How can you find ways to give back this holiday season in Champaign-Urbana? We have some ideas.
From coat drives to food distribution and a multitude of other ideas in between, we have a variety of options
Nothing will get you into the holiday spirit quite like giving back to your community! And there are many ways to do that this holiday season in the Champaign-Urbana area.
Based on how often we get this question, we know the heart of giving back is strong here; the people of Champaign-Urbana desire to show love and care to those in our community.
Here is a list of holiday volunteering opportunities that we know of (realizing this is just a sampling and not an exhaustive list), as well places we know of that will be distributing food, clothing, and toys to those in need this holidays season.
Most importantly, the need to be generous of our time and resources is not seasonal. Many of these opportunities can extend into the new year and beyond.
Find a list of places to volunteer as a family, regardless of the time of year, by clicking here.
All of the organizations mentioned in this article have opportunities to give back this holiday season. We are including them in this list for that reason, to help you find options that fit your family’s desire to give back in 2022.
Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement of the organization or specific program mentioned. If you have a program in your community we should consider adding, please email us – email@example.com.
Sponsor-A-Family, Clothing, Toys and Wish List Opportunities
All of these programs are organized a little differently, with some focused on toys and others focused on practical needs like clothing and winter weather wear.
Champaign Toys for Tots: This year, there are what seems like more Toys for Tots collection boxes than ever before; you can find a list of them here.
Children’s Advocacy Center, Champaign: Email CACmail@co.champaign.il.us for info.
Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County, Rantoul: Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Courage Connection: Shop their Amazon wish list for items to ship directly to them.
Cunningham Children’s Home, Urbana: Donate gift cards or shop directly from the wish list for kids ages 11-17. Email email@example.com for more info.
Developmental Services Center, Champaign: The DSC holiday wish list has holiday wishes from individuals in its Residential Program who might not otherwise receive gifts. Many gifts focus on practical needs, such as sweatshirts, sheet sets and food gift cards. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Faith in Action Christmas Bags for Seniors, Urbana: Volunteers are collecting items for Christmas bags for seniors who may be alone this holiday season. Items such as paper towels, battery-operated candles, hand sanitizer, crossword puzzles, and more can be donated. Get the full list here. Call 217-337-2778 for drop-off info and questions.
Mom’s Pantry, Mahomet: The Giving Tree is full of tags waiting for someone to take and buy the gift that is listed to help our a student and their family this holiday season in the Mahomet-Seymour community. More info on how to get a tag via Facebook.
DREAAM Coat Drive: DREAAM (Driven to Reach Excellence and Academic Achievement for Males) already wrapped up their winter coat drive. If you would like info on DREAAM so you can participate in the future, please visit their website.
St. Joseph Women’s Community Club Angel Tree: Choose an ornament for a child in St. Joseph and purchase the item listed on the ornament. Then return your gift to the box next to the tree by DECEMBER 12. More info on where and how to get the ornaments is available via Facebook.
Eastern Illinois Food Bank: Make a donation online and it will allow Eastern Illinois Foodbank to leverage its buying power to purchase nutritious food for our neighbors facing food insecurity.
Big Brothers Big Sisters: Give the gift of mentoring this holiday season! Mentors are needed now more than ever. Become a mentor today by clicking here.
C-U One-to-one Mentoring Program: This is the school-based mentoring program for Champaign Unit #4 and Urbana District #116 Schools. Students in both districts are currently begging for mentors. For only an hour each week, spent at school, you can make a difference in the life of a child.
C-U at Home, Champaign: Friends from the community are welcome to spend time at The Phoenix when the weather becomes extremely cold. It is helpful to have volunteers “on call” as hours vary on a case by case basis. Call 217-819-4569 to get more info on this opportunity.
Salt and Light, Champaign and Urbana: Individual volunteers and groups of up to 10 are needed to help in their thrift stores with sorting, pricing, processing, stocking, and staging items throughout the holiday shopping season. Opportunities are available daily. Contact Lisa Sheltra to get started.
Looking for more? Subscribe to our Home for the Holidays Newsletter. Want more ideas for holiday (or everyday) fun? Check out our Events Calendar.
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