Eight Non Profits in Champaign-Urbana that you need to know about

Edited by Hannah Brzozowski


On November 14th, Anchor Church had the honor of hosting our first ever Non Profit Expo. We had eight different organizations come and set up tables before the service. At the end of the service, we got to hear about the different things that they are doing to serve our community. Inspiring doesn't even accurately express how everyone felt leaving that day.


After the service, we all got to ask questions and find out how we can help serve the community alongside them.


Today, I want to share with you about those eight organizations and how you can put your faith in action and get involved.


1. Habitat for Humanity


The Vision: A world where everyone deserves a place to live.


The Mission: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.


The History: "In 1991, a group of community members concerned about racial injustice in Champaign County met at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Urbana. As a result of that meeting, Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County was formed. The first home was built and sold in 1992. Since then, the vision of the original organizers has been nurtured and expanded. By the end of the year, 119 families will have purchased simple, decent, affordable homes in our area. The UIUC Student Chapter began in the Spring of 1992, and became an official chapter with Habitat for Humanity International in March of 1993. The student chapter has been a key to the success of the Affiliate. When they’re not working on a house, the students are out in the community fundraising, planning events, volunteering on projects to connect with local Habitat families, and raising awareness about poverty housing." (taken from their website)


Habitat for Humanity is a national organization that builds houses for those that need them. They have built *wait for it* one hundred and nineteen homes for our community with over 22,000 volunteers over the past 30 years. Talk about inspiring.

Along with building houses, they also provide free financial classes and have a thrift store in Midtown Champaign, among many other things...


The Website: https://cuhabitat.org/


2. DREAAM

The Change Statement: They are driven to reach excellence in achievement, engagement, and behavioral health among boys and young men ages 5–24 years old.


What they do: Reach They embrace and engage with DREAAMers as early as the age of 3 with the commitment to remain in their lives until they are 24. They work with children and young adults who need DREAAM the most. Some of them face tough odds, needing to overcome challenges such as school suspension, anger issues, parental incarceration, and low academic skills. However, where others see problems, DREAAM sees potential. They reach out to families, community organizations, churches, schools, and service providers to produce caring, outcome-driven services for children and young adults. ​ Teach They believe in starting early building resiliency, a love for learning, and positive friendship skills. They teach essential life skills throughout our curriculum―collaboration, contribution, self-regulation, adaptability, attachment, and belonging―to prepare DREAAMers for college and career success. They teach effective parenting skills and empowerment to position parents and caregivers as leaders in schools and communities. ​ Empower They empower DREAAMers to Dream Big! They create transformative experiences, trauma-informed spaces, and strength-based programs that benefit our children and young adults for years to come. They plant seeds of hope for the future of communities.

*Taken from DREAAM's website


The Website: https://www.dreaam.org/


3. Crisis Nursery

The Mission: Crisis Nursery creates an "Island of Safety" dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect by providing 24-hour emergency care for children and support to strengthen families in crisis.


The Vision: A beacon of light for children and families who are at risk for abuse or neglect in our community; we ensure necessary support and services to every child and family in need.


Through their 24 hour/365 day nursery, they're able to help families through providing free childcare with no income eligibility requirements.


The Values:

  • Compassion We are genuinely concerned about the needs of others. We strive to think about a situation and feel it from their perspective.

  • Communication Clear, intentional, and effective communication and feedback are crucial to improving our programs and services for the families we serve.

  • Empathy At Crisis Nursery, we always do our best to put ourselves in someone else's shoes and feel what they are feeling.

  • Integrity Integrity is the foundation on which people build relationships. It is vitally important to us to build trusting relationships with families and donors.

  • Respect We act with empathy, honesty, and transparency while respecting and valuing people of all backgrounds. We are stronger together.

*Taken from Crisis Nursery's website.


The Website: https://crisisnursery.net/


4. The Salvation Army

The Mission: The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.


The History: The Salvation Army started in London while the founder and his wife were meeting the need of the poor and preaching the Gospel. It is now in over 100 countries and they uniquely creates programs for each area that they're in.


What they do: The Salvation fills the need of whatever community they are in. In Champaign, they help through providing a number of services. They serve through providing a food pantry, helping people with utilities, overcoming poverty, assisting veterans, and fighting for justice.


How you can help:

  • Give into the mission of The Salvation Army

  • Volunteer

  • Donate goods or food


The website: https://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/heartland/


5. C-U At Home

The Mission: C-U at Home engages and mobilizes our community to house and support the most vulnerable homeless on their journey of healing and restoration.


The History: C-U At Home was founded in 2011 by an incredible woman named Melany Jackson. After an encounter with one of our friends on the street in late 2010, Melany decided to take action. She realized that the man she was talking to was beginning to develop frostbite and in a town as rich as Champaign, Illinois, she would not accept this as a permissible reality. C-U at Home was formed to serve those who have been forgotten, shunned, overlooked, and otherwise cast out by society as a whole.


What They Do: C-U at Home provides overnight shelter for our male and female friends without an address, transitional housing, transportation, 24-hour street outreach, the Phoenix daytime drop-in center, the C-U at Work program and more.


Over the past couple of years, Anchor has partnered with C-U at Home through participating in their One Winter's Night annual fundraiser and through going to the Phoenix Drop In Center.


The Website: https://www.cuathome.us/


6. 1:1 Mentoring

The Mission: To positively impact the lives of select Champaign-Urbana students by pairing them with adult mentors to provide support, encouragement and guidance.


What They Do: C-U One-to-One Mentoring is the school-based mentoring program of the Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana District #116 Schools.

Mentoring is about building relationships of trust between a young person and an adult for the purpose of providing support, encouragement and guidance.

Mentors are matched one-on-one with a student when the student is in 3rd-7th grade. Mentors meet with their 'mentees' for one hour a week during the school day on school grounds. They may read together, play games, go for a walk, workout in the gym, discuss current events, work on a school project or just talk. Coordinators at each building help provide activity suggestions, training and support.

Mentors commit for one year at a time. Students who stay in the program through high school graduation receive a scholarship for continuing education funded by our community partner, the Mentoring Scholarship Foundation.

*Taken from the 1:1 website.


The Website: https://www.cu1to1.org/


7. Young Lives

The Mission: Inviting young people to experience life the way it was meant to be lived.


What They Do: YoungLives​ clubs are regular gatherings with parenting teenagers and mentors with the support of childcare workers and various community help. Clubs meet and offer fun, laughter, encouragement and an inspirational message. Other YoungLives​ activities may include Bible study, group outings and life skill instruction.


The Stats: There are over 340 Young Lives communities in the U.S. and over 2000 mentors.


How you can help:

  • Volunteer your time to work directly with young people.

  • Support the staff and leaders as part of the local adult committee.

  • Give resources to start or sustain the financial foundation at the local or national level.

The Website: https://il19.younglife.org/


8. The Family Room

The Mission: The Family Room is a nonprofit organization in Champaign-Urbana serving families with foster children or children in transition.


What They Do: With over 400 foster kids in Champaign County, The Family Room takes on the challenge of supplying for those kids. When foster kids are taken out of their homes, sometimes in the middle of the night, they often have nothing with them. The Family Room takes care of needs such as hygiene items, clothes, school supplies and more for those kids that are living in transition. They also provide resources to foster parents to help them care for children the best they can.


How You Can Help: You can help through donating to their Amazon Wishlist or by volunteering with The Family Room. You can find all of the information on their website right now.


The Website: https://thefamilyroomcu.org/about/


Which group are you going to contact to find out more today? Comment below!