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  • Chancellor Jones and Professor Nathan Stevens Welcomes 500+ Students at MLK Day of Service

    2019 rung in the Spring semester with one of the largest and expected events, MLK Day of Service on Jan. 21.

    This year, we had Chancellor Robert J. Jones welcoming over 500 volunteers, ranging from — students, faculty, staff and administration. Alongside, Nathan Stephens of the University continued to remind our volunteers about the vast impact the Reverend emphasized. 

  • OVP Recognizes Students and Student Orgs for Outstanding Service!

    Each year, OVP recognizes individual students and student organizations for outstanding volunteer service, locally, nationally, and globally.  Congratulations to the nine Award-Recipients for their outstanding achievements this year! And to all the Finalists, who combined for 50,000 hours of volunteer service this year.

  • Illini in Indy: Tree-planting for the Next Century!

    On March 31st, the Office of Volunteer Programs took 45 students to Indianapolis to participate in the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful project, a 7-year project aimed at planting 20,000 trees along the road.

  • Students Enjoy First Service Trip of the Year in Chicago

    Kicking off the first Service Trip of the year, a group of 20 students traveled to the Windy City to volunteer at Chicago’s YMCA in Humboldt Park. The group spent the day assisting with the YMCA’s Produce Day, enjoying Chicago-style pizza, sightseeing, and bonding with new University of Illinois students.

  • Chancellor Jones Welcomes 300+ to MLK Day of Service

    On a very snowy January 15, Chancellor Robert J. Jones welcomed over 300 Illini — students, faculty, staff and administration — as well as members of our broader community to the 2018 MLK Day of Service.  To extend this welcome, OVP wishes to share Chancellor Jones' opening remarks here.

  • Dream, Believe, Do. Reflections by Dr. Zamani-Gallaher

    Following Chancellor Jones' Welcome, Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, Professor of Education, shared her reflections on our theme this year:  Dream, Believe, Do. The following are Professor Zamani-Galllaher timely remarks on the value and the price of service.

  • MLK Day of Service: Toys for Wildlife Medical Clinic

    The service activity with the Wildlife Medical Clinic of UIUC was a bit hit.  Especially with a hawk, and owl, a turtle and other friends from the animal kingdom.  Illini made a variety of toys to help comfort and entertain animals in the care of the clinic.

  • MLK Day of Service: Epilepsy Awareness

    Illini Epilepsy Awareness joined forces with the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago to help raise awareness about an affliction that is both widespread and overlooked.

  • MLK Day of Service: Birthday Surprise for Homeless Children

    For most kids, the most important day of the year is their birthday.  Cake, candles, hats and streamers, and friends to celebrate.  This year Illini put together all the party items to help make the day special.  All birthday kits went Feeding Our Kids to pass along to children they serve.

  • MLK Day of Service: Winter Survival Kits

    On a cold, snowy day, the Winter Survival Kits activity rang especially true.  The kits went to Courage Connection and Phoenix Drop-in Center, and were stuffed with insulated bottles, wool socks and hats, and other items to protect our neighbors from the cold. 

  • MLK Day of Service: Packaging Meals for Wesley Food Pantry and IFH

    The biggest service activity for MLK was meal packaging at campus neighbor, Wesley Food Pantry, with over 150 Illini involved.  The activity was organized by OVP and Illini Fighting Hunger.

  • Illini Donate 500+ to Toys for Tots

    Each year, the Illini community rallies behind Toys for Tots, a program of the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve, to make sure less fortunate children experience the joy of Christmas. And on Thursday, December 14th, the boxes of toys started rolling in from student organizations, academic departments, university services, and administration.

  • Thanksgiving Basket Drive

    OVP hosted a donation drive for the holiday season!

  • Greening For Good

    Our iEngage program took a one day trip to St. Louis on November 4th to help make a difference in their community gardens.

  • OVP takes the Ohio River!

    Over the weekend of October 21st, OVP and a group of 12 volunteers hit the road and traveled to Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. Rabbit Hash is a small town just outside of Cincinnati. They have a general store, 315 people and a river that needed cleaning. That’s just what our volunteers did.

  • Illini Take on Invasive Species for iEngage Service Saturday

    Ever wonder what happened to the prairie? Little House on the Prairie tells us there once was a prairie in the Midwest. Where did it go? On Saturday, at Weldon Springs State Park, 30 Illini learned the answer through the first fall semester iEngage Service Trip.

  • "Volunteer Fair" Makes Meaningful Connections

    On Tuesday, OVP hosted our annual “Volunteer Fair” featuring nonprofits and RSOs from across campus and the community.  With nearly sixty booths covering a range of issues, from animal welfare and the environment, to arts and culture, hunger and homelessness, students had a wide range of opportunities to choose from.

  • "Service After Dark" Welcomes New Students with a Passion for Giving Back

    As part of Welcome Week OVP hosted our annual Service After Dark event at the Illini Union. The event was designed to introduce incoming students to local volunteering opportunities through hands-on service projects. The evening was also great opportunity for over 100 new students to meet others who share a passion for service.

  • Summer Service in Indianapolis

    In early June, the Office of Volunteer Programs planned a Saturday Service Trip to Indianapolis, Indiana. Students spent the day volunteering, exploring the city, and making lasting memories. The group volunteered at Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, a non-profit agency that provides food resources to the community.

  • A Look Back at National Volunteer Week

    The week of April 23-29 marked National Volunteer Week. Every spring, the Office of Volunteer Programs (OVP) highlights volunteer opportunities around the Champaign-Urbana area to help engage students in the community to make a difference and participate in service activities.

  • Get to Know the OVP Staff (Part Two)!

    Last week, you learned some more about the staff members here at the Office of Volunteer Programs. This week, take a look at some more friendly OVP faces and see what they have to say about themselves.

  • Get to Know the OVP Staff!

    Just who are the friendly faces of the Office of Volunteer Programs? Maybe you've stopped by our office or seen us at campus events, but have you ever wanted to learn more about who we are? Read on to discover a little bit more about this semester's OVP staff!

  • OVP Returns to Milwaukee on Spring Semester Service Trip

    In early March, the Office of Volunteer Programs planned a Weekend Service Trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Students spent the weekend volunteering, exploring the city, and making lasting memories. The group volunteered at City on a Hill, a non-profit agency that provides a variety of free services to the community. 

  • Springfield Service Trip

    In early February, the Office of Volunteer Programs organized a trip for students to travel to the Illinois capital for a one-day service and sightseeing project as part of the iEngage program

  • MLK Day of Service 2017

    Monday, January 16th, marked the MLK Day of Service, organized by the Illini Union Office of Volunteer Programs, one of several campus-wide events celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event provided students the opportunity to complete hands-on service projects while honoring the impact Dr. King had on the world.

  • Students Enjoy Last Service Trip of the Year in Chicago

    Before Finals, student participants headed to Chicago to volunteer at H.O.M.E. and PAWS Chicago, where they spent the weekend helping weatherproof homes for the elderly, clean animal cages, and explore the city.

  • One Book One Campus Brings Students Together Over Important Issue

    On Thursday November 3rd, students, faculty, and residents of the surrounding community lined up to listen to Jamie Tworkowski, founder of the non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms, speak about his New York Times bestselling book: If You Feel Too Much as part of this year's One Book One Campus.

  • Weekend in Cincinnati Brings Service, Learning, and Fun

    On October 14-16, 11 student volunteers headed to Cincinnati, where they heard from speakers, completed volunteer service, and had a chance for sightseeing and more.

  • Students Lend a Helping Hand at Menno Haven Camp and Retreat Center

    On Friday, September 30, a group of twelve students journeyed to Menno Haven Camp and Retreat Center as part of the iEngage Program for a weekend full of camp activities and service work.

  • Volunteer Fair Connects Students with Service Opportunities

    The Illini Union Office of Volunteer Programs (OVP) held its 2016 Community Service and Volunteer Fair on Wednesday, September 14 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Illini Union. Approximately 60 organizations participated in the event.  There was a wide variety of organizations devoted to numerous causes, including youth and education, health and wellness, hunger issues, homelessness, social justice, arts and culture, animals, the environment, and others.

  • Welcoming Back Students In Style

    Overview of the Service After Dark Event.

  • Illinois Students Kick off Summer Helping Fight Hunger Issues in Chicago

    Summer Service Trip to Chicago

  • Farewell to Seniors

    Seniors reflect on their time as OVP staff and look toward the future. 

  • IlliniThon participants raise funds for Children's Miracle Network

    An overview of the 2016 IlliniThon. 

  • Illinois Students Volunteer in the Milwaukee Community

    Review of the Weekend Service Trip to Milwaukee 

  • April brings new opportunities to the office

    A review of National Volunteer Week, the Community and Campus Day of Service, and the Volunteer Recognition Ceremony. 

  • St. Louis non-profit educates volunteers about recriprocating kindness through clothing

    OVP Weekend Service Trip participants work with non-profit Helping Hand Me Downs (HHMD) during their time in St. Louis.

  • Students receive financial support in the spirit of community service

    Legacy scholars share their volunteer experiences.

  • Spring brings new volunteer opportunities to the Sustainable Student Farm

    Sustainable Student Farm (SSF) manager provides background on the farm and volunteers share their experiences. 

  • Education Justice Project searches for new members to join this fall

    Representatives from the Education Justice Project share their experiences as the organization searches for new members. 

  • MLK Day of Service 2016

    MLK Day of Service participants and group leaders share their experiences and insights with OVP staff.

  • UIUC Students Provide Service to Old North St. Louis

    St. Louis Weekend Service Trip participants share their experiences with OVP staff.