Smile Politely

The Chambana Volunteer, Aug 25-Sept 1

Spotlight on an Organization:

The TIMES Center

The TIMES Center is a transitional living program in downtown Champaign that houses homeless men in Levels I and II of transition. Men receive supportive services to help them get back into the workforce, as well as have the opportunity to partake in job searches, group discussions, mental health services, schooling, financial management, drug/alcohol counseling, etc. The TIMES Center was founded by various local churches housing and feeding men in need, but has since moved into a new location with a full-time staff, partnering with Community Elements. The Center also houses a community soup kitchen that serves 3 free daily meals 7 days a week, 365 days per year. The TIMES Center relies heavily on volunteers-especially with the preparation and service of these daily meals. Groups or individuals are encouraged to attend a brief orientation in order to volunteer. Also, the Center always accepts donations of items such as soap, razors, toothbrushes, towels, and other personal care items.

Frank Ford, a volunteer who has cooked every day for decades at the TIMES Center.

To learn more about the TIMES Center and how to get involved please contact Jason Greenly at


Volunteers Needed:

Developmental Services Center

Developmental Services Center’s Residential Program is holding a formal/dance on Saturday September, 29 at the Sodo Theatre in downtown Champaign.  Volunteers are needed to assist with set-up from 1-5pm, and during the dance from 6-8pm.

Volunteers interested in working directly with the clients and spending time with them during the dance must request advance information; State regulations require an application, background check and Office of Inspector General Training to spend time directly with clients. Contact Nikki Kopmann at (217) 356-9176 to volunteer or to receive a list of items that are needed for the dance.


Kenwood Elementary School

Kenwood Elementary School in Champaign is in need of a couple of committed, mature, self-sufficient, and self-motivated volunteers. One or two volunteers are needed to come in three times per week in the late afternoon to complete copying tasks for teachers and staff that otherwise would not have time. Familiarity with office machines is a plus. Kenwood has a balanced calendar meaning there is a three week “intercession” break in the fall and in the spring, besides the usual winter break.

Volunteers must complete an application, orientation, and background check. For more information, please contact Kellie Anderson at


Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Krannert Center seeks volunteers for ushering, acting as tour guides, helping backstage, planning special events, and many more tasks. There are two volunteer groups whom tend to the volunteer needs at Krannert Center. Volunteers who currently attend the University of Illinois can join the Krannert Center Student Association (KCSA), and anyone can join the Krannert Center Community Volunteers (KCCV).

For more information about KCCV volunteer opportunities, e-mail Crystal Womble at or call 217/244-0549. For information about student volunteer opportunities, call 217/333-3550 or check their website at


Upcoming Events: 

Soiree du Ballet

Spend an evening of sensory and culinary delight benefitting the Champaign Urbana Ballet. There will be opportunities to win an iPad 2, take a private plane ride to a dinner destination, or to become a brew master, among others.

This event will be held August 27 at 7:00pm at the Urbana Country Club. Call 355-7317 or email for more information.


 Car X Crazy-K

This unique event is a fun way to raise money for a good cause! On August 27 from 8am-5pm at the Champaign County Fairgrounds, participants will race through 5 kilometers of varying obstacles and challenges. Guests will enjoy live music, food, and drinks with 100% of proceeds going to local charities. For more information go to:


Rock the Block at FUMC

First United Methodist Church in Champaign will host its annual Rock the Block party on August 28. Guests may attend the outdoor service and luncheon, followed by a carnival and charitable event for Meals of Hope at 1 PM. More information on the event can be found on Facebook:


Disclaimer:  I gather this information based on local community calendars and from colleagues at local service organizations.  Some of the wording is based directly on what I receive and research.  Please feel free to email me if you have any comments, questions, or have anything you would like to see posted.  Thank you.  (MER)

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