Smile Politely

The Chambana Volunteer, July 26–Aug 2

Spotlight on a Program:

Independent Media Center

The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (IMC) is a grassroots organization committed to using media production and distribution to promote social and economic justice in Champaign County. Since it’s induction in 2000, the IMC has fostered the creation and distribution of media, art, and narratives to promote empowerment through media and arts education. It’s current location is at the Community Media and Arts Center in the downtown Urbana post office building and boasts room for a stage, radio station (Radio Free Urbana), production studios, art studios, a library, and meeting spaces. It also runs a local, weekly publication, The Public I. The IMC’s Community Media and Arts Center currently hosts several nonprofit organizations on its premises, including the Champaign-Urbana Bike Project, The UP Center, Community Center for the Arts, and Books to Prisoners.

There are many ways to contribute to the IMC, including becoming a member. IMC Members own a “share” of the IMC and have a say in what is going on with the Center, as well as use of the space for free or reduced cost, although the IMC is generally open for free use. To learn more about the activities at the IMC, folks are encouraged to attend a Working Group or steering meetings, which are again free and open to the public. Finally, folks are needed to volunteer at special events, during Center hours of operation, or for any of the IMC’s affiliated programs.

The Independent Media Center continues to provide quality service through arts education and a facility for free public use, playing a vital role in the Chambana community. For more information on the IMC, see their website.


Volunteers Needed:

Grassroots Radio Conference

The Grassroots Radio Conference (GRC) celebrates local, community-driven radio, bringing together artists, community organizers, radio operators and engineers, and anyone else from across the country to learn, discuss, brainstorm, and build. Volunteers will be needed for this weekend-long conference, running from July 26–29, and will be utilized for a plethora of activities. This event will be held at the Independent Media Center. For more information on how to volunteer, go here.

Champaign Unit 4 Schools

Ever thought about helping out the youth in our community? Now is the time to take action. Unit 4 is seeking volunteers to help out in all levels of education (pre-K–grade 12) with tutoring, mentoring, being classroom aides, and more. Work one-on-one with a youth or help in a school office, classroom, or cafeteria. All volunteers must fill out an application and be background checked. For more information, go here.

TIMES Center

The TIMES Center in Champaign, which is a men’s transitional shelter, is in need of help. A reliable volunteer who could man the front desk, answer phones, answer questions of the guests/residents, do some light data entry and/or other office-related tasks is needed immediately. Groups and/or individuals can also be utilized to help sort the pantry, take in/sort various donations, and help with meal preparation and serving. Call 398-7785 for more information.


Upcoming Events

6th Annual Richard L. Pittman Marine Corps League Wounded Warrior Poker Run

The Wounded Warrior Poker Run will be held Saturday, July 28 at Hooters of Champaign. Registration runs from 9:00–11:00 a.m. The Run will last from Noon–4:30 p.m. There is a $20 entry fee per bike and all participants will receive a free lunch. For more information, call Mike at (217) 714-7686 or Tim at (217) 369-2322.


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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