Smile Politely

Here are ways you can help those in need right now

It’s a disruptive time for all of us, but even more so for those without needed resources. For some it’s not big deal to stock up at the store and plan to hunker down for a few weeks. But for vulnerable folks in our community, this could be an especially worrisome time. 

If you are looking to help others, here are a few opportunities to do so. We will continue to update as more local organizations vocalize their needs. If you become aware of an opportunity that we can add to the list, you can email us at

Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office

As this local entity provides services for low-income and homeless community members, they are anticipating their agency needing to provide for even more people as the economy takes a hit. They’ve made appeals to city and state leaders as well as landlords to help alleviate some of the issues their clientele is likely to face. You can read their full statement here.

What you can do: Donate to their Angel Donor Fund. 100% of which will be redirected to help Urbana residents with material needs that fall outside our programs. 

Champaign PTA Council

This group, made up of representatives from Parent Teacher Association’s throughout Unit 4, is compiling a list of people who would be willing to distribute food to families should there be a change in the school schedule. They are partnering with C-U Public Health District on this. You do not have to be a Unit 4 parent or member of PTA to help.

What you can do: Sign up using this Google form. This does not obligate you, it is just an indication that you would like to be notified when needs arise. 

Jubilee Cafe

Jubilee Cafe provides a weekly sit down meal for community members and students. They are changing the format to provide prepared meals to-go for pick up between 5 and 6:30 p.m. on Monday evenings at the 6th Street entrance of Community United Church of Christ. They are also doing a pick up meal on Wednesday, March 18th.

What you can do: Sign up to help prepare food, assemble bags, or clean up.

Retired Senior Volunteer Program

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program has a new program, Friendly Caller, to link up volunteers 55 and older with seniors who may be feeling isolated and lonely as they try to stay home and avoid activities. The Friendly Caller would chat over the telephone.

What you can do: Call 359-6500 if they are interested in volunteering. At present they are looking for volunteers 55 and older. If you or someone you know is a senior who would like a friendly caller, call the Senior Resource Center at 352-5100 to sign up.

Photo from Jubilee Cafe Facebook page.

Staff writer

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