Smile Politely

The Chambana Volunteer, Feb 23-March 1

Spotlight on a Cause:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Champaign County

Big Brothers Big Sisters has been actively matching young children with adult mentors since 1904. Their focus is to match adult volunteers on a one-to-one basis with a child to act as a role model, mentor, and friend. The agency does this by enforcing strict standards of both the adults and children, and by trying their best to match the right child with the right adult based on circumstances and personalities. All volunteers must be background checked and interviewed before being cleared to volunteer.

Volunteers at the Champaign County Big Brothers Big Sisters usually visit their “Littles” at school during lunch time each week to chat, play games, work on school work, etc. Other volunteers will take the children on outings—to the park, mini-golfing, bowling, to the movies, to lunch, etc. Volunteers to act as “Bigs” are in constant need, particularly for Big Brothers, as there are more young men enlisted in the program who are in need of a positive male role model in their lives.

Other current volunteer needs at the local office include office assistants and volunteers who would be willing to spread the word on the program, and seek out donations or corporate sponsors. Another way to get involved: The Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake event will be the weekend of March 2–4 in Champaign. This event is a bowling tournament where teams raise money for the organization, have a chance to socialize and win some prizes, and of course, bowl! This is the organizations’ largest fundraiser each year and is a lot of fun for all involved. For more information on how to sign up a team, go to For more information on what Big Brothers Big Sisters does, how they work, or how to volunteer, go to

Volunteers Needed:

Gift Shop Attendant at Chanute Air Museum

The Chanute Air Museum in nearby Rantoul is in need of a front desk/gift shop attendant. The time needed is on Wednesdays 1–4 p.m. until March 15 and then from 1–5 p.m. after. Volunteers will be responsible for greeting customers, taking admissions and customer service duties. For more information, please email Robyn York at

Daily Bread Soup Kitchen

There are several ways you can help out at the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen. Volunteers serve as greeters and counters, greeting and taking attendance as patrons arrive. Also needed are folks who can help distribute sack lunches, prepare sack lunches and serve food, clean up and sort supplies. Volunteers with access to a vehicle are also needed to help shop and pick up supplies for meals. For more information, please contact Clare Haussermann at

Upcoming Events

Wear a Yellow Shirt Day—Endometriosis Awareness

On Thursday, March 1, help spread awareness for Endometriosis by wearing a yellow shirt! Endometriosis is a benign cancer that affects millions of women worldwide. There is no known cure for the disease. This is a chronic, debilitating disease that causes severe pain, nausea, bowel issues, and can cause infertility. It has been proven in a recent study that endometriosis pain can be three time stronger than labor pain. Do your part to support research for a cure and to spread awareness of this disease on March 1.

Fitness FUNdraiser benefiting Salt & Light Ministry

Get in shape for a good cause! Song’s Fitness/Song’s Kung Fu Academy is hosting a fitness course that will benefit Salt & Light Ministry on February 26 from 12:30–3:15 p.m. Come try Zumba and Infinity Exercise and have a chance to win some prizes. Song’s Fitness is located at 1827 Springer Drive in Champaign. Prices for classes are $8 for Zumba, $8 for Infinity workout, or $12 for both. Donations for Salt & Light will also be accepted in forms or clothing, in-date food, and monetary donations. For more information, please email

C4A Annual Garage Sale

The Annual Two-Day Community Center for the Arts Garage Sale will take place on Friday, February 24, 7–9 p.m., (with a $5 admission for non-C4A members), and Saturday, February 25, from 8 a.m.–1 p.m., (free admission). The sale will take place at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2101 S. Prospect Ave, Champaign. Donations of items to sell are being accepted, and all donations are tax-deductible: furniture, household goods, books, CDs, DVDs, toys, clothing, and baby equipment (no baby furniture, electronics or VHS tapes please!). Items can be dropped off at C4A or directly to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Email or call 384-5150 for more details.

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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