Smile Politely

The Chambana Volunteer, March 22–29

Author’s Edit: Last week there was a mention of the Triad/SALT Council. At this time, Council meetings are not open to the public, but there are public events sponsored by the Council. Also, the best number to call for more information on the Council is 217-333-8028. (MER)

Spotlight on a Cause:


In the 1970s, a group of Champaign-Urbana women formed a coalition called Women Against Rape and founded the Rape Crisis Center. The Rape Crisis Center was C-U’s first 24-hour resource for rape victims to get help and receive counseling. Soon after, the coalition formed A Woman’s Fund, which was, until recently, an organization that served as a safe-haven for battered women and their children. Today, RACES (Rape Advocacy, Counseling, and Educational Services) is able to offer a variety of services to victims/survivors of sexual assault, abuse, and harassment and their significant others who live or work in Champaign, Douglas, Ford, and Piatt counties in East-Central Illinois. All services remain free and confidential. RACES still offers the 24-hour Crisis Hotline, as well as medical and legal advocacy, counseling, and education and training to the public.

To volunteer at RACES, you must be at least 18 years of age. There are volunteer positions available for male and female volunteers alike. All volunteers must complete an application and an interview before attending 40-hour crisis intervention training. For more information, please email.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month. During April, C-U RACES will host a variety of events to bring education, awareness, and activism to the community. See their website for news and information on such events, and how you can get involved.

Volunteers Needed

Champaign Park District Coaches Needed

Anyone with a passion for basketball and working with kids would be a great volunteer coach. Kids learn sportsmanship and the value of working as a team, as well as make life-long memories and new friends. Volunteers gain a unique experience, new skills, and get to have fun! Teams have an hour practice each week and a game every Saturday for eight weeks. Practice scheduling is flexible depending on volunteers’ schedules. For more information, contact Hsuing Marler, Youth Sports Coordinator, or call 398-2571. Sign up is available here.

Orpheum Museum-Actors Needed

Calling all actors! The Orpheum Children’s Museum is seeking male and female actors to play Willy Wonka and Oompa Loompas for the “Wonka (and me) in the Chocolate Factory” event on April 20–22, April 28, and May 5. Actors may also dress as other characters from the book. Volunteers will help with promotion of the event around Champaign-Urbana during the Boneyard Arts Festival. For more information, please email or call (217) 352-5895.


Upcoming Events

Mark Your Calendars: Community Resource Day

As part of a project to supplement the newly established Champaign Community Coalition, a Community Resource Day is being held at Garden Hills Elementary School for the students of Garden Hills and Garden Hills neighborhood. The event is Saturday, April 21, starting at 9:00 a.m. The Community Resource Day will last 5–6 hours and offers the following:

  • School Physicals
  • Immunizations
  • Dental services
  • WIC Consultation
  • Representatives from social service agencies to provide information
  • Representatives from food resources such as local pantries
  • Medical assistance such as Carle’s Community Cares Program
  • And any other resource that will help families in need

For the school physicals component of the event, both medial and non-medical volunteers are needed. For medical, MDs, APNs, PAs, residents, or medical students are welcome to volunteer and assist with the physicals. RNs or even nursing students are invited to handle triage and assist parents with the school physical form. Non-medical volunteers can assist with overall work flow of the day. If you are interested in volunteering or have questions regarding the resource day please contact Sheri Williamson via email or call (217) 721-6540.


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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