It’s no secret that local businesses are an important part of any community. They provide jobs, sponsor local events, and contribute to the fabric of daily life in many different ways. Consumers notice and appreciate this, as seen most directly in initiatives like Small Business Saturday, where shoppers kick off the holiday season by choosing to patronize local businesses rather than impersonal national chains. This relationship between local businesses and the communities they serve is critically important, and worth making the time to cultivate on an ongoing basis. Businesses can offer their goods or services at low-to-no cost in support of community nonprofits. Individuals can give of their free time to causes that matter to them.
If you own or work for a small business in the Champaign-Urbana area, there is a great opportunity to give back to the community on Saturday, April 14th: The Sixth Annual Community & Campus Day of Service. This year’s Community and Campus Day of Service is focused on fighting local hunger; volunteers will be packing meals to deliver to local food banks and pantries. While definitely a great cause, if you would like to help out in another way, the annual Austin’s Day is also taking place on that day. You can sign up as an individual or a group, and you can indicate your preferred work environment (indoor or outdoor), location (Champaign or Urbana), and time slot. Champaign Centennial High School serves as the event hub, where volunteers go that day to get assignments. Austin’s Day provides many opportunities to help several local charitable organizations.
Community involvement happens year-round! There are so many organizations that could use both individual and company-wide support. Looking for ideas? We’ve put together a few resources to get you started:
- United Way of Champaign County
- chambanamoms.com (get the kids involved!)
- University of Illinois Office of Volunteer Programs
Together, local businesses (both small and large) and individuals can help make our community a better place for everyone.