Social Services

More than 250 in area affected by battle between Catholic Charities, Illinois

The battle between the Catholic Church and state of Illinois over foster care and adoption services has real-life ramifications for more than 250 East Central Illinois children.

Currently, about 135 children in Champaign County are in foster care homes managed by Catholic Charities, according to state figures. In Vermilion County, the agency oversees 125 foster cases.

Vermilion County seeks more advocates for children

DANVILLE — CASA of Vermilion County has about 40 "dedicated" volunteers advocating for about 65 local abused and neglected children.

But, agency officials said, they need more court-appointed special advocates, particularly men.

New food pantry to open in mid-October in Paxton

PAXTON — Seeing a need to create one more resource for feeding the hungry, local churches are combining efforts to start a new food pantry in Paxton.

The Hands of Christ Food Pantry is tentatively scheduled to open Oct. 15. It will be operated out of the Upper Room Bible Church, 425 W. Orleans St.

Don't shred safety net, Durbin says

URBANA — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wants his colleagues on a deficit-reduction "supercommittee" to think of people like Mike Short and Terri Daniels as they debate deep spending cuts in the federal budget.

Carle makes promised donation of land for new Y

CHAMPAIGN — Carle has transferred 11 acres at the Champaign County YMCA's new construction site in southwest Champaign to the Y.

The planned land donation, announced several years ago, is valued at $1.6 million.

In addition, Carle covered about $200,000 in costs related to engineering, permits and storm water detention work at the site.

'Stuff the Bus' drive for supplies set

CHAMPAIGN — It's time once again to stuff the bus, but leave the pencils and gluesticks at home this year.

The second annual "Stuff the Bus!" drive to collect supplies for Champaign County social service agencies will begin next week, culminating in the actual stuffing of the bus(es) on Aug. 31-Sept. 1.

Website helps gardeners donate extra produce

CHAMPAIGN — The rows of tomatoes, squash, asparagus and raspberries in Lisa Braddock's organic garden could feed a large extended family, and she's always wanted to share that bounty with people who could use it.

Braddock figures other gardeners would, too, so she's come up with a way to make it easy.

Project begins to build Hope House for seniors

RANTOUL -- A dream at least five years in the making is about to become reality at Rantoul's Hope Meadows neighborhood.

Hope House, a living facility for older residents of that neighborhood, will be built.

A four-unit building is being razed to make way for the new dwelling place on Fairway Drive.

Link Card will bring benefits at Urbana market

URBANA — Beginning next week, Illinois Link Card users will get twice the value of their food benefits when they swipe their cards at the Market at the Square.

Church network to distribute school supplies Saturday

CHAMPAIGN — It's time to start thinking back-to-school, and a group of local churches will be holding its annual distribution of backpacks and school supplies early this month.

The Christian Mercy and Justice Network will distribute those items on Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m., at Salt and Light, 1512 W. Anthony Drive, C.

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