Social Services

Social Services

Church plans dinner for all on Christmas Day

CHAMPAIGN — If your Christmas day is looking lonely or bleak, here's an invitation that might brighten the outlook.

First Christian Church will serve a free holiday turkey dinner, complete with caroling, decorations and entertainment, and the invitation is open to anyone who might otherwise be alone on Christmas or can't afford a holiday meal.

Gift idea: Donate meals in friends' names

CHAMPAIGN — Many of the people on your holiday shopping list may already have enough stuff, but not everybody in East Central Illinois has enough to eat.

So once again, the Eastern Illinois Foodbank is offering the opportunity to give meals on behalf of your friends and loved ones, instead of buying them something.

Big Brothers Big Sisters using chocolate to raise money

DANVILLE — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermilion County is launching its annual Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraiser in a new and decadent way.

The public is invited to Big Chocolate Obsession, which will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. today (Thursday, Dec, 1) at the Cooks Workshop, at 38 N. Vermilion St., in downtown Danville.

Former city official is new Habitat executive director

CHAMPAIGN — A former city administrator and Habitat for Humanity volunteer has decided to make home-building work her full-time job.

Sheila Dodd, a city of Champaign employee for 20 years, left her position as a grant compliance administrator on Nov. 1 to become the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County.

Reaching out to aid youths in Rantoul

RANTOUL — A program aimed at helping young people has started in east Rantoul.

The Rantoul Project, operated by Community Service Center, will serve youths in the Pheasant Ridge subdivision at 640 Autumn Fields Lane.

The project mirrors one that was operated on Hobson Drive at the now-closed Autumn Glen apartment complex and most recently at Rantoul Youth Center.

Backpacks full of items to be given out in December; help sought to meet growing need

CHAMPAIGN — On a cold, rainy November day, Charlesetta Hopkins showed up at the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen for a hot meal and some warm company.

Hopkins, 25, used to be homeless, but now lives with relatives in Urbana. Still, she relies on Daily Bread to get by — and more.

"When I come here," she said Tuesday over a bowl of chicken noodle soup, "I feel like someone."

Food drives take aim at increased need

WESTVILLE — It's that time of year when Westville library patrons can dig into their cupboards rather than their pockets to pay up their overdue book fines.

Beginning Nov. 1, the Westville Public Library on South State Street started accepting bags of food in lieu of money for fines.

New Habitat homeowner feels 'so blessed'

DANVILLE — Candace McNeal says she has much to be thankful for, especially this year.

That's because on Sunday, Habitat for Humanity of Danville officials will hand McNeal and her three children the keys to their new home.

Rantoul's Community Service Center turns 40

RANTOUL — It's been 40 years since village leaders agreed to a three-month experiment.

During the summer of 1971, the Rantoul Village Board agreed to pay a full-time person to work at a new referral agency for local and area residents needing help.