Civic Engagement Opportunities
The Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning maintains a list of current volunteer and service opportunities for students.
Last updated on August 15, 2019.
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We're kicking off the new academic year with an opportunity to serve the local community! Join the Center on the Quad near Schroeder on Friday, August 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. for our Welcome Week Service Project. We'll be stuffing backpacks with school supplies for local children through the Back to School Alliance. We'll also be building walls to go into the 26th local Collegiate House through Habitat for Humanity. If you'd like to participate in the wall build, please register. You must wear closed-toe shoes in order to assist with the wall build project.
Join us at the Normal Theater on September 24, 7 p.m., for a free showing of the film Rigged: The Voter Suppression Handbook. Rigged is a 2019 documentary that examines how, since 2008, right-wing groups have worked with certain states to make it harder to vote, particularly for minority groups and young people. Illinois State Professor Emeritus Bob Bradley will facilitate a discussion following the film. The screening is co-sponsored by the American Democracy Project.
This year, The Baby Fold’s Festival of Trees will celebrate its 26th year as a family-centered community event. All proceeds from the 2019 Festival of Trees will again help to provide positive changes in the lives of children and families served by The Baby Fold by connecting them with opportunities for a better life. This year’s Festival of Trees will be held November 22-24, 2019, at the Intestate Center in Bloomington, Illinois. The Festival needs hundreds of volunteers throughout the week of set-up (November 19-21) until tear-down (November 24). Volunteer sign up begins on September 1, 2019, at www.festoftrees.org. If you would like to sign up as a group, please contact Jess McLane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunnyside Community Garden and Food Forest was established in 2016 to serve the community of West Bloomington. It is a small urban farm that produces fruits and vegetables in an organic, sustainable way and gives them away to local food banks. Sunnyside is in need of volunteers to help with weeding, planting, harvesting, and the occasional odd job. If you like getting your hands dirty, this would be a dream volunteer job. They have open work days weekly on Friday and Saturday, 9-11 a.m. Visit their Facebook page for more information, or contact Jan Turner at email@example.com.
The Child Protection Network (CPN) is a volunteer-driven organization established in August of 1990 by the McLean County State’s Attorney, along with a grassroots group of community leaders. CPN’s focus is to provide financial resources that support the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect. CPN is looking for volunteers to spread awareness of CPN's mission, organize/plan/execute events, serve at events, and become CASA volunteers (advocating for abused and neglected children). For more information, visit the CPN website.
Camp TK (formerly Camp Erin© Chicago) is looking for volunteers to serve as camp counselors. Camp TK is an overnight weekend bereavement camp for children and teens ages 6-17 who have lost a parent, sibling, or someone close to them. It combines traditional camp activities with grief education and emotional support. Training will be provided. Camp takes place October 11-13, 2019, and is located at Camp Manitocqua in Frankfort, Illinois. For more information, contact Laura Cottrell with AMITA Health at 630-856-6985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Homes of Hope is a local organization that helps individuals with intellectual disabilities fulfill their dream of independent living. The organization is in need of volunteers for their mini golf and vendor event on August 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Pheasant Lanes in Bloomington. Volunteers will provide assistance on the mini golf course, with the raffle, and more. This volunteer opportunity is mostly standing/walking. For more information, contact Holly at email@example.com or (309) 862-0607. To register to volunteer, visit their SignUpGenius page.
The Boys & Girls Club is a safe place for kids that offers fun and engaging programs for Club members at an affordable price. The Club offers a wide variety of programs to meet the needs of various ages and interests, such as leadership development and volunteering opportunities, homework help, computers, games, sports, dance, swimming, photography, arts and crafts, discussion groups, college prep, youth employment, movie making and delinquency prevention.
The Club needs volunteers to help support their organization and can utilize you in any way you see fit. If you love working with youth consider helping at an event, become a support volunteer or facilitate programming through their impact programs. In addition, there are other opportunities within the Club such as data entry, assist with mailings, cleaning, and organizing. For more information check out their volunteer webpage or contact Jenny Hall.
Help older individuals stay independent! Faith In Action is a local organization that helps seniors through spiritual, emotional, and physical support. They need volunteers to transport individuals to medical appointments, plan special events, assist seniors with shopping, visit with seniors, conduct basic office support, and more. For more information, visit their website, call Faith in Action at (309) 827-7780, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Town of Normal is looking for volunteers to help with their "To the Max" Obstacle Challenge. The event is a youth and family 2K race through an obstacle course. It takes place September 15 at Maxwell Park in Normal. Volunteers can sign up for specific shifts online. For more information, contact Hanna Razo, Aquatics and Special Events Supervisor.
The Sharing the Ability to Read (STAR) Adult Literacy Program looking for volunteers to help adults improve their reading, writing, or math skills, or to help non-native English speakers improve their English. Volunteer tutors work with individuals one-on-one or in small groups with support from STAR Literacy instructional support staff. Volunteers work mornings, afternoons, or evenings based on the schedule that is convenient for them and their students. For more information, fill out a Volunteer Interest Form.
The School Street Food Pantry is an organization that is dedicated to providing students in the local community with the food, supplies, and knowledge they need to become self-reliant in the future. They are a volunteer-run non-profit operating out of the First United Methodist Church in Normal, right next to Illinois State University. Volunteer positions vary based on time commitment and labor conditions. The volunteer application explains the duties and commitments volunteers will have to adhere to when working for the pantry. Click here to find the application. Please contact email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
The School Street Food Pantry also needs help with their community garden at the Illinois State University Horticulture Center. Work days are typically Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Gardening experience isn't necessary. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Home Sweet Home Ministries is seeking volunteers for a variety of roles. In particular, they need individuals to help with their supper clubs or adopt-a-meals on June 26 and July 10. They also need kitchen assistants and servers for Fridays and Saturdays. Their Bread for Life Co-op could use help with errands (must be over 21 with a valid driver's license) or with event set-up, tear-down, or meal serving for the Co-op's upcoming anniversary celebration on July 19. Additionally, they have an ongoing need for volunteers to work in their Mission Mart or to help sort donations at their Warehouse, located at 1700 West Washington Street, in Bloomington. Individuals or groups up to 25 in size can sign up to volunteer anytime Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact Felicia Young at 309-319-2821 or email@example.com for more information or to schedule a time to serve.
Midwest Food Bank is in need of volunteer help to clean their offices this summer. They also need year-round help answering phones, scanning, and filing paperwork, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to noon. Volunteer work can be one day a week or multiple days, temporary or long-term. If you enjoy talking to people and general office duties, contact them at (309) 663-5350.
Children’s Discovery Museum needs volunteers for week day, after school, and Saturday programming such as art studio, innovation station, and assisting with groups and campus. Volunteers are also needed for special events. All volunteers are required to participate in an orientation prior to volunteering. Visit the Museum's website for information on orientations in early June. Contact Amy Pitzer at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Easterseals Central Illinois is looking for volunteers for their planning committee for Easterseals 100, a bike ride supporting Easterseals Central Illinois and honoring its 100th anniversary. The event will take place September 28, 2019. Planning committee volunteers are particularly needed in the areas of sponsorship, volunteer needs, and ride logistics. If you are interested in being on the Easterseals 100 event committee, please contact Cathy Oloffson at email@example.com or by phone at (309) 662-8271.
Integrity Counseling is looking for front desk reception volunteers. They need both regular volunteers (2 hours or more per week) and substitute volunteers who can be called when someone is ill or on vacation. They especially need volunteers for late afternoons, evenings, and every other Saturday morning. Their reception volunteers answer our phones, do phone screenings, and help schedule clients based on counselor availability. They are flexible with schedules and are a great volunteer placement for retirees and students. For more information contact Luella at 309-827-9100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local nonprofit For A Better Tomorrow seeks volunteers for their Why I See You (YICU) youth recognition banquet on September 8. They are specifically looking for individuals to help with program planning and set-up on the day of the event. For more information, contact Terri Helregel, email@example.com
Additionally, For A Better Tomorrow is seeking volunteers who are committed to sustainable philanthropy, social justice, and eliminating the gap between abundance and need, both locally and globally. they are looking for a volunteer with experience in marketing, book keeping, website content and forms maintenance, committee members, and potential board members. If you would like to learn more about FBT’s mission, please contact FBT at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heritage Health in Normal is looking for volunteers to help with events and large group activities.
For more information or to volunteer, contact Heather Clark at (309) 468-4125 or hclark@Heritageofcare.com. Please also email her this volunteer application if interested in volunteering.
Volunteers at the Morton Pumpkin Festival will be working in one of the food venues preparing and serving fair foods, pumpkin treats, and for this year’s Luck O’ the Pumpkins Festival theme, Irish food. The Pumpkin Grill serves ribeyes, pork chops, hot dogs, nachos, pumpkin chili, and other foods perfect for lunch and dinner. The Pumpkin Sweet Shop offers pumpkin desserts like pumpkin ice cream, shakes, pies, and cookies. The Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast, only offered on Saturday, September 14, is a all-you-can-eat pumpkin pancake and sausage breakfast. The festival runs September 11 to 14. Sign up for your volunteer role online. If you have questions, visit the Pumpkin Festival website or contact Crystal at email@example.com or (309) 263-2491.
Adult volunteers are needed to answer phones on the 24-hour hotline. Volunteering your time on the hotline offers a rewarding experience and a great opportunity to give back to your community. A complete training program and professional backup is provided. Our training program teaches you everything you need to know, including communication techniques and information about community resources. The next 8-week training class begins February 1, 2018. If interested, the volunteer application is available online . Classroom training meets on Thursdays from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Questions? Call Kevin at 309-834-0541.
The Bloomington Housing Authority and Marcfirst work together to support adults with developmental disabilities through the Congregate Housing Service Program (CHSP). The Housing Authority provides apartments to 24 adults with diagnoses at the Irvin Apartments at 823 W. Oakland and 810 W. Jackson in Bloomington. Marcfirst staff provides services and training to assist the participants to become more independent. Therefore, volunteers are asked to commit to a weekly schedule. The length of time spent with participants would vary. However, volunteers should devote at least a half hour at a time. This opportunity is ideal for students to find out if they want to pursue a career working with people with developmental disabilities. If you have further questions, please contact Jen Mayer at 829-3360 ext. 208.
Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth has a variety of internships available in her offices in Belleville, Carbondale, Chicago, Rock Island, Springfield, and Washington, D.C. (Washington, D.C. internships allow interns to gain in-depth knowledge of how the U.S. Senate functions. Internships in D.C. are divided into five specialties: legislative, communications, operations, scheduling, and law/graduate.) Additionally, Senator Duckworth's office offers a scholarship for applicants who cannot otherwise afford the living expenses in the city where the internship is located. Visit Duckworth's website for more information. The deadline to apply for Spring 2020 internships is October 25.
The Immigration Project is looking for four AmeriCorps VISTA staff members. The organization provides immigration legal aid through their offices in Normal and Champaign. The open positions are:
The YWCA needs additional teachers for this school year and would love for you to join their team. They are looking for child care professionals focused on fostering a positive learning environment for children. You can find additional information regarding before and after school teacher positions here and special education positions here. Please direct questions to Melissa Breeden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illinois Campus Compact is beginning an AmeriCorps State Program. This program is for college students at ILCC member institutions who are passionate and committed to service. Selected students have one year to service at least 300 hours building capacity for campus and community partnerships . Once these hours are completed the student will receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. If you have any questions regarding ILCC Service Corps please email Marina LoCasto. Find more information online.