Social Services

CASA sets next training

URBANA — Champaign County Court-Appointed Special Advocates will conduct training for potential new advocates to speak up for the more than 500 abused and neglected children in the Champaign County court system.

More than 750 backpacks given away during holidays

CHAMPAIGN — On Tuesday, when temperatures topped out in the mid-40s, a man walked into the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen with no coat.

Volunteers handed him a jacket donated during the agency's backpack drive in December, which brought in more than 800 backpacks full of cold-weather gear and other supplies — twice the amount collected in 2010.

Habitat of Danville seeks applicants

DANVILLE — Habitat for Humanity of Danville officials are holding an application drive for people who are interested in owning a home built by the organization.

"We've still got folks on the waiting list for our 2012 builds," Executive Director John Graves said. "But we're looking for folks for 2013 and beyond."

People can apply one of two ways.

Essay contest melds with teacher's requirement for student service

When Jefferson Middle School social studies teacher and content area chairwoman Christine Adrian heard last spring about Rotary's plan to start an essay contest for eighth-grade students, she realized it would work well with her current class requirements that students volunteer.

She requires students to volunteer four hours each semester and then write about their experiences.

Essay winner puts words into generous action

CHAMPAIGN — Hannah Shinew won two awards with the essay she wrote about how one person can change the world.

But the eighth-grader took it a step further — instead of keeping the $200 gift card she won for winning first place at her school, she donated it to Edison Middle School.

Organizer returns to help Paxton holiday giveaway

PAXTON — When Sally Marshall moved to Ohio with her husband, Chad, last spring, she knew she would be back in Paxton for the holidays. As the organizer of the local Project Bright Star toy and clothing giveaway each Christmas, the lifelong Paxton resident had to see the program continue.

Veteran first to benefit from new effort to fight homelessness

CHAMPAIGN — Vern Chounard is moving into a home of his own with everything he owns in the world:

A sleeping bag and blankets, a CD player, a bible, a ragged pair of tennis shoes and the clothes on his back.

Holy Cross youths fill backpacks to be given this week to those in need

CHAMPAIGN — Two days before Christmas break began for students at Holy Cross School in Champaign, classrooms were decked with twinkling lights, Advent wreaths and decorated trees.

But students were thinking of people who are less fortunate by stuffing backpacks filled with clothes, toiletries and other items to be given away at Daily Bread Soup Kitchen in Champaign.

Bicycles to be given away on Thursday

URBANA — It's a Christmas deal that can't be beat: free bicycles.

The only stipulation is that you have to get them on Thursday between 10 a.m. and noon.

The Urbana Police Department will give away about 50 abandoned bicycles that have accumulated in the last year.

Spirit of the season: Curves club raising funds for projects

CHAMPAIGN — Curves of Champaign South and Savoy is raising money this month to benefit Marines serving in Afghanistan as well as the Center for Women in Transition in Champaign.

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