Smile Politely

The Chambana Volunteer, Feb 9-16

Spotlight on a Cause:

Champaign County YMCA

Champaign-Urbana’s YMCA was founded at the Church Street location in 1938 and hosted several programs for local youth. During the war, the Y collaborated with Chanute Air Force Base to hold USO dances, and was considered the spot to find male role models while C-U fathers were overseas. Over the years it remained a popular teenage hangout, and began to host the Girl Scout program. When the gymnastics program boomed in the 1960’s, the YMCA sent five girls to the Olympics. After that, youth services and day camps have rapidly grown, especially the aquatics program. In the 1990’s, the Y changed its name to the Champaign County YMCA, which better encompassed the area it served.

The YMCA focuses its programming on four values; honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility, creating a positive force for the future.  Today, there are two locations, the original McKinley Foundation location on Church Street and a newer location on Country Fair Drive in Champaign, with construction on a new location opening soon in Champaign. Guests will be invited to preview the new YMCA on Friday, February 17th at 6:30 PM. The event will kick off the annual Strong Kids Scholarship Program—a scholarship program that ensures that kids and families will have the ability to pay for membership and program fees for the Y, who may not have the normal ability to do so. For more information on the Champaign County YMCA, check out their website at, or stop by one of their locations to learn more about how to give your time towards coaching a team, instructing a lesson, or how to help with one of their many youth/family programs.

Volunteers Needed:

Community Center for the Arts–Fundraiser Help

Volunteers are needed the evening of Sunday March 11 to assist with a Faculty Showcase Concert and Silent Auction benefit.  The event will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Urbana. Volunteers would work 2 hour shifts from 3-5 PM or 5-7 PM.  Helpers would set up tables for the silent auction, greet guests, prepare drinks and table settings, help answer guests’ questions, and assist in take-down. Please contact Susan Ryan at 384-5150 or [email protected] for more information. Event info here:

Salvation Army—Receptionist Needed

The Salvation Army is looking for volunteer receptionists. The position includes answering a 5 line phone system and transferring calls, taking messages, etc. Also involved would be greeting office guests, answering questions and directing people to the right department/office.  Ongoing training and support is available. They are willing to take volunteers who could give one day per week, or a half day per week—but consistently would be helpful.  Office hours are Mon-Fri 9-4:30 PM, but can be flexible during that time, too. Please contact Kris Fuqua at 373-7832 or [email protected].

Upcoming Events

Provena Faith in Action Volunteer Orientation

Faith in Action is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to seniors with long-term health needs and their caregivers. Such services offered to seniors include transportation to medical appointments/help with errands, light housekeeping/minor repairs and friendly home visits. This care is provided through a network of trained volunteers in the community. Anyone who is interested in volunteering with Faith in Action needs to attend one orientation session at the Provena Center for Health Aging, (410 E. University in Urbana). Please call 337-2022 to register for training. Orientation sessions are available on the following dates:
Thursday, February 9th, 6-7:30 PM
Wednesday, March 14th, 10:30-Noon
Tuesday, April 3rd, 6-7:30 PM
Wednesday, May 9th, 10:30-noon

Class It UP!—A Benefit for the UP Center

The UP Center of Champaign County is hosting its second annual Class It UP, a benefit dinner supporting local LGBT efforts within our community. This year’s event will be held at Silvercreek Restaurant in Urbana on Friday, February 10th. To accommodate growing interest in the event, two separate dinner times are offered; the first from 5:30 – 7:30 PM and the second from 8:30 – 11:00 PM. The dinner will feature performances, a three course meal, cash bar and a silent auction. For ticket purchase and registration, please go to:


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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