2023 Round Up For Good Grant Project Proposals

The following local organizations were nominated by Co-op Owners to be voted on during the 2022 Co-op owner election. Only organizations who submitted the Co-op's Project Proposal Form will be listed on the ballot. Each organization has been categorized based on their project proposal. The Round Up For Good categories include Food Access, Community Services, Children & Education, Sustainability/Environmental Advocacy, Healthcare, Arts, and Animals. 

 

Food Access

Daily Bread Soup Kitchen

Mission: The mission of the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen is to feed the hungry of our community regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. We welcome all volunteers to this service who share an unconditional positive regard for every human being.

Project Proposal: Since March of 2020, we have been offering take out meals to our guests. The number of meals we are serving has increased dramatically. We are providing an average of 325 hot meals and 200 sack lunches daily. Our most expensive expenditures are the purchasing of meat and cheese. We estimate that buying protein products: meat, cheese and peanut butter for our meals and/or sack lunches costs an average of $7,000 monthly. If granted funding, we will use it to purchase these essential items.

https://dailybreadsoupkitchen.com

 

Eastern Illinois Foodbank

Mission: Eastern Illinois Foodbank exists to alleviate hunger in eastern Illinois.

Project Proposal: EIF recently launched our Produce Pop-Up program, enabling us to distribute fresh, regionally-sourced produce to rural and under-served areas whose pantries have little or no cold storage and limited hours. We’ve seen a 60% reduction of food waste since the program’s inception. Expanding this program is essential to fulfilling our mission and provide nutritious food as costs continue to rise. These funds would allow us to purchase produce to meet the increased demand in our communities.

www.eifoodbank.org

 

Feeding Our Kids

Mission: The mission of Feeding Our Kids is to provide nourishing food to food-insecure school children in Champaign County on weekends and school holidays throughout the school year.

Project Proposal: Many children in our community face food insecurity, especially on the weekends. Feeding Our Kids will use this grant to expand our outreach to Dr. Preston Williams Elementary in Urbana where we can provide weekend food bags to those students facing food insecurity. We anticipate serving 30 students this year and the Round Up For Good Grant would help offset the cost of food (approximately $3,750) for the entire school year. Thank you for your consideration!

feedingourkids.org

 

First Followers

Mission: First Followers’ mission is to build strong and peaceful communities by providing support, guidance, and hope to formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones through peer mentorship.​ Our organization offers: A safe stigma free environment Peer mentoring Assistance with employment searches Workforce development for emerging adults Advocacy for individuals with felony convictions Family reunification Service referrals.

Project Proposal: We will implement an informative Plant Based Soul Food program, consisting of 6 lessons geared toward reducing heart disease, diabetes, and obesity in our community by way of facts and research findings. With knowledge and understanding we shall demonstrate how the BIPOC population can reduce discomfort, pain, and suffering through healthier habits, behaviors, and lifestyles. We will offer our Plant Based Soul Food Program once a week for 6 consecutive weeks, reaching 100 community members.

www.firstfollowersreentry.com

 

Grow2Give

Mission: Grow2Give at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is fighting fresh food insecurity in the Urbana-Champaign community through donations of sustainably grown produce to local food banks and pantries as well as free-to-all educational gardening opportunities.

Project Proposal: Beyond the growth and donation of fresh produce, Grow2Give recognizes the necessity for environmental education. With these funds, our organization will launch a Gardening Education Program offered at no cost to Urbana-Champaign community members and students. Participants will receive materials to grow their own produce at home and ongoing support to educate individuals on sustainable gardening practices. Grow2Give intends for these funds to provide opportunities to expand our footprint.

https://www.grow2givecu.com

 

Habitat for Humanity Community Garden

Mission: The Garden for Humanity, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County, is dedicated to bringing people from diverse backgrounds together to strengthen neighborhood participation, create collaborative community building, increase the education of good health and nutrition through growing one’s own food, and to help alleviate the burdens of food deserts by providing a source of fresh produce.

Project Proposal: Currently the most critical need for Habitat's community garden is improving soil quality. This season the garden soil was not adequately nutrient rich resulting in poor crop production. We are looking to have our soil tested learning what amendments need to be done to improve soil structure, buffer pH, increase the population of organisms, and learn which organic material needs to be introduced. We would like to add additional raised beds to increase production and thus a wider community reach.

https://cuhabitat.org

 

Jubilee Cafe CUCC

Mission: The mission of Jubilee Cafe is to provide a healthy, delicious meal to anyone who cares to join us. We are a 100% volunteer-run café each Monday, with food prepared and packaged in the lower level of CUCC at 6th St. & Daniel, Champaign.

Project Proposal: We intend to buy a new freezer/refrigerator with the funds. Having additional refrigerator and freezer space will help us serve our increasing number of guests better meals and stretch our budget to accommodate even more guests going forward. The amount of food we are serving and storing has stretched the limits of our present refrigerator and freezer space. Due to increasing food costs, we've had to prioritize protein storage, stocking up on sales whenever we can.

https://community-ucc.org/jubilee-cafe

 

The Land Connection

Mission: The Land Connection envisions community-based food systems in which every farmer has the opportunity to protect our environment by growing food in a sustainable manner and every person has access to local, delicious food. We train farmers in resilient, restorative farming techniques; inform the public about the sources of our food and why that matters; and work to protect and enhance farmland so that we, and generations to come, will have clean air and water, fertile soil, and healthy food.

Project Proposal: Farmers Markets & Local Food Education — TLC operates the Champaign Farmers Market and Champaign-Urbana Winter Farmers Market, which serve as hubs for our food access and education work. Support through Round Up For Good would allow us to grow our on-site program offerings, including Kids Kits, cooking demonstrations, community tents and activities, budget shopping tutorials, etc. It would also support educational opportunities around our Universal Link Match program.

https://thelandconnection.org/

 

McKinley's Giving Garden

Mission: McKinley’s Giving Garden provides Garden Hills Food Pantry clients with fresh, organically grown produce. Located in the heart of campus, the garden brings Univ. of Illinois students and community members together to serve the broader C-U community.

Project Proposal: This grant will help us upgrade our harvest-to-distribution processes, increasing efficiency and safety while reducing waste. A rinse-&-prep station will capture rinse water for reuse and provide a cleaner, safer, more enticing product for the families using this school-based food pantry. In addition, University students will work with the garden team to create a process or product that encourages clients to try new veggies through low-cost, easy prep recipes using the produce from the garden.

mckinleycu.org/learn-serve/

 

Solidarity Gardens

Mission: Solidarity Gardens is a community-wide initiative to support neighbors growing and sharing free, healthy food with those in need. We nourish creative community in Urbana-Champaign by coordinating residents and affiliate gardens through land access, education, events, funding, supplies, and volunteer support. Solidarity Gardens is an initiative of Sola Gratia Farm, Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office, Channing Murray Foundation, Urbana Free Library, and Urbana Park District.

Project Proposal: We intend to use the Round Up For Good Grant to fund our community garden support efforts and growing food for donation.

https://www.solidarity-gardens-cu.org/

 

Community Services

The Bike Project

Mission: The Bike Project is a non-profit, charitable organization of bicycle users whose mission is to educate and empower the community by providing a welcoming space to learn about bicycle repair, engage in maintenance practices, and promote safe operation through outreach and advocacy activities.

Project Proposal: We would use the grant to further our CIFAR (Community Illumination Fundraiser Awareness Ride) initiative, raising funds to install lights on bikes of local commuters underserved by campus light distributions. This empowers the community as outreach promoting safe operation of bicycles, and may save lives, for with free lights, workers who use bikes as necessary transportation in the dark can be seen by traffic. Bulk light buys of this value could make roughly 500 local cyclists safer.

thebikeproject.org

 

Books to Prisoners

Mission: The mission of Urbana-Champaign Books to Prisoners is to provide free books to people incarcerated in Illinois and to promote education about incarceration and prisons.

Project Proposal: While Books to Prisoners receives generous support from our community, the funds from Round Up For Good would allow us to buy more of the books that we simply never have enough of including: Self-Help, Addiction Recovery, Science Fiction, Urban Fiction, and Spanish-Language books. With your help, we can supply inmates in the Illinois state and federal prison systems with books that are theirs to keep, and we can also supply much-needed books for the library in the Champaign County jail.

books2prisoners.org

 

Champaign Parks Foundation

Mission: To provide philanthropic support for the Champaign Park District in order to support its mission to enhance our community’s quality of life through positive experiences in parks, recreation, and cultural arts.

Project Proposal: Because some residents are unable to participate in recreation programs due to economic hardship, the Champaign Park District offers scholarships to reduce certain fees & charges. Each year nearly $60,000 in program fee waivers are provided to insure all children in our community have equal access to quality recreation programs. This grant would help families provide opportunities for their children to participate in day camps, swim lessons, sports & other programs.

https://champaignparks.com/about-us/foundation/

 

Courage Connection

Mission: Courage Connection's mission is to ensure everyone in our community has the education, support, and resources to live in safe, healthy relationships.

Project Proposal: Over the years, Courage Connection's outreach and education programs have benefited the Common Ground Round-up For Good Grant. This grant has allowed us to buy materials for training on domestic violence awareness and prevention. This gift will help us further our mission by having our information translated into French, Mandarin, and Spanish.

courageconnection.org

 

C-U at Home

Mission: C-U at Home exists to support and empower individuals who are experiencing homelessness. We provide a safe environment where individuals can progress toward stability and access essential resources such as shelter, laundry, showers, food, and supportive services.

Project Proposal: C-U at Home understands there are various reasons and many complex situations which cause an individual to experience homelessness. C-U at Home is growing our educational and outreach program that will assist the community to better understand some of the causes of homelessness and what our community can to help. The funds from from this program would go to increase our outreach and educational materials and opportunities.

www.cuathome.us

 

Greater Community AIDS Project of East Central IL

Mission: GREATER COMMUNITY AIDS PROJECT OF EAST CENTRAL ILLINOIS mission is to empower members of our community who are HIV+, and to eliminate the transmission of HIV through education and advocacy.

Project Proposal: Transitional housing facility for people living with HIV who are homeless. Food Pantry clients are allowed monthly shopping to access supplemental groceries. GCAP office also maintains an on-site emergency pantry to help those who are unable to make it to regularly scheduled food pantry appointments. Emergency Assistance-funds are accessible through a client’s HIV case manager, and can be used for such things as past due rent, utilities, medication etc.

www.gcapnow.com

 

Immigrant Services of C-U (ISCU, formerly CU FAIR)

Mission: The mission of ISCU is to help immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers to become autonomous, secure and productive members of our community. We do this through a holistic approach supporting our client families with medical, educational, legal, housing, job-related and transportation issues as well as with free furniture and household items that we home-deliver from our warehouse. We stay in touch with them for the duration.

Project Proposal: ISCU will use Round Up for Good funds to provide emergency food, utilities & rent for clients to help meet basic needs. Federal & state programs to fill these needs have dried up, but many poor immigrant families continue to be food-insecure & at risk of eviction. We are the only organization in our county that helps immigrants, refugees & asylum seekers through comprehensive assistance. Other organizations call on ISCU to help their own clients who need help beyond their own focused programs.

www.isc-u.org

 

League of Women Voters of Champaign County

Mission: Making Democracy Work. The League of Women Voters of Champaign County (LWVCC) is a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Project Proposal: Central to the League's mission is the belief that democracy works best when everyone has access to voting. The League is committed to sharing voter information and expanding registration at local food pantries and libraries. Grant funds will be used to support the purchase of ChromeBooks or similar; printing costs for handouts; pamphlet racks; and other supplies. This support will enable more Champaign County residents to make their voices heard through more equitable access to voting.

https://www.lwvchampaigncounty.org/

 

New American Welcome Center at the University YMCA

Mission: The New American Welcome Center works to make our community a place where all immigrants can thrive and flourish. We do this by engaging local institutions and mobilizing community resources to ensure equitable access to services, economic opportunity, and meaningful belonging.

Project Proposal: This grant will help replenish our Immigrant Relief Fund. The fund provides time-sensitive monetary aid to local immigrants who are not eligible or otherwise able to quickly access support for critical needs like food, housing, utility, and legal assistance. Since launching the fund in April 2019, we have distributed over $400,000 to families in need, but are running low on funds. We need support to continue mitigating the disparate effects of the pandemic on the local immigrant community.

https://universityymca.org/welcome/

 

Rape Advocacy, Counseling & Education Services

Mission: We provide compassionate comprehensive support to those affected by sexual trauma. We care for our communities through prevention education programs that promote consent.

Project Proposal: In service to our vision of a world free of sexual violence, Rape Advocacy, Counseling, & Education (RACES) provides free, age-appropriate, and evidence-informed prevention education programming to students of all ages. During the 2021-2022 school year, RACES staff provided programming to over 5,000 students in Champaign County, but we want to do more. If chosen as a Round Up for Good Grant, RACES would use this funding to support the sustainability of increased prevention education staffing.

www.cu-races.org

 

The Refugee Center

Mission: Since 1980, the mission of The Refugee Center has been to provide services essential to refugee and immigrant resettlement in East Central Illinois, including orientation, translation, referral, liaison, public benefits assistance, social service counseling, advocacy, job placement and supportive employment services.

Project Proposal: Funding will be used to support immigrant individuals and families that have recently resettled in the Champaign-Urbana community from countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Ukraine, Vietnam and Venezuela. While these immigrants came here under different circumstances, they all have one thing in common…they were forced to flee their homes. TRC will use this grant to purchase essential items for these families, like bilingual books and dictionaries, bus passes and grocery store gift cards.

https://www.therefugeecenter-cu.org/about

 

Restoration Urban Ministries

Mission: Our mission is to create and develop within the corporate limits of the community, a godly ministry to the homeless, near homeless, and displaced, where love, respect and dignity can be maintained in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; to provide temporary and permanent resident dwellings, and to teach Godly principles to help each person gain vision and learn how to reach his/her goals. To give all that participate an understanding of God’s love, and an invitation to accept it.

Project Proposal: Update the building we currently refer to as the "pole barn". It will be used to house our clothing and household goods (including furniture) distribution. By moving this part of our distribution operations, we can expand our food distribution area by at least 50%. We will need to insulate the building and build walls between the walk-in refrigerator and the rest of the building. Also, the lighting and heating sources must be addressed for the safety and comfort of both staff and shoppers.

https://www.restorationurbanministries.org/our-mission/

 

Salt & Light

Mission: Our mission is to share the love of God by fighting poverty with opportunities that empower people for lasting change.

Project Proposal: The Round UP for Good Grant will be used to fund the store credit our participants earn and use to purchase food, clothing, and other basic resources. As of the date of this application approximately 70% of all credit spent is on food.

https://saltandlightministry.org

 

The Trauma & Resilience Initiative

Mission: The Trauma & Resilience Initiative (TRI) is a non-profit organization that educates and promotes healing & resilience in individuals, families, organizations and communities while advocating for justice and equity for all. TRI's goal is to create equitable, just, & loving communities in which every person is cared for, connected, supported, & well.

Project Proposal: Our educators, social service and medical professionals who attended the most vulnerable youth and families during the pandemic. TRI is aware these "helpers" are having trouble recovering themselves. "Care for U" will offer free workshops (financial wellness, reducing stress...)and activities (Spa day, massages, pedicures...) Also, TRI will use media outlets to monthly honor these groups/ individuals. Forging partnerships with local businesses "to show our gratitude" will help offset expenses.

https://www.champaigncommunitycoalition.org/initiatives/cu-trauma-and-resiliency-initiative/

 

The Urbana Free Library Foundation

Mission: The mission of The Urbana Free Library Foundation is to assist in developing and increasing the resources of The Urbana Free Library for public services for the community it serves by encouraging gifts of money, property, and other materials.

Project Proposal: This grant would help fund a programming specialist with a focus on children's art and/or bilingual language programs, story times, and creating new youth and all ages events that strengthen existing community partnerships or establish new collaborations. The programming specialist would also attend community events to share information about library resources and services, increasing the Library's reach and impact in the community.

https://urbanafreelibrary.org/about-us/foundation

 

Uniting Pride of Champaign County

Mission: Uniting Pride exists to create a Champaign County where all who identify as sexual and/or gender minorities can live full, healthy, and vibrant lives. 

Project Proposal: This grant will support Love Fest, an annual community-building event held around Valentine's Day. Because queer couples and families don't always feel safe or welcome to celebrate their love in public, we wanted to create that space in our community. Last year, performers sang romantic show tunes (sometimes with a queer twist) to pay homage to the long history of LGBTQ+ presence in musical theater, and to de-center the stereotypical models of romance that are spotlighted on Valentine's Day. 

www.unitingpride.org

 

Women's Resources Center

Mission: The mission of the Women's Resources Center is to improve the campus climate for women students, which we do by developing and implementing programs that address social issues through an intersectional lens. We work collaboratively with individuals and groups to identify personal, social, economic and political issues that adversely affect women, and offers support through advocacy, education, financial awards, and social action.

Project Proposal: The WRC provides confidential advocacy and support services to students, faculty, and staff of all genders who have experienced sexual violence. After someone experiences interpersonal violence, they should be able to focus on healing, not on stretching their budget for unexpected safety and healing needs. These funds would establish a Survivor Fund to provide emergency housing and transportation, legal fees, lock changes, new bedding, replace clothing lost to forensic exams and more!

https://oiir.illinois.edu/womens-center

 

 

Children & Education

BIPOC for Better Birth

Mission: BIPOC for Better Birth supports better reproductive experiences by raising awareness, building community, and supporting the efforts of doulas, midwives, lactation specialists, herbalists, and others who address racial disparities in maternal health.

Project Proposal: In spring 2023, BIPOC for Better Birth will be hosting a community doula training. We would love to increase our marketing budget as well as the payroll for our three staff members responsible for hosting the training and the subsequent workshops and webinars.

https://www.ucimc.org/bipocforbetterbirth

 

Bottom Line Diaper Bank (a project of UWCC)

Mission: As a project of United Way of Champaign County the purpose of the Bottom Line Diaper Bank (BLDB) is to raise awareness about diaper need, how it affects low income families in Champaign County and around the country, and to help alleviate that diaper need.

Project Proposal: The BLDB partners with local service organizations to distribute diapers to families struggling to afford basic needs. Several potential partners are on our waiting list that we would like to distribute diapers through. The Round Up For Good Grant would allow us to increase our diaper inventory so we can add these partners sooner and provide relief to more families in our community disproportionally affected by COVID-19 and soaring inflation.

www.unitedwaychampaign.org/diaperbank

 

Champaign County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

Mission: Speaking up for the best interest of abused and neglected children in the Champaign County court system.

Project Proposal: Champaign County CASA would utilize the funds from the Round Up For Good Grant to implement a recruiting campaign consisting of various advertising methods in the hopes to attract more volunteer advocates. CASA would create ads, media spots and social media posts in an effort to attract attention of potential volunteers to work on children's cases. These advertisements would also include the Common Grounds logo with a thank you for funding this project.

www.casa4kids.org

 

Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation

Mission: We invest in educators and students by supporting creativity, innovation, and excellence in Champaign and Urbana public schools.

Project Proposal: CUSF annually awards grants to educators in Unit 4 and District 116 to extend the curriculum in creative and innovative ways in the following areas: early literacy (pre-K through 3rd grade), fine and performing arts, health & wellness, languages (English as a Second Language and foreign language), STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), and career and technical education.

cuschoolsfoundation.org

 

Crisis Nursery

Mission: Crisis Nursery creates an "Island of Safety" dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect by providing 24-hour emergency care for children and support to strengthen families in crisis. Crisis Nursery is the only emergency-based childcare facility in Champaign County that is open 24 hours, 365 days a year for the entire community to access with no fees or income eligibility.

Project Proposal: Funds from the Round Up For Good Grant will be used to sponsor two days of care for up to 18 children whose families are experiencing crisis in Champaign County. Through your generosity, families who are homeless, in an unsafe situation, or have high levels of stress within the home receive support through free emergency childcare. This includes basic necessities such as diapers, wipes, formula, and clothing, as well as resource referrals to stabilize and strengthen the family unit.

crisisnursery.net

 

CU One to One Mentoring Scholarship Foundation

Mission: Provide the focus and the funding for continuing education for students in the C-U One-to-One Mentoring Program.

Project Proposal:  The amount received will be used to fund Scholarships for CU One to One Mentees that have participated in the program for at least three years, graduate from high school and are pursuing some form of post-secondary education: trade school, technical training, Community College or University. The scholarship is currently $6,000 over 2 years of schooling.

www.cu1to1.org

 

Cunningham Children's Home

Mission: Vision- To see every child thrive. Mission- To nourish hope through effective solutions so children thrive and families flourish.

Project Proposal: Trees to plant around the Noel Education Center 3 D printer to be used in the classroom These requests are coming from Mr. David Finn, Cunningham school teacher. Here's a brief narrative: My students get hands on experience in planning & planting everything. They will answer questions like: What tree should go where? How big will it get? How deep does the hole have to be? (and more) 3D Printer- creates excitement in learning helps with problem solving introduces students to technology.

www.cunninghamhome.org

 

Hope Lives Youth Ranch

Mission: Our mission is to use equine-assisted mentoring to help youth recover from trauma, build resilience, and find purpose in a Christ-centered environment of love and encouragement.

Project Proposal: Hope Lives Youth Ranch is looking to build an addition onto our barn that will house a classroom and some equipment storage space so we can continue to offer mentoring sessions during inclement weather. We currently only have an outdoor facility for working with the horses and have to cancel sessions when the weather gets bad. We have currently raised the $25,000 required to put up the exterior structure and are in need of another $4,500 to build the interior of the classroom and furnish it.

https://www.hopelivesyouthranch.org/

 

The Nest Postpartum Support

Mission: To provide community and support to local families with children in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). We do this by providing prepared meals, transportation, lodging, gas gift cards, emotional support, and assistance with childcare costs.

Project Proposal: This funding will be used to support families in Champaign-Urbana and surrounding counties who have infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Carle Hospital. Having a baby in the NICU puts immense financial and emotional strain on a family unit. Our goal is to eliminate barriers for families and keep them close to their child throughout their NICU stay. We will use funds to provide tangible support services to families such as hotel stays, meals, transportation, and gas gift cards.

https://www.thenestpostpartum.org/services

 

Orphans Treasure Box Bookstore

Mission: Orphans Treasure Box Bookstore runs ReStart, a unique jobs program that empowers women leaving domestic violence, addiction, imprisonment, and other trauma through employing them in community service. We invest in family preservation initiatives, holistic health for vulnerable children and literacy equity.

Project Proposal: A grant would enable us to donate 12,000 books to Champaign County children who live without them. During 2020, we became aware of vast book deserts in CU. Books ignite creativity and are linked to academic success. This grant would also encourage ReStart employees to develop leadership skills as they'd be involved in all facets of this project. They’d also earn increased income. This project could foster growth in confidence and determination as they serve others and better our community.

orphanstreasurebox.chrislands.com

 

 

Sustainability/Environmental Advocacy

Allerton Park & Retreat Center

Mission: Sustain and promote the legacy of Robert Allerton Park and engage and enrich the University of Illinois community and the citizens of Illinois in nature, arts, and landscape ecology.

Project Proposal: We will use the funds to support our Family Campout, which provide a 'hassle-free' camping experience for families, encouraging them to spend recreational time in nature and learn about our natural world. Expenses include staff time, speaker/presenter fees, marketing, and supplies. We work with Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club to bring members out and provide tents for those who don't have them. For more info, see this year's event:

https://allerton.illinois.edu/events/allerton-family-campout/

 

Prairie Rivers Network

Mission: At Prairie Rivers Network, we protect water, heal land, and inspire change. Using the creative power of science, law, and collective action, we protect and restore our rivers and return healthy soils and diverse wildlife to our lands.

Project Proposal: The grant from CGFCO Round Up program will be used to support PRN’s work to promote a food system that is based on regenerative agriculture practices, which build healthy soil, protect water, and support biodiversity while producing healthy food. The influence of the chemical agriculture industry in Illinois is strong and far reaching. This grant will support our ongoing work to build alliances, reduce ag water pollution, and address herbicide damage.

prairierivers.org


Red Bison Ecological RestorationMission: Since 1996, Red Bison has worked to improve the quality of natural areas in and around Champaign-Urbana. As a registered student organization, we provide students opportunities to get outside, make new friends, and learn about the natural world. We maintain local grasslands and forests by controlling invasive species, promoting native species, performing prescribed burns, and learning about native wildlife. We also foster community through weekly workdays, book clubs, and social events.

Project Proposal: Red Bison’s inaugural project was the restoration of a roadside prairie along Neil Street. Prior to 1996, this area was a remnant prairie. Past members of Red Bison worked hard to restore this site, but now it is overrun by weeds and invasive trees. Red Bison seeks to return to this area and continue our restoration. We are raising money to buy a truck so that we can move people, supplies, and plant material to and from the site. This would drastically reduce barriers to our work.

https://publish.illinois.edu/redbisonuiuc/

 

Upper Sangamon River Conservancy

Mission: Since its founding in 2009, the Upper Sangamon River Conservancy's mission has been to preserve, maintain, monitor, and promote appropriate public use and awareness of the Sangamon River through recreation, stewardship and citizen science opportunities.

Project Proposal: The USRC strives to increase diversity and inclusion within the USRC organization and at our events through our Bringing People to Nature initiative. While USRC remains committed to BSA Scout Troops, UI Wildlife Society, Master Naturalists, and other long-time participants, we are currently working for greater inclusion of those within our community who have been historically under-represented and under-served. The RUFG grant could go a long way in making this initiative a success.

https://sangamonriver.org/

 

VermiCUlture

Mission: To empower our community through food waste reduction and sustainable lifestyles

Project Proposal: RUFG funds would allow vermiCUlture to continue to expand our programming. We have had requests to assist with establishing a composting center at the UIUC School of Vet Med, provide materials to local teachers, and provide an increased number of worms to households that we are currently assisting. Right now, we just don't have the funding to provide all interested parties with the materials and workshops to learn to vermicompost at home/at work.

https://www.vermiculture.eco/what-we-do

 

Arts

40 North

Mission: Cultivating Creativity in Champaign County! 40 North | 88 West embraces the following values which guide our actions, inform our vision, and drive our mission. We believe: the arts are fundamental to the quality of every life. the arts must be accessible to all. diversity in all its forms is essential to a vibrant creative community. the arts must be integral to the education of our children. the arts are a vehicle for social change. the arts are a catalyst for economic development.

Project Proposal: The Round Up For Good Grant would support the Boneyard Arts Festival. Presented annually every spring by 40 North | 88 West, the Boneyard Arts Festival is a three-day event showcasing the broad range of creative activity flourishing in our community. Its goal is to bring together local artists, businesses and organizations for a special event showcasing the art of Champaign County. These funds would specifically assist in paying for special performances and kids' activities in downtown Urbana.

40north.org

 

Amasong Chorus

Mission: The artistic mission of Amasong is to perform music by, for, and about women and to perform it to the highest standards to give diverse general audiences pleasure, entertainment, and a wider cultural and gender understanding (Amasong’s provides a space for women’s voices to be heard and to provide a safe, supportive space for a commonly marginalized population. Choirs foster cooperation, listening, hearing, and working together, createing skills to be applied to enrich the broader community).

Project Proposal: We are using music we own to avoid added copyright license fees. New music is $1-2k/yr. For our 3 concerts we will need to pay for venue, accompanist, programs, and advertisement (~$2k). Every 4 years the Sister Singer Network of women’s choruses runs a festival supporting and enriching women’s choral groups, which helps strengthen what we have to offer in the community. In 2023 they meet in Cleveland. We would like to support all of our singers attending with fees, transportation, and housing.

http://amasong.org/

 

Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra

Mission: Founded in 1959, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra (CUSO) is a professional orchestra dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the community by providing symphonic music of the highest caliber through live performances and music education in the schools, the concert hall, and the community. Like orchestras throughout the country, CUSO performances are made possible by the generous support of organizations and community members. The orchestra showcases the talents of more than 100 local professional musicians each season, performing a season of seven concerts for music-lovers of all ages in our community.

Project Proposal: On April 11 and 12, 2023 at 10:00 a.m., the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra will present performances of our annual Youth Concerts to excited young audiences in the Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center. The CUSO Youth Concerts enrich the lives of local students by providing the unique educational experience of live orchestral music, performed by local musicians. Broad outreach increases access to the concerts. The concerts are presented in partnership with the University of Illinois School of Music, who handles the registrations, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, who donate the venue and staffing, and the CUSO Guild, who provide volunteer ushers. CUSO is the primary funder, with partial support provided by the Community Foundation CUSO endowment, and the Robeson Family Benefit Fund. There is no admission charge for the concerts, but schools are asked to pay a registration fee of $2.00 per student to help defray administrative costs.

https://cusymphony.org/mission-history/

 

CU Folk and Roots FestivalMission: The CU Folk and Roots Festival will Promote a feeling of community Create a nonpartisan, inclusive event that gathers together participants from diverse backgrounds and beliefs Promote the folk arts Contribute to the artistic vitality of the area.

Project Proposal:  We would use the Round Up for Good Grant to bring a touring artist to CU. With artist fees covered by the grant, we would not need ticket sales to subside, and as a result could program a performance, workshop, and/or lecture free to the public.

folkandroots.org

 

Animals

CATsNAP

Mission: CATsNAP seeks to reduce pet overpopulation and to improve the welfare of animals in the greater Champaign County Illinois area. By spaying/neutering, we are reducing the number of cats and dogs born into situations of inadequate care and abuse.

Project Proposal: Abandoned & feral cat numbers are dramatically increasing. Resources are strained and limited. Each week we receive requests to assist with community feeding, trapping, spay/neutering (TNR) that we have to turn down. This influx of funds would support expanded activities assisting community members by providing needed resources. Many colonies are located in marginalized areas where individuals decide daily whether to feed their families or support these colonies. Expanded support is critical.

catsnap.org

 

Champaign County Humane Society

Mission: To prevent cruelty to animals, to promote animal welfare, to educate the public about the humane care and treatment of animals, to increase public awareness of the companion animal overpopulation issue and to provide solutions, and to provide high quality shelter, medical, and adoption services for animals when necessary.

Project Proposal: We would hold at least 1 low-cost pet vaccination clinic. These kinds of clinics promote public health & responsible pet ownership by making essential vaccines available to dog & cat owners at very low cost. The clinics are usually held for a few hours on a weekend morning at CCHS’s facility. Champaign County Animal Control is on site as well, to assist pet owners in registering their pets following rabies vaccination. Low-cost flea treatments & microchipping will also be available at this time.

http://www.cuhumane.org/

 

Hospice Hearts Animal Rescue

Mission: Hospice Hearts Animal Rescue (HHAR) is an all-volunteer, foster-based animal rescue in Central Illinois, serving cats and dogs whose owners are no longer able to care for them due to owner illness, nursing home admission, or death.

Project Proposal: Due to their previous owner’s age or health status, senior animals’ welfare often takes a backseat. With dentals ranging from $350 to $1500+, HHAR would use the grant to provide dental care to senior animals who need to be rehomed. We would take this opportunity to educate the local community about animal welfare (i.e. the importance of proper dental care and prevention) through social media campaigns and local TV recurrent appearances (Pet spotlight on WCIA).

https://www.hospiceheartsanimalrescue.org/about