Holiday Volunteering

People volunteering during the holidays

Volunteers make the winter holidays bright for so many in our community. Here, we'll keep a list of opportunities that your company or family could help with. We hope you'll take some time during this busy season to give back!

Visit for additional opportunities!

Last updated 11-26-2019

Adopt-a-Family Programs

Adopt-a-Family is a great way for your group, organization or family to make an impact. Each local group organizes their program a little bit differently. Please contact the organization directly to learn more about their program. 



Contact Person

Children’s Advocacy Center

201 Kenyon Rd. Suite #1
Champaign, IL 61820

Kari May


Ph: 217-384-1266

Developmental Services Center

1304 W. Bradley Ave
Champaign, IL 61821

Janice McAteer


Ph: 217-356-9176

Cunningham Children’s Home

1301 N. Cunningham Avenue
Urbana, IL 61802

Colleen Combes


Ph:  217-367-3728

Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County

520 E Wabash Ave
Rantoul, IL 61866

Andy Kulczycki


Ph: 217-893-1530

Salvation Army

2212 North Market
Champaign, IL 61821

Robin Mathis


Ph: 217-373-7832

Group Volunteering and Community Collection Drives

Mahomet Area Youth Club

Crisis Nursery

  • Safe Children Program Volunteer: Works directly with childcare staff and children, providing emotional and physical support, while also creating a safe environment for children. Time commitment is typically 2-3 hours weekly for a minimum of 6 months. Must be 18 years of age.
  • Holiday Shop Volunteer: Assist staff with set up/tear down, assisting children with shopping for gifts/wrapping the gifts. Dates for Holiday Shop are December 7-14. We are at a new location this year: County Plaza, 102 E. Main St. in Urbana. Groups and individuals are encouraged to help with this fun event!
  • Groups, clubs, or agencies looking to give back? We can work with small groups to coordinate a one-time opportunity to come to Crisis Nursery and assist with cleaning our facility: vacuuming, sanitizing toys, washing windows, etc. Contact the Safe Children Coordinator at 217-337-2731 

Toys for Tots

The Champaign County Toys for Tots program collects and purchases new and unwrapped toys to deliver to local underprivileged children. We gather these donations at collection sites, fundraising events, and generous local donations. Volunteers are needed! Learn more on their website.

Champaign Park District

The Champaign Park District is hosting it's annual “Calls from Santa” event on December 12th from 6-8PM. Parents send us information about their child and what they would like for Christmas and our Santas make calls to speak to the children to spread some holiday cheer! We are in need of Santas to make those calls. Learn more on their website.

Salvation Army

Bell ringers needed! Sign up or learn more on their website.

Habitat for Humanity

Gift wrapping at Market Place Mall December 13-24. Shifts are two to three hours. Learn more and sign up on Habitat's website.

Eastern Illinois Foodbank

Sign up to volunteer at an upcoming Repack or Foodmobile! Dates, age requirements and more information on the Foodbank's website.

Daily Bread Soup Kitchen

It’s backpack time again at Daily Bread, and we hope that many of you take this opportunity to be Santa this year and provide a bit of Christmas to one of our guests. We will celebrate the holidays by giving filled backpacks to the men and women who are our guests at lunch. The men and women we see daily are rarely remembered at Christmas. For many, these backpacks will be their only presents.

Backpacks will be given away on Friday, December 13, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Last year we gave away over 800 backpacks. We’re assuming that we will need that many or more this year.

Backpacks should be stuffed with toiletries such as deodorant, hand lotion for hands chapped by the cold, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, shaving cream, etc. Cold weather items such as gloves, hats, scarves, socks, sweatshirts, tee shirts, long underwear, and regular underwear are especially appreciated. Other items could include hand warmers, cough drops, books, decks of cards, small fleece blankets, candy, gum, and food items. Since the backpacks are a Christmas gift, all items should be new. All backpacks should be new or nearly new as well.

Filled backpacks can be dropped off beginning Monday, Dec. 2. Backpacks can be dropped off at Daily Bread, 116 N. First Street, Champaign, during the week from 9 a.m. to 12 P.M. Please use the back door on the alley when dropping off backpacks.

Full details can be found on their website.

C-U at Home

If the weather becomes extremely hot or extremely cold, The Phoenix opens for emergency warming or cooling hours. The Phoenix normally opens from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. for these situations, but the hours may be different as it is decided on a case by case basis. 

As the winter season approaches, we welcome friends from the community to come and spend time with us before or after work hours. It is helpful to have friends that are willing to be "on call" for emergency warming hours. If this interests you, please contact us. We would love to have you join us!

More information on their website.

Holiday Meals

Urbana High School Free Thanksgiving Dinner

The 49th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, sponsored by UHS Student Senate is already in preparation! The dinner will be held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28th, at the Urbana High School Cafeteria from 5:00 pm to 7 pm.

No reservations are required, donations are welcomed and may be sent to Urbana High School Student Senate at 1002 S. Race St., Urbana, IL 61801

For more information, please contact Yvonne Alvarez-Cortes at or click here.


11am - 2pm at Wingstop in Champaign.


First Christian Church Free Christmas Dinner

More information to come.


Coat Drives

Enoch Miller Sr. Coat Drive

Donate at Cunningham Township Supervisor's Office, 205 W. Green St, Urbana during business hours.

Champaign Unit 4 Schools Warm A Kid

Help us Warm-A-Kid! Donate coats, hats, and gloves to the annual Unit 4 Warm-A-Kid drive.

Drop off your tax-deductible donations to the Center for Family & Community Engagement at the Center for Family and Community Engagement, 703 S. New Street. 


Boys- 5/6, 6/7, 10/12,  14/16, men's S and M
Girls- 5/6, 6/7, 7/8, 10/12, 14/16, women's S, M, and L  

Items will be distributed to children before winter break. Help us ensure no student goes without this winter. We also appreciate monetary donations, made payable to Warm-A-Kid, which helps us purchase coats in sizes for which we do not receive ample donations.

For 20 years, your donations to this drive have warmed more than 8,000 children and families. 


Champaign Park District Coat Drive

This is the 2nd Annual Team Bundle Up Project for us. We worked with U of I students last year to collect donations to supply the Canteen Run with items for their nightly runs to assist those in need. This effort is led by Dan Davies and his wonderful volunteers that go out on cold nights to bring warmth to individuals in our community. Please consider dropping off your donations soon!


Warm Socks Drive


Project Warmth - Promise Healthcare

Project Warmth was a project that was started last year to help our community stay a little warmer during the cold Illinois winter months. Volunteers have been collecting coats since October and would like to continue collecting through the holidays. We have been able to give out over 150 coats at Frances Nelson this year and would love to give more. Please consider dropping off gently used, clean coats at Promise Healthcare, 819 Bloomington Rd, Champaign, Illinois. Thank you for helping to keep our community warm through the winter months.


Other Opportunities

The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County is always seeking donations of plastic grocery sacks for their food pantry. This is a great no-cost way to give back. Please ensure sacks are clean and without holes. Drop off donations M-F, 8:30am - 5pm at CSCNCC, 520 E Wabash Ave, Rantoul, IL 61866.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Give the gift of mentoring this holiday season! Spending time with a child can be the best gift of them all and right now mentors are needed more than ever. Mentoring is a rewarding experience that can truly make an impact on someone's life. Become a mentor today!

To add your opportunity to this list, email Mary Noel Stefan.

Faith-based opportunities may be listed here, as long as a lack of participation in the faith-based mission does not disqualify a person from being served or participating.