Abused Women and Their Children (CAWC). In December, 2018, we hand-delivered over $8,000 in gifts and new merchandise to staff and individuals at The Primo Center For Women and Children and threw a holiday party with a catered lunch and live entertainment. This year, we will be returning to The Primo Center For Women and Children in the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago and we hope to exceed what we delivered last year.

North Shore Helpers - December 2018 – The Primo Center For Women and Children
North Shore Helpers - December 2018 – The Primo Center For Women and Children
North Shore Helpers - December 2018 – The Primo Center For Women and Children

Our Team and Why We Started North Shore Helpers

Dan “The Video Man” Gelfond


Keepsake Family Tree Video and Personal History Interviews

I am heavily involved in networking groups, and the leaders of these groups started their own charities. I was inspired to give back to communities like they were, so I mentioned it to my wife and networking friends, and everyone immediately said “Let’s do it!”

Marla Gelfond

Former CFO

Jet Support Services

I sold my company many years ago and found I had to do something with my time that was purposeful. I decided to fill my extra time with volunteering and found that it was so rewarding that I wanted to do more and give back to the community in a more meaningful way. Starting an organization like North Shore Helpers with my husband and good friends has not only been fun but one of the most rewarding things I have done. I hope this organization grows, and we are able to continue to help more and more people in the Chicagoland area.

Geoff Horwitz

Chief Mentor

The MacMentor

I grew up in a household that was very active in our synagogue and community. Giving back in any way was something that became part of who I am. The opportunity to do that with a group of friends/colleagues was simply a bonus. I simply enjoy helping those in need.

Paul Kaufmann


Shred Spot

I was inspired to become part of North Shore Helpers as a result of volunteering for other organizations such as Hunger Resource Network, Feed6, The Northbrook Civic Foundation, as well as from my experience as a long time member of the Board of Directors for LifeLine Pilots. I got such a great feeling from being able to help those in need. The support we’ve gotten from family, friends and business contacts has been overwhelming.

“Unique Larry” Rosenthal

Owner, Unique Upholstery

Carpet & Rug Cleaning

We all owe it to ourselves to always give back–not only to the community, but the world. It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to help the less fortunate, and I will always do my part to enrich the lives of others.

Alan Waner

VP of Business Development

Allegra Marketing

I have lived a prosperous life, and having a chance to give back to people less fortunate motivated me to join this group.