National Volunteer Week April 15-21

Credit: iStockPhoto

In case you were wondering, this week is National Volunteer Week! It’s a great time to lend a hand to some great community causes — and at the same time, you can show your kids just how great it feels to give back.

We’ve compiled a list of volunteer activities in and around Champaign-Urbana. Note: Some of these activities are part of National Volunteer Week and some are ongoing. The dates are noted with each entry.

Wesley Food Pantry 

Give food to families in need. Volunteers will help with unloading the food truck and setting up pantry shopping areas. No training needed. From 12:45 to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18. Register online.
Cat & Dog Volunteer at Adoptathon at Petsmart

Prairieland shelter needs people to help find the cats, kittens, puppies and dogs new homes. Show them to pet parents at the adoptathon. Lunch will be provided. Can help show, brush and play with just the cats or just dogs or both–your choice. Come join in and make a difference in a loving animal’s life on Sunday, May 6.

Help set up the venue (construction-type jobs) for Artists Against AIDS Show & Sale

Help set up the venue for the annual Artists Against AIDS Show & Sale on Wednesday, April 25 by assembling and erecting walls; assembling shelves and setting up tables; setting up displays and hanging art. These jobs require physical labor.

Indi Go Artist Co-Op Volunteers

Indi Go Artist Co-Op is looking for volunteers in all aspects of the organization. These include gallery maintenance, web design, graphic design, photography, staffing, catering, painting, social media promotion, general promotion, event organization, and teaching classes. We are also open to ideas from volunteers on ways they can contribute to the running and development of the gallery. This opportunity is on-going. Indi Go Artist Co-Op also offers opportunities for volunteer hours to go towards a membership to the co-op.

Kid’s Building Fair

The 20th Annual Kid’s Building Fair will take place on May 19, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the city parking lot in front of the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum. The FREE and award-winning event gives children an entertaining and educational introduction to the building trades and coincides with Historic Preservation Week. This event celebrates a rich heritage in the arts, building trades, community history, and hands-on understanding of the built environment.

Volunteers are needed to asst in our various cities that will be placed around the parking lot. Cities include Go Green City, Tile City, Concrete City, and many more.

Available Shifts:

  • May 18th, 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (event prep)
  • May 19th, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • May 19th, 1-5 p.m.

Wonka (and me) in the Chocolate Factory

Children of all ages dream of entering Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Make this dream a reality by taking part in this extraordinary family adventure where participants receive a golden ticket to gain entry to the factory where all of their dreams become realities and some of their realities become dreams. Tours will be led by Willy Wonka himself, and will be rich with experiences that are part science, part chocolaty delight, and heaps of pure imagination. The interactive adventure opens on Friday, April 20 in conjunction with Champaign’s Boneyard Festival of the Arts.

Volunteers are needed to assist in the magical rooms where candy concoctions are made and experiments take place. Volunteers are also needed for set-up, behind the scenes work, and tear down. Available shifts are listed below. Please email

  • Friday, April 20: 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 20: 8-10:30 p.m. (adult only event)
  • Friday, April 20: 10-12:30 a.m. (adult only event)
  • Sunday, April 22: 12:30-3 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 22: 2:30-5 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 5: 11-1 p.m. (set up)
  • Saturday, May 5: 12:30-3 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 5: 2:30-5 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 5: 5-7 p.m. (tear down)

Wonka (and me) in the Chocolate Factory: Actors Needed!

Children of all ages dream of entering Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Make this dream a reality by taking part in this extraordinary family adventure where participants receive a golden ticket to gain entry to the factory where all of their dreams become realities and some of their realities become dreams.

We need actors to play Willy Wonka and lead tours throughout the chocolate factory. Actors are also needed to dress up as characters such as Veruca Salt and Charlie Bucket to promote the event in Campustown, Downtown Champaign, and Downtown Urbana.

Shifts are listed below. Please email or call 217 352-5895 for more info or if you’d like to sign-up!

Willy Wonka:

  • Friday, April 20, 2012 12-3:30pm
  • Friday, April 20, 2012 3:00-5:30pm
  • Friday, April 20, 2012 5-7:30pm
  • Friday, April 20, 2012 8-10:30pm
  • Friday, April 20, 2012 10pm-12:30am
  • Saturday April 21, 2012 12:30-3:00pm – 2 Wonka Spots Left
  • Saturday, April 21, 2012 2:30-5:00pm
  • Sunday, April 22, 2012 12:30-3:00pm – 2 Wonka Spots Left
  • Sunday, April 22, 2012 2:30-5:00pm
  • Saturday, April 28, 2012 12:30-3:00pm – 2 Wonka Spots Left
  • Saturday, April 28, 2012 2:30-5:00pm
  • Saturday, May 05, 2012 12:30-3:00pm – 2 Spots Left
  • Saturday, May 05, 2012 2:30-5:00pm

Downtown Promotions:

  • Campus: Thursday, April 19 11am-2pm
  • Downtown Champaign: Friday, April 20 4pm-6pm
  • Downtown Urbana: Saturday, April 21 1pm-3pm

Help Feed The Horses 

Help SHARE help horses by assisting us with our morning chores. Every morning we refill waters and distribute hay and grain to approximately 35 rescue horses awaiting adoption, being rehabilitated, or in sanctuary care. After the horses have eaten, we walk them outside to their pastures and turn-outs so they can spend the day outside. We look to get 1 person per day of the week, for example, volunteer to help with our Monday morning feedings. We also have an afternoon feeding which is a separate opportunity. We try to manage our volunteer shifts using this web site, so if interested you can drop us an email with questions, or head here to sign up.

RSVP Senior Pen Pal Program

Become a mentor to a 4th grade student without ever having to leave your home! In this program, local seniors exchange letters back and forth with 4th grade students in Champaign, Thomasboro, Fisher, St. Joseph, Urbana, and Gifford. Seniors continue to write their student throughout the course of the school year. Ideally, a letter will be exchanged once a month between the student and senior, so seniors are asked to respond within two weeks of receiving a letter from a student.  Seniors will also have an opportunity to meet their pen pals in person at the end of the school year.

Please note that this program has traditionally been for seniors aged 55 plus, but we are willing to take other adult volunteers. For more information please either call Jean Smith at (217) 356-1972 or Marsha Reardon at (217) 359-6500.

Summer Membership and Development internships available

Campaign for Better Health Care has developed an excellent intern and volunteer program that provides hands-on experience in health care advocacy and working in a non-profit environment. We’re currently looking for several interns or volunteers for the summer 2012 semester to help us develop our member base, cultivate new donor relationships, and fundraise. Volunteers will work on our database, develop creative fundraising ideas, conduct outreach to both current and potential members, and more. Volunteers should be able to commit to 10 hours a week for the spring semester, but scheduling is flexible.

Troop Leaders for Champaign Urbana and Mahomet Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scout Troops

Leaders complete a volunteer application and background check, then receive training from the Membership Specilaist staff. Troops are generally formed at local schools or community centers by age; K-1 grade Daisy, 2-3 grade Brownie, 4-5 Junior, 6-7-8 grade Cadette, 9-10 grade Seniors, 11-12 grade Ambassadors. Troops meet at the direction of the leaders usually once or twice a month at the school or local religious facility. Troops participate in various activities including community service projects, outdoor activities, and financial literacy. Activities are designed to develop the leadership potential in every girl and allow girls to experience the fun, friendship and power of girls working together to make the world a better place.

Virginia Theatre

Come volunteer at the historic Virginia Theatre!  Help take tickets, usher, and more and then afterwards, see the show for free!  Shows range from live comedy groups, Reel Deal Movies, live theatre, and more on May 12 at 6 p.m. For more information contact

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