Social Services

Groups take aim at disparities facing African-Americans

URBANA – A little less than a quarter of Champaign County children – about 22 percent – are African-American. Yet that ethnic group accounts for 63 percent of out-of-school suspensions in Urbana, 60 percent of child-welfare cases, 81 percent of discipline referrals in Champaign schools, and 82 percent of admissions to the county's juvenile detention center.

Here's how to help

Can you spare some time to help older adults who need transportation? Provena Faith in Action will hold two orientation sessions for prospective volunteers at the Provena Center for Healthy Aging wellness room, 410 E. Univerity Ave., C: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10:30 a.m. to noon Nov.10.

Call Linda Tauber-Olson, senior program coordinator, at 337-2022.

Groups make appeal for more volunteers to give seniors rides to appointments

URBANA – Once or twice a month, Marilyn Boastick needs to go see a doctor.

And she considers it a blessing that volunteers come and drive her there.

"I don't know what I'd do without them," she says.

Grants to expand dental services for low-income families

CHAMPAIGN – Plans to expand dental services for local low-income families are moving ahead with the help of grant money from the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation.

Two Champaign County programs, SmileHealthy and Frances Nelson Health Center, will receive two of the 12 grants being awarded this year.

Ecologist's brainchild produces two tons of veggies

Marty Williams' garden produced a ton of food this year. Actually, it was more like two tons.

And he donated it all to community organizations.

Training of service dogs called first on college campus

CHAMPAIGN – As Bridget Evans heads from class to class at the University of Illinois, her constant companion is a fuzzy 11-year-old black Labrador retriever named Coal.

Champaign County mental health center changing name

CHAMPAIGN – The Mental Health Center of Champaign County is changing its name, but its services will remain the same.

The new name, Community Elements, was chosen to reflect that this organization's mission and services are broader than mental health, Chief Executive Sheila Ferguson said.

Program will help those interested in learning about mental illness

URBANA – Here's an opportunity to learn more about living with an illness that strikes one in four U.S. families, often starts in young adulthood and often goes untreated: mental illness.

Generations of Hope founder honored

WASHINGTON – Brenda Eheart, founder of Generations of Hope in Rantoul, was honored in the nation's capital Wednesday as an "Angel in Adoption."

U.S. Rep. Timothy Johnson chose Eheart for the award based on her advocacy of adoption and foster-care issues.

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