2024 Round Up For Good Project Proposals

We have 67 amazing organizations in the running for the 2024 Round Up For Good Grant! Click below to read each organization's mission statement, project proposal, and visit their website.


Owners will vote for 10 organizations to be featured in 2024. Voting begins on Thursday, September 7th and concludes on Thursday, September 14th. All eligible owners will be sent an email with an eballot to vote. If you do not receive an eballot on September 7th, please contact board@commonground.coop

Nominated Organizations

40 North

Mission: Cultivating Creativity in Champaign County!


Project Proposal: Grant funds will be utilized to support new arts-centric events in Urbana called PostMark Urbana. These events will be post-market events designed to use the arts to bring people to downtown businesses after the conclusion of the farmer's market. A larger version of PostMark will be held in October which will be called the Urbana Fall Fusion Festival. Each event will be a showcase of Urbana arts and food with artists offering demonstrations or displays inside local businesses and restaurants offering food and drink specials. Live music and children's activities will be featured at a main event hub each month. The hub for the September PostMark and October Urbana Fall Fusion Festival will be the Busey Bank parking lot. Starting in November, the main event hub will move to a different indoor location each month until we can resume programming outdoors.



Banks Bridgewater and Lewis Fine Arts Academy

Mission: Banks Bridgewater Lewis Fine Arts Academy develops confidence in the arts for low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented artists through small group lessons and ensemble rehearsals to promote diversity in local elementary through high school arts programs.


Project Proposal: The Banks Bridgewater Lewis (BBL) Fine Arts Academy is excited to share a unique opportunity to engage 1st generation, low-income, and underrepresented students’ artistic expression. Through music and arts focused activities, our organization leads a program that gives elementary to high school students the necessary access to the finest musical and arts instructors in the community. Youth musicians often face financial obstacles as they pursue their dreams and goals of performing at the highest levels of music and arts activities.


On Saturdays, the BBL hosts 4 core program initiatives for community youth. Our musical ensemble, choir, drumline, and arts and crafts programming has been key to our success. The funds that we will receive will cover the costs of hiring instructional staff, purchasing music, snacks, and other operational needs.



The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign

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: The RUFG Grant would support our Holiday Kids Bike Giveaway event held every December. We collect, repair, and donate kids bikes to our community in a first-come, first served format. Ostensibly, we hold the event for 2 hours but give away all of our bikes within the first 30 minutes.


Any leftover bikes are offered to the public during our regular operation hours, and/or distributed through Urbana elementary schools, Immigrant Services of Champaign Urbana, and fellow non-profits. Funds will assist mainly in helping expand our outreach/awareness for the event, better organize/facilitate the event, and support the costs of repairing the bikes themselves. As such, we will be able to repair more bikes and give more bikes away.


Here's coverage of a previous year's Giveaway: https://www.wcia.com/ciliving-2/the-bike-project-hosts-kids-bike-giveaway/



BIPOC for Better Birth

Mission: BIPOC for Better Birth (BBB) is a non-profit based in East-Central Illinois offering free and low-cost training to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) who want to become birth workers including doulas, midwives, birth assistants, lactation professionals, childbirth educators and herbalists. Our vision is to create a better birthing and parenting community for BIPOC.


Project Proposal: We have been hosting our annual Black Breastfeeding Week Celebration and Photoshoot every August. Our most recent event was held on Saturday August 26th 2023 at Hessel Park. The Round of Up for Good Grant will help support the growth of this free, community event that celebrates the nutritious, locally-sourced superfood that is human milk! Black Breastfeeding Week is a national week of recognition that occurs every year from August 25 to August 31. ​​We need a Black Breastfeeding Week to shed light on:

1. High rates of Black infant mortality
2. High rates of diet or nutrition-related disease
3. Lack of diversity in lactation profession
4. Cultural barriers specific to Black women / people
5. "First-food deserts" in our community

This grant will support the growth of our event and help us with marketing and reaching our target audience. We would love to have food vendors, a radio advertisement, and more community support.




Mission: Established in 2005, CATsNAP is a non-profit that seeks to reduce pet overpopulation and to improve the welfare of animals in the greater Champaign County Illinois area. We strongly advocate that all animals are spayed and neutered, regardless of breed, sex, or age. By spaying/neutering, we are reducing the number of cats and dogs born into situations of inadequate care and abuse. We are also limiting the numbers of unwanted animals relinquished to shelters, where they are often euthanized for lack of space. Since 2018, over 6,500 cats have been helped. All CATsNAP animals are in foster homes or at our building. Animals are never euthanized for space.

CATsNAP provides the following services:
1 - Referral for a low income spay/neuter service.
2 - Adopts out cats
3 - Provides educational materials to promote successful pet ownership
4 - Assists feral cat caretakers with spay/neuter information and resources
5 - Limited intake from high kill shelters, strays, Animal Control and other various places.


Project Proposal: Trapping, trapping and more trapping projects.


Every animal rescue organization (Champaign County Humane Society (CCHS), Hospice Hearts, Moore's Rescue Ranch, CATsNAP, Valor, etc) promotes and/or provides low-cost spay/neuter clinics/opportunities for the community. What is not being addressed by anyone is additional trapping services. Social Media platforms are full of 'Call CATsNAP' comments whenever a posting of a stray cat is made. CATsNAP receives literally hundreds of community requests as well as other agency requests for trapping and we cannot meet the need.


In the first seven months of 2023 alone, we have already trapped over 400 cats. These cats have been spayed/neutered and either returned to their owners, returned to their colonies if feral or put up for adoption if friendly. We are in the midst of the worst rescue year in history due to the sheer volume of animals in need.


CATsNAP is the only animal organization (rescue, agency or other) that traps. Let me be very clear. CATsNAP is the ONLY organization that traps. CCHS does not. Animal Control does not. Hospice Hearts does not. And so on. The community is crying out for this assistance and while we are doing our best, we need the community's help. This funding would provide resources for additional trapping supplies & support.



Champaign Center Partnership

Mission: To foster a vibrant, inviting, and active Champaign core downtown, midtown, and campustown by supporting businesses and building community.


Project Proposal: The mission of the Champaign Center Partnership (CCP) is to make Champaign’s city center active, vibrant, and inviting through placemaking events, promotions, and advocacy. Since the pandemic, the CCP has had its sights set on recreating the area of Champaign Center – that is, Champaign's central commercial districts of downtown, midtown, and campustown – as an active place all year, especially during the winter season after the holidays when it is cold, dark, and often with too few cultural programs to experience for free or at low cost. The winter season, therefore, represents a unique opportunity for the CCP to intervene and create an attraction that supports small businesses and fosters positive interpersonal relationships. Specifically, funds received from the Round Up For Good Grant would be used for a week-long winter placemaking event in February called “Sweets, Treats, and Lattes.”


In 2022, the CCP launched “Sweets, Treats, and Lattes” as an inaugural promotional campaign that celebrated local bakeries, coffee shops, and dessert spots operating in the city center during the week of Valentine’s Day. Inspiration for this event was taken from the CCP’s counterparts in Old Strathcona District in Edmonton, Canada, who are experts in winter events and placemaking given their latitude. The CCP replicated their program by creating three games that encouraged participants to purchase featured desserts and beverages at participating businesses for a chance to win different prizes. Activities included a BINGO-style game, a photo submission contest, and collectible stickers designed by a local artist, Ralph Roether. 21 locally owned and operated businesses participated in this first-ever promotion, and 25 individuals played the games offered. In an anonymous survey following the event, 75% of participating businesses stated that they were very satisfied to somewhat satisfied with the event, and 83% claimed that they would likely or very likely participate again if offered again. In addition, 100% of attendees stated that were very satisfied with the event and 100% of attendees stated that they would participate in the future.


Much like Common Ground, the CCP is an organization whose mission fosters an inclusive, vibrant community. Grant funds from Round Up For Good can help the CCP grow this project from a promotional campaign into a fully-fledged winter festival with fun and educational programming free to the public throughout the week and games that encourage attendees to explore and support local businesses. The CCP hopes to create new attendee experiences and interactive programming such as a latte art competition and workshops among coffee shops, cookie decorating and chocolate-making workshops, “how it’s made” educational programs at businesses like Central Illinois Bakehouse or Suzu’s Bakery, and hot cocoa-themed social events that connect people together. In addition to games, the CCP will organize and promote the activities through a mix of advertising strategies and would hire businesses to lead or host programs at their establishments. Foreseeable expenses include honoraria, contract labor (e.g., graphic design), consumables, advertising, printing, prizes, and various supplies. All funds received from the grant, in addition to the $1,000.00 earmarked for this event in the CCP’s annual operating budget, would be used to support the event and the businesses involved in it. In addition, the CCP would contribute staff time required to coordinate the event, leverage existing business relationships, and organize activities with assistance from a volunteer committee.


“Sweets, Treats, and Lattes” is a young project with demonstrable potential for growth based on past success. Grant funds would allow the CCP to build up the event faster and increase brand awareness so that other sponsors could provide sustaining financial support in the future, thereby ensuring that the event is free to the public with low to no barriers for attendees or businesses to participate in the event. In addition, this project directly and indirectly supports small businesses, including their employees, ultimately supporting the wider community via economic development. The event will also foster long-lasting, impactful, and positive relationships between residents, students, businesses, and Champaign Center as a place of community and belonging.



Champaign County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

Mission: Champaign County CASA's mission is, "Standing up for children in the court system who have experienced abuse and neglect."


Project Proposal: Right now, almost 400 children are in the Champaign County court system due to abuse and neglect, and judges are required to make very difficult decisions about their futures. Champaign County CASA serves as the guardian ad litem (GAL) for each of these children, and we depend on a large team of volunteers to advocate for Our CASA Kids in the most effective way possible. Recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers is critical to our work of focusing on Our Kids’ situations while they are in the foster care system, and making reports and recommendations to the court regarding their needs and best interests. Our volunteers do this by visiting Our Kids on a regular basis, and checking in with adults and service providers in their lives. Together with our staff and attorneys, our volunteers provide critical support for Our Kids, giving them the opportunity for hope, consistency, and a safe and permanent home. Funds used from the Round Up For Good Grant would allow us to expand our volunteer recruitment efforts by increasing visibility in the community through digital and Google ads. In order to make our volunteer opportunity visible to our prospective volunteer pool in today's digital world, we must increase our efforts in this area, which requires additional funds. With more financial resources, we can not only execute an ad campaign, but manage it so it is targeted to maintain optimal effectiveness. We believe this work will help meet our needs as we constantly aim to identify new volunteers who agree with us that every child in our community who has experienced abuse and neglect deserves the opportunity to thrive in a safe and permanent home.



Champaign County Economic Development Corporation

Mission: Founded in 2001, the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) is a public-private partnership dedicated to fostering a cooperative, county-wide approach to economic development. CCEDC works to improve the economic well-being of all Champaign County through efforts that entail job creation, job retention, tax base enhancements, small business development, and promotion of quality of life, and brings together community partners to support economic development by aligning interests through productive relationships, open dialogue, and advocacy efforts.


Project Proposal: The Round Up For Good Grant would support the Chambana Welcome Crew (https://makeitcu.com/cwc/), a community ambassador program to recruit and welcome new residents to the Champaign-Urbana area.


The CWC matches newcomers to ambassadors based on their interests to help them navigate their new home. Ambassadors connect with their recruits to serve as a “first friend” in the community, helping find the resources they need to settle here. Since the program launched in fall 2021, it has supported 115+ new community members.

Additionally, the CWC hosts quarterly New to CU Mixers so that new residents can meet members of the CWC, get their questions answered, and get connected to resources.


The program is a collaboration between the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, Experience Champaign-Urbana, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.



Champaign Church of the Bretheren for Randolph Street Community Garden

Mission: The Mission of the Randolph Street Community Garden: To provide place, in North Champaign, for residents to grow their own food, purchase healthy locally grown produce, where all people can come together as a community and part of a long term movement towards eating healthy and being connected with the sources of the food we eat, and to pass on both gardening and entrepreneurial traditions to a new generation of young people.


Project Proposal: This grant will be used to purchase equipment, supplies, and training to establish a bee keeping operation in the garden, for the purpose of pollination and honey production. We view this as the natural extension of our work of training young people and other community members in producing food for their tables.


FlowHive Bee Keeping set up for 2 units with training for 3 persons
Beekeeping course $567.00
Flow Hive 2 - 7 Frames / Yes Flow Hive 2 $839.00
Hive Size: 7 Frames
Flow Hive 2 - 7 Frames / Yes Flow Hive 2
Hive Size: 7 Frames $889.00
Beekeeping Caddy and Accessories Set $179.00
Flow Beekeeping Accessories Set $79.00
Flow Garden Tools $59.00
Flow Smoker $49.00
Flow Bee Jacket – 2 $238.00
Flow Veil- 2 $48.00
Flow Bee Gloves 2 $34.00
Flow Bee Suit – Organic Cotton – Toddler
Total: $3138.00

Jars 10 dz 220.00

labels 500 100.00

Dowsing (to establish placement) 300.00

Total $3,758. 00



Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation

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


Our Vision...
We partner with Champaign and Urbana public schools to provide culturally responsive opportunities and enriching experiences inspiring educators and motivating students for success.


Project Proposal: CUSF Goals and Initiatives include; Early Literacy, Fine & Performing arts, Health & Wellness, Languages (ESL and foreign), STEAM, Career/Technical Education.


CUSF will utilize Round Up for Good funds for teacher grants which focus on developing school gardens and introducing local farming activities which support Farm to School program concepts.


By connecting students to these opportunities they can; learn more about the food in their cafeteria, engage in gardening activities, and learn more about food, agriculture, and nutrition for a healthy life. Students may also be exposed to career and or technical education opportunities in agriculture through these experiences.


CUSF Grants are awarded following a competitive application process to certified teachers in both Unit 4 and District 116. Round up for Good Funds will allow us to provide MORE $ to MORE Teachers!



Community Center for the Arts (C4A)

Mission: The Community Center for the Arts [C4A] is an artist-run community music school serving east central Illinois. Our mission is threefold:
• To strengthen community by providing top quality music instruction.
• To emphasize the communal nature of music-making by cultivating excellent ensemble playing.
• To provide opportunities that sustain our community of teaching artists.


Project Proposal: In June 2024, the Community Center will produce The Ngoma African Music Festival.

This event will celebrate the growing African presence in our central Illinois community, and will take place in several venues in Urbana, including the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (KCPA), the Community Center for the Arts (C4A), and the Lincoln Square Mall. This is an ambitious program that will include well known touring African musicians as well as local players; a curated photo exhibit featuring regional African histories; a fashion show; a public dance; and African food.

C4A would welcome the support of the Common Ground Food Co-op!



Community Choices

Mission: Our Mission -
We partner with people with developmental disabilities who live in Champaign County. Together we pursue independence, opportunity, and choice through quality, self-directed supports.


Our Philosophy -
We are not afraid to try: We believe in the dignity of risk. We help you find new things to try and adjust when life does not go as expected.


People need people: We support you to get fully involved with the community. We value interdependence – the powerful connections you make with other people.


Success is a shared responsibility: You must create the life you envision. We are in this together.


Project Proposal: Community Choices is a Human Services Cooperative and service provider for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families. We were formed because people with I/DD and their families tend to be some of the most isolated, disconnected people in our society. Or mission and our method of providing services works to counteract this by creating a community of people and families with shared experiences of disability and working to build their connection to the broader community through social opportunities, leadership development, and family support.


The Round Up for Good grant money will be used to further this mission by supporting our Connect Department and it's projects.


This will include the following:
- Hosting 48 community social opportunities for people with I/DD in the community
- Working with individuals with I/DD one on one to find groups, places, and people in the community with how they share interests and find belonging
- Hosting 8 Family Support Groups to allow those caring for and supporting people with I/DD the opportunity to connect and support each other
- Hosting 4 Coop Parties where all our co-op members can gather, connect, and celebrate the community they've built
- Support a Self-Advocacy Group of individuals with I/DD who develop projects and speak publicly about their experiences as people with disabilities
- Teaching a Leadership Development Class for people with I/DD to build their self-determination and leadership skills

(In it's other departments, Community Choices also supports people with I/DD to find jobs and housing in the community, to manage ongoing supports, and to build daily living skills)



Cooperative Nursery School

Mission: The Cooperative Nursery School is a nonprofit, nonsectarian preschool that is owned and operated by the parents of the school. The Cooperative Nursery School utilizes the Creative Curriculum and Conscious Discipline to help children learn and grow, academically, socially, and emotionally and to become engaged, lifelong learners. The Cooperative Nursery School is a unique and close-knit community in that parents have an active role in the classroom each day. Children, parents, and teachers play, learn, and grow together in a diverse and inclusive environment.


Project Proposal: The Cooperative Nursery School is seeking to better serve its students in the coming school year by providing new and exciting opportunities for student learning and growth through a new edible education curriculum as well as a more sensory friendly atmosphere. Our proposal is to utilize grant funding to add planting, growing, and more fruit and vegetable tasting throughout the year with aerospace garden window units in each of our three classrooms. Students will have opportunities to plant, care for, and try various fruits and vegetables. We will have books on planting and growing, a play gardening center, and a play farmers market. Students will be immersed in flower and farmer's markets and will be able to experience pretend play involving buying and selling flowers and vegetables. There will also be a variety of sensory friendly items added to the school, including, a flower push wall and sensory path, flower and plant themed sensory fidgets, and sensory friendly seating. Preschoolers learn best through experiential opportunities, and our new edible education program will encourage our students to grow and eat their own healthy foods throughout their lives. Adding more sensory friendly opportunities to each classroom improves our inclusive atmosphere where each student is taught in ways that best support their needs and styles of learning.



Courage Connection

Mission: Our mission is to ensure that every person in our community has the education, support, and resources to live in safe healthy relationships.


Project Proposal: We will use this funding to help supply materials to grow our outreach and education programs.



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 child care 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: With a grant from Common Ground in 2024, Crisis Nursery's Safe Children program will be fortified, empowering us to extend our compassionate support to even more vulnerable children and families navigating through crises. At the core of our mission lies the belief that "Asking for help is a sign of strength," and with this grant, we can continue to reinforce that message.


The Safe Children program is a lifeline for countless families, offering a vital "Island of Safety" when they need it most. The cost to provide this essential service amounts to $15 per hour per child in crisis. This financial support is not just a figure; it is the key to unlocking hope and stability for those we serve.


The $4,595 grant we received from Common Ground last year played a transformative role, enabling us to provide more than 300 hours of crisis care. Each hour represents an opportunity to make a lasting impact on a child's life, providing them with safe shelter, nourishing meals, and warm clothing. But it doesn't stop there - it also includes the invaluable care and attention provided by our dedicated staff, who walk alongside families during their toughest times. When a child spends time at Crisis Nursery, an average stay is about 8 hours. With the support of the Common Ground grant, we were able to facilitate almost 40 visits. Each of these visits has been instrumental in stabilizing families and safeguarding children from harm. In essence, this grant has been the beacon of hope for those facing overwhelming challenges, allowing us to intervene, uplift, and preserve families in their most vulnerable moments.


By investing in our Safe Children program, Common Ground will be a catalyst for profound positive change in the lives of the most deserving individuals. With this grant, we will say YES to more children and families in distress, guiding them toward a brighter future and a stronger community. Together, we will continue to live by the principle that "Keeping children safe and families strong" is not just an aspiration, but a mission that we are passionately committed to fulfilling. Crisis Nursery extends its heartfelt gratitude to Common Ground for the unwavering support that has already made a profound difference. With this renewed opportunity, we envision a future where more children can grow up in a nurturing and secure environment, and every family is empowered to thrive.



C-U At Home

Mission: C-U at Home is a faith-based mission that supports and empowers individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Our “Pathways to Progress” program provides a safe and inclusive environment where those seeking stability can access resources and receive essential services to support their journey forward.


Project Proposal: C-U at Home provides intensive case management and life skills support to those experiencing homelessness and ready to make a change. If awarded, C-U at Home will use the funds towards Project Beautification - a project focused on providing safe, beautiful outdoor space at our mid-barrier and high-barrier shelter program locations (6 locations throughout C-U).



CU Folk & Roots Festival

Mission: The mission of the CU Folk and Roots Festival is to support local/Illinois folk and roots artists and organizations; promote meaningful community social interactions; create inclusive events with participants from diverse backgrounds; promote the accessibility of the folk arts; provide opportunities for hands-on participation; contribute to the artistic vitality of the area; bring attention and business to downtown Urbana; and expose residents to varied and inspiring forms of music, dance, and art. With an emphasis on diversity, the festival program strives to represent and include our entire community.


All festival workshops, jam sessions, storytelling and Saturday daytime programming are free. While performances are a big part of each festival, we emphasize and encourage participation and always offer workshops, jam sessions and other hands-on events. For many years, Common Ground has been the venue for one of these jam sessions.


The Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. The festival has been held in Urbana every year from 2009 to 2019. Due to Covid-19, the 2020 festival was a virtual festival that was streamed online. The 2021 festival featured a hybrid format of in-person events (with entry restrictions) and some events were streamed online. The 2021 festival also included some outdoor events. The 2022 festival returned to an in-person event, part of which was live-streamed to increase accessibility. Information on the 2023 festival is available at https://folkandroots.org/2023-festival/ 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: Grant funds will be used to (1) cover booking fees for festival artists; (2) employ an audio and video production crew, including sound engineers, for events at multiple venues; and (3) cover the costs of printing t-shirts, posters, schedules, and programs.




Cunningham Children's Home

Mission: To nourish hope through effective solutions so children thrive and families flourish.


Project Proposal: Funds from the Round Up for Good Grant would support the purchase of goods and materials used in Cunningham's youth led greenhouse project. 


In the fall 2022, Cunningham received a $500 grant through the CU Schools Foundation for a greenhouse. The grant funds were enough for a 4 x 6 "snap together" greenhouse however, it would not be spacious enough for more than a couple youth to work at a time. In March 2023, Cunningham's Advancement Department launched March Greenness to raise additional funds to purchase a larger greenhouse. The results- $29,154 raised! This has allowed us to purchase a larger greenhouse for nearly 60 youth to access. This size will be 12x24 from Trinity Greenhouse, we will also pour a concrete foundation, and run water and electricity to it so it can be used year round. The greenhouse is slated to be operational in the fall of 2023. (It takes 4-6 weeks for a custom order and at this writing we have received all quotes  and an "engineered stamp" version to take to the city of Urbana for their approval.)


Our teachers will expand our greenhouse curriculum and educational activities in the greenhouse (that also meet state educational standards) and our Special Therapies staff use the greenhouse in therapy sessions with our residential youth. In our life skills class, our youth will also enjoy harvesting, preparing and eating the "fruits" of our labor!


This grant will fund purchases like this:

Shelving units x6 = 1100
Potting benches = 625
Gloves, pots, trays cans, trowels, potting mats, plant food = 825
Rubber mats = 150
Seeds = 100
Trellis kits, plant hanging kits= 200
Tool and supply storage units = 350
Indoor Thermometer and food scale = 100
Total $3450

Surrounding outside of greenhouse:

Bark mulch= 200
Landscape rolls= 90



Daily Bread Soup Kitchen

Mission: The mission statement 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. We provide a safe, respectful, and inviting environment in an atmosphere of hope and dignity.


Project Proposal: We would use the funds from Round Up for Good to help with the expenses of our sack lunches. In addition to a hot meal we give all who come to our door a sack lunch to take with them. This lunch often provides our guests with an evening meal. STRIDES, previously known as Town's Center, collects sack lunches from us so their night time clients can have a meal.


The sack lunches, although basic, always include a sandwich filled with meat, cheese or peanut butter; a sweet treat and a salty. Purchasing protein, meat, cheese and peanut is our most expensive expenditure. Any support we would receive would be used for these expenses.


Since the pandemic, March of 2020, we have noted a significant increase in the number of guests we serve, meals and sack lunches provided. Thank you.



Defy Gravity

Mission: Defy Gravity strives to offer all members of our diverse community the opportunity of self-expression and self-acceptance through suspension, aerial arts, and dance.

We believe that pole and aerial group classes can provide a fun and positive approach to fitness, taking the focus off weight loss and/or and physical appearance and redirecting to the acquisition of practical strength and a strong body/mind connection.


Community building and inclusivity are the ideological pillars of our studio. All of our classes and staff trainings are organized around these ideas. We are a visibly queer, sex-positive, body-neutral space. We do not tolerate harassment of any kind — especially pertaining to strippers, the originators of pole. We believe in the power of finding joyful movement and celebrating what your body can do today, as it is. Whether you grew up dancing or never had the chance, we want to move with you. Come fly with us!


Project Proposal: 

Purchasing new apparatuses

We are in need of new trapezes, as our current apparatuses have seen almost eight years of wear. Most of our traps were also made prior to the creation of our PSAF classes (Plus Size Aerial Fundamentals). We now have aerialists of many shapes and sizes across various levels of aerial classes. Trapezes are custom made and we anticipate spending between $1-2,000, including staff travel to pick up from Chicago as they often cannot be shipped without damage. Any of the above estimate not used for traps would be used for lyras and new aerial fabric (silks / hammock).

We were hoping to have the funds set aside to purchase new apparatuses on our own by spring of 2024, but costly air conditioning repairs have moved the date on these purchases. If selected, contacting our apparatus makers to get on their waitlists would be our first move.


Replacing exercise props

We provide all props needed for classes whenever possible. This is directly tied to our mission of keeping pole and aerial fitness inclusive for all, as the sunk costs of equipment and props may otherwise prohibit those with lower incomes.

We are due to purchase more yoga mats and yoga blocks. We are also still replenishing our prop closet from before the COVID pandemic shutdown. We are in need of new sets of yoga straps and bolsters, as these aid in making certain flexibility moves more accessible to certain body types. Depending on available funds, we would also like to purchase another pole crash mat, as we currently only have one. We anticipate spending between $500-$1,000 on props.


Continuing staff training

We operate on a community dance model and provide a number of free classes to staff each schedule in addition to monetary compensation. We hire internally whenever possible and run our Instructor in Training program annually. Our IIT program provides quality pole and aerial fitness education to all accepted applicants free of charge. This gives instructors a base of knowledge without requiring that they pursue costly, for-profit programs as new teachers.

We invite current staff to attend all IIT trainings as a way to continue adding to their repertoire. IIT trainings include topics such as: DG Pillars (intersectionality, feminism, anti-racism, body liberation, queerness and allyship); Classroom Culture (class structure, crafting a teacher persona, people weaving, classroom management); apparatus-based content (pole, flexibility, silks, hammock, trapeze, lyra).

While we encourage all instructors to continue their education after completing our in-house training, we also provide continuing education on topics such as: coaching plus size dancers and athletes, first aid, warm ups, rigging safety, etc. We compensate staff for running our in-house trainings and do not charge attendees. We do this on an as-available basis. We also host community building events and outings for staff to facilitate team building.

Additional grant funds not used for purchasing new apparatuses or props would go to funding additional in house-training.

While we have an incredibly talented staff, there are also topics our instructors want to pursue outside of our pool of knowledge. Our ability to bring traveling instructors and industry professionals into our space saves staff lodging and travel costs while also allowing DG students to learn new skills. Additional grant funds not used for purchasing or internal training would go to hosting professional polers and aerialists in our space.



Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club

Mission: Our Mission: To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

The after-school hours and summer non-school days can be some of the most threatening times for young people, especially those who are challenged with difficult economic, family and neighborhood environments.
Our work at DMBGC is to be a beacon of  safety, support, and  hope for all youth in our community.  With a focus of providing programs and services to youth at our main site location as well as in the community; Our doors and our arms are open wide to give young people:
A safe place to learn and grow...
Ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals...
Life-enhancing programs and character development experiences...
Engaging, fun, memorable experiences…
Hope and opportunity
Title: Nurturing Nutrition: An After-School Meal Program for Teenagers


Project Proposal: 

Executive Summary
Nurturing Nutrition is a comprehensive program designed to provide nutritious after-school meals for teenagers aged 11-18 who fall within the low-income bracket in our community. The program aims to design menus that are high in nutritional value and tailored to meet the specific dietary needs of the target population. We are hereby requesting a grant of $4,575 to fund this program over  the first and second semester timeline.

Hunger is an issue that impacts many teenagers across the country, particularly within low-income communities. Limited access to nutritious food can lead to negative health outcomes including obesity, diabetes, and impaired cognitive development. Additionally, access to healthy food is crucial for academic performance and overall well-being. Despite these issues, there are few programs in our community that effectively address this problem for our young people.

Need Statement
Statistics on hunger and its devastating effects reveal the importance of addressing this issue within our community:
Teens lacking proper nutrition are more likely to struggle academically, with reduced test scores and attendance rates.
Hunger is often accompanied by heightened emotional stress and psychiatric symptoms, leading to increased rates of depression and anxiety.

Nurturing Nutrition will create a sustainable impact in our community by coordinating with Nutrition research-based facts and information on the following activities:
Creating a safe and welcoming environment for teens to receive nutritious meals.  
Designing and offering menus tailored to the unique dietary needs of individual participants.  
Hosting workshops and discussions to educate teens on healthy eating habits.  
Encouraging opportunities for teens to engage and learn from the professionals throughout the program.

The requested budget of $4,750 will be allocated as follows:
Personnel (0)): Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club would utilize current staffing.
Food and Supplies ($4750): Purchase of nutritious food items and cleaning supplies
Marketing and Outreach ($0)): Marketing would be incorporated in our current marketing plan and community partnerships.
Overhead ($0): DMBGC would absorb overhead  electricity and water.etc)

Anticipated Outcomes
Nurturing Nutrition aims to deliver the following outcomes:
At least 50 participating teenagers are provided a nutritious, tailored after-school meal.  
A 75%+ satisfaction rate among participants regarding meal quality and taste.  
Participants demonstrate increased knowledge of proper nutrition and dietary practices.  
A reduction in food insecurity among participating teenagers.

Your generous support will not only enable us to address the immediate issue of hunger among low-income teenagers but will also provide them with a foundation for a healthier future. Through engagement with nutrition information, Nurturing Nutrition fosters an environment where teenagers are empowered to make healthier food choices and understand the value of nutrition in their own lives.



Driven to Reach Excellence and Academic Achievement for Males (DREAAM)

Mission: We are driven to reach excellence in achievement, engagement, and behavioral health among African-American boys and young men ages 3–24 years old by reaching, teaching, and empowering them to become their best selves.


Project Proposal: We focus on the wellbeing and holistic development of our DREAAMers, striving to nurture not only their minds, but also their bodies. As a recipient of The Round Up For Good Grant, we plan to fund two transformational projects. The first is the provision of more nutritious food for program participants and the second is expanding three immersive and hands-on summer camps: cooking camp, baking camp, and agricultural science camp.


Currently, we provide snacks during our after-school, DREAAM College Preparatory Saturday school, and camp programs, but the snacks tend to be shelf-stable, portable and convenient. We have observed that when we can provide fresh fruits and vegetables, however, DREAAMers demonstrate improved attention, cooperation and learning. They are even more positively responsive when we provide hot meals such as tacos, chicken, or pasta. These nutritious and filling foods have been cost prohibitive to provide frequently, but with the Round Up for Good Grant, we could provide fresh produce regularly for the DREAAMers. Depending on the amount received, we could also offer hot meals as part of special programming. This aims not only to address nutritional deficiencies but also to instill healthy eating habits from a young age. By making fresh produce and hot meals readily available, we aspire to contribute to the overall well-being of these children, fostering their physical health as well their cognitive development.


Secondly, we would like to expand three of our successful summer camps. These camps have been taught by experts in their fields of cooking, baking, and agricultural science, serving as an experiential opportunity for middle and high schoolers to explore the realms of culinary arts and hands-on science. Participants have gained insights into the science behind food production, sustainable agricultural practices, genetic engineering and also developed practical culinary skills. While these camps will ignite curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving, we hope more participants will use it as a stepping stone to pursuing post-secondary education. The Round Up for Good Grant will allow us to expand programming to include paying for all program items for each participant such as gardening tools, potting mix and fertilizer; kitchen utensils and cooking ingredients; as well as cookbooks and gardening books for participants to add to their libraries.


By providing fresh produce and healthy meals and funding innovative summer camps, the Round Up For Good grant will empower us to create lasting impacts on the lives of young individuals. With your financial support, we can better invest in the nourishment and the out-of-school education of our youth, sowing the seeds for a healthier, more informed, and empowered generation. This grant will not only materialize as improved eating habits and culinary abilities, but will also contribute to a broader understanding of food systems and sustainable practices among our local youth.



Eastern Illinois Foodbank

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


EIF is the primary food source for food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other programs working to feed our neighbors facing hunger. In the last fiscal year, we distributed 9 million meals (28% of which was fresh produce) to local families, children, seniors, and veterans experiencing food insecurity in our communities.


Project Proposal: Funds received from the Round Up For Good grant will support our Foodmobile program, which has evolved in recent months to have a greater impact. The recent purchase of two trailers has allowed us to increase our reach and frequency of distributions, and to provide nutritious food to neighbors in rural and underserved communities across our 18-county service area. Each dollar we receive enables us to deliver three meals to members of our community facing hunger.



Experience Champaign-Urbana Foundation

Mission: The Experience Champaign-Urbana Foundation generates resources that support the destination experiences of people who visit, work, and live in the greater Champaign-Urbana area.


Project Proposal: Grant funds will support development of the Champaign County African American Heritage Trail. The Heritage Trail is a celebration of the lives and contributions of African Americans in the Champaign County area. Our mission is to educate today's residents and visitors about the rich cultural history of a people whose stories have been largely unrecognized, but who directly shaped the place we call home. Our vision is to inspire conversation, expand understanding, and contribute to a better society.


Funds from the Round Up For Good Grant would specifically go toward offsetting the cost of purchasing, designing, and installing an interpretive sign that shares and celebrates stories in local African American history. The Heritage Trail is currently working to install approximately twenty interpretive signs in locations of significance in local African American history. Currently installed signs recognize Frederick Douglass' visit to Champaign in 1869 (sign located at One E. Main Plaza, Champaign); African American celebrations and outings at Homer Park (sign located at Homer Lake Forest Preserve); and student demonstrations for equal rights in the 1930s and 1940s (sign located at the corner of Green & Wright St., Champaign), among other topics. For more information, please visit the African American Heritage Trail's website at www.ccafricanamericanheritage.org.



Feeding Our Kids

Mission: To provide nourishing food to food-insecure school children in Champaign County on weekends and school holidays throughout the school year.


Project Proposal: Our backpack program goal is to make sure that food insecure kids have a brighter weekend and the nourishment they need to learn and grow. Not having enough food impacts learning and no child should be without the food they need to thrive.


This year we have added Urbana Head Start as our newest program. This grant would help us cover food costs for children in the program. Each food bag has 9 shelf stable items including breakfast, snack and entree items. We serve over 1000 children at 41 programs each week during the school year throughout Champaign County. With your help we can make a brighter future for kids in our own neighborhoods.




Mission: To build strong and peaceful communities by providing support, guidance, and hope to formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones through peer mentorship.


Project Proposal: The Round Up for Good Grant will be used to forward FirstFollowers’ “Eliminate the food desert in
Urbana" project. Few people in this county recognize that we have an urban food desert in north Urbana which spills over to the “North End” of town. This food desert is located between Bradley Ave. and University Ave. and between Lincoln Ave. and Market St. In this vicinity there is no place a person can purchase fresh food or produce. This is an area that represents large parts of census Tract 53 ,which according to the 2021 census, figures expressed an average household income of $21, 726 less than half of the county average in this area. The poverty rate in this tract is 47.2%, more than double the rate for Champaign County. Black people comprise 44% of the population of Tract 53, about three times their presence in the county as a whole. This is a racialized area of dietary deprivation . This project will address this issue.

For the past two years, FirstFollowers has been working in partnership with Forever Healing Us to promote Health and Wellness in the Black and Brown community. A major component of this work has been establishing and maintaining community gardens. In this effort, spearheaded by Forever Healing Us founder, Heather Rose, a Black woman who lives in Tract 53, this urban gardening effort has planted and harvested in five urban gardens, as well as collaborating with Randolph Street and Solidarity Gardens over the past three seasons. The project has received starter plants from Sola Gratia and has worked with a team of researchers from the U of I to further examine and explore an in depth understanding of the health, wellness, and spiritual aspects of Black Womens; health and wellbeing. The project has also employed a formerly incarcerated individual who spent 29 years in prison as a worker. He has become an enthusiastic supporter of urban gardening and an advocate for positive thinking, behaviors, healthier eating and living. He is part of constituency that is often untouched by mainstream health and wellness projects. With the help of his work this project has distributed over 300 pounds of fresh food to the community.

The project to be funded by Common Ground will target the establishment and maintenance of five gardens in what we have described as the food desert area. The project will construct ten beds and plant more than a dozen varieties of vegetables including tomatoes, onions, okra, lettuce, greens, carrots, and more. In addition, this project will plants a range of herbs such as: basil, cilantro, parsley, lemon balm, lemon grass, and more. There will also be a workshops geared towards health and wellness which will be offered to the surrounding students in the area such as King Elementary and B. T. Washington students.

We are requesting funds from Common Ground to further this project. The items required are:
Hand tools for the gardens: shovels, picks. rakes, trowels- 2 of each for each garden; a rain barrel, t-shirts and caps for the workers/volunteers., an iPAD to record data on production and labor while in the field.


10 shovels @ $20 each 200
10 tool set @$25 each 250
10 rakes @ $23 each 230

5 rain barrels @ $120 each 600
20 pairs gloves @ $15 each 300
10tt-shirts @$25 each $250
10 caps @ $20 each $200
5 wheelbarrows $80 each 400
100 hours wages for worker @$16/hour $1600
iPAD 300
Transportation 100 miles @0.63/mile 63

Total 4393



Girl Scouts of Central Illinois

Mission:  Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Girl Scouts of Central Illinois aspires to be an organization that is anti-racist, inclusive of members' identities, and equitable, building accessibility to Girl Scouting for all.


Project Proposal: At Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, we know that not all girls experience equitable opportunities for engaging in enrichment experiences. Systemic and environmental barriers intensify existing opportunity gaps for at-risk girls. To meet the persistent and emerging needs specific to these girls, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois (GSCI) delivers the Girl Scout Outreach Program. Designed to span 8 sessions and modified by age, this program focuses on entrepreneurship and financial literacy, life skill development, outdoor education, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Through activities designed to encourage well-being and bolster confidence, communication skills, and peer collaboration, outreach programming confronts challenges posing an increased threat to girls, while supporting their journey to achieve their dreams – dreams they share with all girls.


In Champaign County, over 300 girls are annually served through the local delivery of the Girl Scout Outreach Program. Through data-driven, girl-led outreach programs, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can unapologetically be themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to overcome obstacles. In this moment, these attributes are crucial to the lives of girls. During the pandemic and ensuing economic collapse, many girls watched as the women in their lives took on extra responsibilities, juggling caretaking and work or leaving the workforce entirely. Although these efforts model to girls how resilient women are in times of crisis, for many this experience impacted their sense of self and how they view their value in the world, affecting their mental health and well-being, in addition to their plans for the future. At Girl Scouts, we’re dedicated to changing that.


The Girl Scout Outreach program is girl-led and promotes personal and leadership development by engaging girls in three “key” areas: 1) self-discovery; 2) interpersonal connection; and 3) taking action in the world. In the Girl Scout Outreach Program, girls are guided by trained GSCI staff members alongside a diverse peer group as they participate in age-appropriate, thematic activities – all while meeting within the safety of their schools or other partner sites. All activities in our program are designed to be cooperative and hands-on—processes that create high-quality experiences conducive to learning. By meeting girls directly GSCI eliminates obstacles to program participation experienced by girls from low-income households, such as limited transportation or prohibitive membership costs. In order to deliver this program at no cost to its participants, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois actively seeks public support from the communities we serve. Together, we will build girls of courage, confidence, and character - who make the world a better place!



Grace Lutheran Church Food Pantry

Mission: Grace Lutheran Church Food Pantry works to represent the love of Jesus Christ in our community by responding to these words of Jesus: "Feed my sheep." (John 21:17)
Grace Lutheran Church has worked to help provide emergency food in our community for nearly 40 years. We are "blessed to be a blessing" to families experiencing food insecurity and hunger.


Project Proposal: We would use these funds to purchase food to distribute to our client families. We purchase food primarily from Eastern Illinois Foodbank. When products we prioritize as important for our ministry are not available to purchase from Eastern Illinois Foodbank, we try to purchase these products from other vendors. These products are most typically eggs and meat. We typically spend $2500-$3000 per month to purchase food.



Grand Prairie Friends

Mission: Grand Prairie Friends is a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit, conservation organization and land trust composed of people from many walks of life who share a commitment to preserve and restore natural areas in east-central Illinois.


Project Proposal: Even upon death, individuals can choose to continue stewarding the earth. As a conservation organization, Grand Prairie Friends (GPF) Land Trust aims to cultivate stewards which make sustainable choices in protecting the earth. This role of steward can be carried out even upon death through a choice of conservation burial. For the last two years, an exploratory GPF conservation cemetery committee has researched the legal requirements, land considerations and overall potential for GPF to create a local conservation cemetery. This grant would provide funds to complete the business plan and feasibility study for a local GPF conservation cemetery.


An accredited conservation cemetery exceeds traditional "green" or "hybrid" cemetery options currently available in the region. Instead of the model of a traditional cemetery that is "naturalized", conservation burial sites allow full body internment or scattering of ashes within a true protected natural space (prairies, forests) owned by a conservation land trust. While the complete elimination of embalming chemicals, vaults and coffins is in itself positive, the fees for the burial ensure the perpetual care of the natural area.



Greater Community AIDS Project of East Central Illinois (GCAP)

Mission: The Greater Community AIDS Project of East Central Illinois (GCAP) seeks to empower members of our community living with HIV/AIDS to live healthy, full lives. We do this by providing access to transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, case management, nutrition services, emergency assistance grants, education, and advocacy.


Project Proposal: The Round Up for Good Grant will support our Emergency Financial Assistance program, giving folks living with HIV/AIDS access to immediate assistance when needed. This assistance has allowed clients to keep their power on, pay for medical bills, get a bus pass, get a hotel room for a night, or buy clothes for a job interview. Giving clients access to emergency assistance is critical in helping them maintain an undetectable viral load, and in sustaining their overall health and wellness.



The Guild of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra - In School Concerts

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. Founded in 1962, the Guild of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra is a volunteer organization who believes that youth music education is vital to our community. The Guild membership is composed of men and women of all ages, united by their appreciation of music and dedicated to providing volunteer and financial support of programs that have enriched the cultural life of thousands of children in the Champaign-Urbana community. Over the years, the Guild has provided hundreds of scholarships to young musicians, supported the annual CUSO Youth Concerts at Krannert Center, and brought music into local schools with free In-School concerts performed by CUSO ensembles. In 2022, the CUSO Guild received the “Guild of the Year” award presented by the Illinois Council of Orchestras in recognition of their outstanding volunteer service and commitment to musical excellence.


Project Proposal: The Guild of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra offer area schools free 45-60 minute In- School Concert music programs during the school year. “Music in Schools” ensemble concerts, performed by Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra musicians, bring the special experience of live music to young children. Teachers can select from a variety of musical programs that include story narration and an illustrated Power Point presentation. Children have enjoyed Prokofiev’s popular “Peter and the Wolf” classic, performed by a costumed woodwind ensemble, Norman Rockwell’s “Willy was Different” story of self-acceptance performed by flute, clarinet and keyboard, “Musical Critters” animal songs for voice, cello and piano with story slides in English, Spanish, and French, and “Read it Again Mommy” featuring classic children’s stories paired with famous classical music.

With schools now fully open to outside groups, the CUSO Guild plans to resume a full schedule of free In-School Concerts for the 2023-24 school year. Last year, CUSO ensembles performed 8 free concerts in local schools. Since 2018, free Guild CUSO In-School concerts have been performed at more than 15 local schools, including Urbana Early Childhood School, Barkstall Elementary, Bottonfield Elementary, Kenwood Elementary, MLK Jr. Elementary, Dr. Preston L. Williams Jr. Elementary, and The Urbana Free Library.


The CUSO Guild asks Common Ground Food Co-Op to partner with us as a sponsor of these educational and entertaining concerts in our schools. Funds awarded by your grant would be used exclusively to pay the local CUSO musicians performing the concerts. If this project is selected for the Round Up for Good program, Common Ground Food Co-Op would be recognized as a season sponsor with a listing on the CUSO website and in concert program books for four CUSO concerts at Krannert Center. Common Ground Food Co-Op would also be recognized as an In-School concert sponsor on social media posts and thanked with a special email (to 1500 subscribers), and a post on Facebook and Instagram featuring the Common Ground logo. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION!



Habitat for Humanity Community Garden

Mission: Community Garden Mission Statement:
Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County Community Garden 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.


To create a space for neighbors to grow fresh, healthy food close to home, and provide a space for powerful neighborhood-level social change.


Project Proposal: After 4 years, the community garden is looking to expand. We have reached the point where the neighborhood has taken ownership with maintaining the garden. With increased community involvement, the need for more fresh produce has become obvious. We would like to increase the number of raised beds, plant fruit trees, and build trellises.



The Idea Store

Mission: Based in Urbana, Illinois, The Idea Store is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization dedicated to employing and encouraging “Creative Reuse” in support of education, the arts, conservation, and environmental stewardship.


Project Proposal: The Idea Store is in need of new technology for creative and practical purposes, to better serve our community.


The Idea Store would like to resume offering classes, gatherings, host special events, and be a venue for community groups to learn about creative reuse. In order to increase our offerings to the public we need to upgrade our old-outdated technology. Our first purchase with the grant money would be new computers allowing us to more quickly and easily book donation appointments, expand our reach in the community through creative use of social media, answer questions from our community, and research/share new and innovative uses for the materials we commonly carry.


Next on our list would be to purchase a camera and video equipment to produce higher quality photos and videos so we could offer virtual classes (similar to the virtual cooking classes offered by Common Ground). This would allow us to be more creative in our use of social media, increasing awareness of creative reuse. More importantly, it would allow us to extend our reach beyond Chambana, and possibly beyond Illinois, as we filmed and posted a series of art and craft tutorials to our website.


Finally, our hope is that by expanding our community offerings and increasing access to our inventory we will see an increase in sales. In order to increase our efficiency and make the customer experience more enjoyable we would use any remaining funds to upgrade our Point Of Sale register system, allowing for faster checkout and increased customer satisfaction.



Immigrant Services of CU (ISCU)

Mission: The mission of ISCU is to help immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers to become knowledgeable, secure and productive members of our community. We do this through a case management system using a holistic approach to support our client families. Our services include depression screenings and mental health referrals, as well as help with food insecurity, medical care, housing, legal needs, transportation, employment and education. We stay in touch with our clients for as long as our help is needed.


Project Proposal: ISCU will use funds from Round Up for Good to provide emergency food, utilities and rent assistance to clients needing help to meet basic needs. Funds will also be used to provide household items and home appliances--such as stoves, refridgerators and microwave ovens--through our warehouse of donated goods, to make sure that immigrant families in our community are able to store and cook meals properly.


Federal and state programs to fill these needs are woefully inadequate, and many poor immigrant families continue to be food-insecure and at risk of eviction. We are the only organization in our county that helps these vulnerable community members with comprehensive assistance. Other organizations call on ISCU to help their own immigrant clients who need help beyond their own focused programs.



Jubilee Cafe CUCC

Mission: Jubilee Cafe offers freshly cooked, made from scratch meals and non-perishable pantry items to college students and community members who struggle with food insecurity each Monday evening, 5 -6:30 pm. We are a 100% volunteer run organization, serving about 100 people each week plus 30-35 volunteers. We are housed in the lower level of Community UCC (CUCC), on the edge of the University of Illinois, We receive a generous place to prepare our meals and feed our guests at CUCC, Jubilee Cafe is responsible for raising all our own funds to sup[port our work.


Project Proposal: The Round Up for Good Grant will be used to purchase food items that are not readily available from our community partners. Historically we use funds to purchase sources of protein (including vegetarian) to assure the meals we provide are as nutritious as possible. The funds may be used to purchase essential seasonal items our guests need, such as sleeping bags and blankets in the winter or sunscreen and bottled water in the summer. The funds will also be used to purchase personal items for hygiene kits such as shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc. plus tampons and menstruation pads.



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, nutritious foods.

Our mission is to 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, delicious food.


Project Proposal: Local Food Access & Education - We believe that access to nutritious food is a basic human right. TLC centers consumer choice, empowering shoppers by expanding their food budgets and giving them more opportunity to buy locally grown, raised, and produced foods at our year-round Champaign-Urbana Farmers Markets. Through our benefits-matching program, we double and triple the purchasing power of folks enrolled in federal nutrition programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women, Infant, Children (WIC) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. In addition, we have created a no-questions-asked program called NeighborFood Bucks, providing those in need who do not qualify for food assistance benefits through federal programs access to healthy, local food at no cost. TLC further supports eaters through education. It’s not enough to supply people with fresh ingredients if they don’t know what to do with them. Our local food education strives to be culturally relevant and approachable, regardless of culinary experience. We are working to ensure our programs meet the values of eaters in our community, which have consistently been convenience and affordability. This work involves creating resources to help folks identify what local foods they can purchase and prepare within their budget, teach basic kitchen skills, instruct beginner gardeners on how to grow and preserve food, and more.


The Round Up For Good Grant would allow us to pay for the development, publishing, and/or printing of new local food education resources, as well as support on-site programming operations at the Champaign-Urbana Farmers Markets.



League of Women Voters of Champaign County

Mission: Making Democracy Work. The League of Women Voters of Champaign County (LWVCC) is a non partisan 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: Democracy works best when everyone has access to voting, and the League is committed to expanding voter information and registration sharing via local food pantries and libraries. Grant funds will be used to support the purchase of billboards, bus ads, printing costs for bilingual handouts, and other supplies. This support will enable more Champaign County residents to make their voices heard through more equitable access to registration.



Mahomet Area Youth Club (MAYC)

Mission: The Mahomet Area Youth Club (MAYC) is a not-for-profit youth club that serves members ages 6-18 and their families. MAYC supports after school programming including B.L.A.S.T., an all-day program at the clubhouse during winter, spring, and summer break, and a jr. after-school club which is free to any 6th - 9th grade student that wants to attend. For over 1,000 youth each year, we work to improve attendance, grades, behavior, and school engagement. Our mission is to provide a safe space for children afterschool to keep children off the street and out of trouble. We also target low-income families.


Project Proposal: The funds would be used for everyday programming, field trips, and scholarships for our families that want to attend our out-of-school programs but cannot afford it.



McKinley Pantry at Garden Hills Elementary School

Mission: McKinley Pantry at Garden Hills Elementary School provides food, sundries and other essentials primarily to the children and families of Garden Hills Elementary school, as well as the people of the surrounding neighborhoods of Garden Hills and Dobbins Downs, and throughout the entire Champaign County Area. The McKinley pantry provides a weekend "backpack bag" meal (breakfast and lunch) for approximately 50 school identified food insecure students at Garden Hills weekly throughout the entire academic school year. In addition, the pantry distributes over 70 boxes of fresh, frozen and nonperishable food to families at Garden Hills and throughout the surrounding area twice a month. The food is purchased though the Eastern IL Foodbank, as well as through wholesale retailers, in addition during the summer and fall months fresh produce is provided by the McKinley Church's giving garden. This program is a tangible way to assist food insecure members of our community with healthy locally sourced food, and thus encourages hope, well-being and nutrition within our community.


The McKinley Pantry at Garden Hills Elementary School has been serving the Garden Hills neighborhood and surrounding area of Champaign-Urbana and Champaign County for the last 11 years. Garden Hills Elementary School is located in a low-income census tract where more than 100 housing units do not have a vehicle and are more than a half mile from the nearest supermarket, making it a food desert, according to USDA’s Food Access Research Atlas. School families and neighborhood residents experiencing food insecurity rely on our pantry to put food on the table for their families.


Project Proposal: There are two main projects we hope to improve on with the grant money:

1.) The McKinley pantry sends a weekend meal home to almost 50 students at any given time throughout the academic school year. These meals need to be portable, easy for middle and younger school aged children to self-prepare. These meals are typically individual shelf stable meals such as mac and cheese bowls, lunch kits, microwave meals, soups, fruits, vegetables, snacks and individual drinks. It is rare to have these available through the Eastern IL Foodbank and mostly are purchased through wholesale retailers such as Sam's Club, Costco, and Amazon. Having the grant would allow the pantry to provide a regular supply of healthy, portable, and individually packed meals for children to self-prepare safely at home on weekends. We would like to use some of the grant money to also replace the storage bins we use to transport the backpack bags to and from the school social workers' office and the pantry storage closet.


2.) Over the last several years, the pantry has not been able to consistently provide nonfood items such as feminine hygiene, toiletries, and infant products. These items include sanitary pads, tampons, deodorant, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste etc. We have had a large need for diapers and baby wipes as well in the pantry. These items are often hard for low-income families to afford and maintain adequate supplies because while obviously needed and required, food stamps and other assistance programs do not provide for them (Food Stamps, EBT and WIC, for example). As a result low-income families often ration these items, leaving themselves open to poor hygiene, infections, diaper rashes and poor dental care. Having additional funding will allow us to maintain an adequate and ongoing supply for distribution of these most needed hygiene supplies.



Moore's Rescue Ranch

Mission: Moores Rescue Ranch is a 501 c3 non profit organization that was founded on the premise that handicapped and/or abused dogs and cats are just as viable, loving and able to provide companionship as any dog or cat without disabilities. We regularly reach out to those entities that come in contact with those types of animals and offer to provide a safe and loving environment for them by vetting foster families and placing the animals with them, until we can approve adoptive families.


The mission is in a way, two part. We can’t fulfill the mission until our shelter is built. Once built, we will house all of our animals instead of relying on foster families.

Area disability organizations, specifically those who cater to children such as Lighthouse Autism, will partner with us as we will provide several opportunities at the ranch for the children and animals to bond and get to know each other and hopefully learn to trust each other. We will include volunteer programs that are inclusive of children with disabilities so they learn how to interact with the animals.

It’s been proven that a child who is on the autism spectrum and non verbal will learn to find their voice through the love of an animal who also has a disability. Pairing children with dogs and cats will not only help provide therapy for both but also can help to start friendships between them. The ultimate product would be finding a loving home for an animal who desperately needs a fur ever family, and a fur ever friendship with a special child.

Moores Rescue Ranch will seek the help of animal behavior specialists and trainers once we have our facility built. Moores owns the land that the rescue will be built on and we are hoping that eventually we will also be able to provide horse therapy which can help with balance, sensory, and trust issues. Moores has over 15 acres that we have earmarked for all shelter projects along with our event center.

Moores is the only rescue of its kind in this area. We provide many opportunities for volunteering; our sign was created by a scout who chose us to do her Eagle Scout project and we have had area scouts help us at our fundraisers. Once the shelter is built we will continue to provide many volunteering opportunities both with the animals and working with children.

Our vision for Moores Rescue Ranch is not only to rescue and provide a safe and loving environment for disabled/abused dogs and cats but also to become an important community partner for those living with disabilities as well as an important community partner for those who are not and want to help and volunteer.


Project Proposal: Moores Rescue Ranch has been fervently fundraising to not only provide food and items our animals need in their foster homes but to raise enough money to build our long awaited shelter. If we are chosen for the grant We will appropriate the money to our shelter building fund.



NAMI Champaign County

Mission: NAMI Champaign County (IL) seeks to provide education, support, and advocacy, to all persons living in our community who are affected by mental illness.


Project Proposal: NAMI Champaign is a local non-profit organization focused on mental health education, support, and advocacy. Everyone has mental health, and those affected by mental illness include peers with lived experience of mental health conditions and their families.

Our organization seeks to be a recipient for the 2024 Round Up For Good Grant to support our mental health education and support programming. Our goals include providing material support for our mental health education events/programs, support groups, and expanding our Spanish language services.

NAMI Champaign provides mental health education FREE to participants. We offer signature programs such as Family-to-Family, Peer-to-Peer, and support groups for our communities. If successful, participants graduate these programs with effective communication skills, knowledge of how to handle a crisis, and information on current resources available in our community. We seek funds to support the training of new facilitators and to provide materials to them.

NAMI Champaign seeks funding to expand our mental health education programming, and include training of new facilitators, classroom materials, and support for our Spanish language services. If successful, our organization will be able to expand while addressing and advocating for mental health in East Central Illinois.



The Nest Postpartum

Mission: The Nest Postpartum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Champaign, Illinois. Our mission is to change the narrative about the NICU experience–from one that is often about struggle and isolation to one that focuses on community and support. We do this by providing prepared meals, transportation, lodging, gas gift cards, restaurant gift cards, emotional support, and assistance with childcare costs for older siblings to families with a child in the NICU. Our goal is to eliminate barriers for families so they can be present and focus on caring for their babies, themselves and their families.


Project Proposal: A financial contribution from RUFGG will provide hot meals for families in need. We will purchase gift cards to restaurants that are within walking distance of Carle hospital or offer delivery to that location. We currently use Jimmy John’s, Culvers, Monicals and Einstein Bros. to feed these families. Providing prepared meals from a catering company called Holly’s Kitchen is another option that will be used with these funds.



New American Welcome Center at the University YMCA

Mission: The New American Welcome Center at the University YMCA works to co-create a community 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: The Round Up grant will go towards replenishing our Immigrant Relief Fund, which provides one-time, time-sensitive, emergency financial assistance to immigrants in Champaign County. The goal of the IRF is to provide a safety net for immigrants who do not qualify for other forms of relief and who, due to income, are unable to cover expenses such as food, funeral costs, medical bills, emergency dental care, legal fees, essential travel, and more. At our current capacity, we can fulfill between 5 and 10 requests per month—about half of the ones we receive—and this is after clients undergo eligibility screening for other local service programs. Your support will help us continue to respond to our client’s ongoing needs in the endemic stage of COVID-19, which has exacerbated food and job insecurity for many immigrants in our community.



Person Assuming Control of their Environment (PACE)

Mission: Person Assuming Control of their Environment, Inc. (PACE, Inc. offer services which assist persons with disabilities in achieving and/or maintaining independence. Our goal is full participation in the rights and responsibilities of society for persons with disabilities.


Project Proposal: PACE, Inc. has a Pull for Access Program that assist consumers in obtaining items, equipment and services to increase access and independence. In the past, consumer has purchased items such automatic blood pressure cuff, heating pad, another blood pressure cuff, battery for an electric scooter, knee scooter, pay co-pay for a shoulder brace, adult depends, wipes, bariatric bath bench, grab bars, and many more. In addition, with the financial support, we are hoping to assist members of our community who are deaf in obtaining an equipment that assist in severe weather warnings. Pull for Access Program writes checks directly to the agency when acquiring the Pull for Access items, equipment and services.



Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL)

Mission: Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) is the leader is providing and promoting comprehensive, compassionate health care, education and rights.


Project Proposal: A Round Up for Good Grant from the Common Ground Co-Op will support the provision of high quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care at our local Champaign Health Center. PPIL’s Champaign Health Center serves over 5,000 patients each year – helping to prevent unintended pregnancies through contraception, reducing the spread of sexually transmitted infections through testing and treatment, and screening for cervical and other cancers.



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, return healthy soils and diverse wildlife to our lands, and transform how we care for the earth and for each other.


Project Proposal: Through Prairie Rivers Network’s recent testing and research we found widespread herbicide pollution throughout the Champaign-Urbana community. Drifting herbicide pollution hinders our ability to combat climate change as it injures, weakens, and contributes to the premature death of our carbon-sequestering trees and plants. Herbicide pollution impacts the food we grow; the water we drink; the trees and plants around our homes, schools, and parks; and the state’s already imperiled wildlife. Prairie Rivers Network is using the findings to raise awareness and call for actions to address this urgent problem. The Round Up For Good Grant funding will help support that work.



Rape Advocacy, Counseling & Education Services (RACES)

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 2022-2023 school year, RACES staff provided programming to over 8,000 students, compared to around 5,000 students served the year before. This increase is due to RACES moving from 2.5 Prevention Educators to 3. The 2023 Round Up for Good Grant has been an essential part of ensuring the sustainability of this higher level of service. If chosen for a Round Up For Good Grant for 2024, RACES will continue to use this funding to support the cost of this higher level of prevention staffing.



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.


The Refugee Center also aids in the exchange and preservation of the respective cultures of our clients. As an organization, we believe in the inherent worth of all human beings, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, or cultural heritage.


The Refugee Center was created by Vietnamese refugees as a way to help other newly arrived refugees acclimate to American culture, and to provide services commonly needed by this population. Since then, The Refugee Center has expanded its scope to assist all refugees, immigrants, and asylees.


Project Proposal: The Refugee Center will use Common Ground Round Up For Good funds to purchase essential items for newly arrived refugees.


Since its founding in 1980, The Refugee Center has always welcomed refugee clients to the Champaign-Urbana area. However, we had previously been a remote placement partner, which means we only received refugee clients who had identified family or friends who already lived in our community. In August of 2021, all resettlement agencies were asked to step up and welcome unprecedented numbers of Afghan evacuees. We answered that call, ultimately resettling 100 Afghan newcomers in the region. On the heels of that success, and with a new team of resettlement caseworkers, we applied to increase our refugee resettlement capacity. We are proud to announce that, beginning in October 2023, we will become an affiliate resettlement agency under the United States Council of Catholic Bishops. This means that we’ll be receiving a steady stream of refugee newcomers who don’t necessarily have any existing ties to the community.


In 2023/2024, we plan to welcome 85 refugees from all over the world. These newcomers are entitled to a range of services from our organization, including safe and secure housing, application for public benefits, employment search assistance, and cultural orientation to their new country and community, among many other services. While these newcomers receive a resettlement stipend from the government, it is not sufficient to meet all of their needs. Imagine trying to restart your life with only $1,275 per family member. The Refugee Center will use Common Ground funds to support our newcomers in ways our grants don’t allow, particularly to purchase items that are useful to newly arrived families. This includes bilingual books and dictionaries for our school-aged children, bus passes, grocery store gift cards, and essential toiletries. These costs can be insurmountable for newcomer families who have little to no resources or money for their basic needs. Round Up For Good funds will be used to give these families dignity, security, and comfort in their first months in their new community.



Restoration Urban Ministries

Mission: Restoration Urban Ministries is a 501©3 charitable Christ centered, nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer Board of directors. Restoration’s mission is to create and develop a ministry to the homeless, near homeless and the displaced, where love, respect, and dignity can be maintained – to teach Godly principles to help each person gain vision and learn how to reach their goals; and gain an understanding of God’s love for them. This includes a food pantry open to the public; a free clothing pantry and a Self-Sufficiency Program for the homeless, near homeless and displaced in the Champaign County area.


Project Proposal: Restoration Urban Ministries (RUM), offers a food pantry and a holistic array of services and classes designed to assist homeless individuals and families housed in Restoration Inn to heal from the inside out - to do the work to heal inner wounds caused by traumatic life experiences and circumstances; and then once the healing is underway, to move progressively into self-sufficiency. This healing and self-sufficiency program is eleven (11) months in duration and includes housing in Restoration Inn, case management, recovery and referral services, and mental and emotion health rereferrals. The first part of the program is 14 weeks of classes in inner healing, life skills, coping skills, parenting, financial management/budgeting, jb search skills, healthy living classes, nutrition and smoking cessation. Community members from all over East Central Illinois volunteer to teach these daily classes. Once the classes are over, the focus becomes self-sufficiency – what we describe as a hand up - finding a job, finding housing and moving successfully back into the community. Case management staff works closely with each resident while in the classes and afterwards to accomplish these tasks. This is where the funds would be used.



Salt & Light

Mission: To share God's love by fighting poverty with opportunities that empower people for lasting change.


Project Proposal: The funds will be used for store credit our participant's earn through volunteering. Approximately 75% of all store credit earned is used to purchase groceries (Food and toiletries). The remainder is used to meet other basic needs including clothing, furniture, and other household items.



Sola Gratia Farm

Mission: Sola Gratia Farm is a community-based farm dedicated to producing locally-grown, high-quality, natural produce. The farm is committed to helping those who lack adequate food resources by donating a minimum of ten percent of its produce to support regional hunger programs. The farm promotes healthy lifestyles and community building through volunteering and service, special events and outreach and education programs.


Project Proposal: Sola Gratia Farm is an established urban vegetable farm in Urbana with the mission of feeding our community, particularly those with limited incomes. Since 2012, we have donated over 130,000 pounds of produce through our foodbank, food pantries, soup kitchens, cooking classes, and free markets. Our commitment to increase access and affordability to fresh healthy produce for our food insecure neighbors remains the focus of our farm. More recently, we are expanding outreach and education programs to support development of cooking and growing skills. We've developed a districtwide Farm to School Program in Urbana in collaboration with C-U Public Health District in order to make sure that all students have equitable access to fresh, healthy food and agriculture education opportunities at school. We’ve helped to build Solidarity Gardens, a collaborative initiative to support community members in growing food for themselves and others, in partnership with Cunningham Township and Urbana Park District.

In order to continue to serve and respond to our community's needs, we are investing in the next iteration of our community farm. We recently purchased and began development on 29 adjacent acres. Investment in this expansion supports the following goals:
1) Increase availability and affordability of food;
2) Invest in infrastructure to increase community health, safety and future resilience;
3) Increase job training and placement opportunities;
4) Improve accessibility of public educational space and youth programming.

Funds provided through the Round-Up for Good Grant will be focused on both enhanced food production efficiencies and maintaining our outreach programs, all with an eye for a balance of social, environmental and economic sustainability so we can continue to serve our community.



Solidarity Gardens

Mission: Solidarity Gardens grows and gathers healthy food and nourishes creative community in Urbana-Champaign by coordinating residents and affiliate gardens through land access, education, events, funding, supplies, and volunteer support. We are #NeighborsFeeding Neighbors #CultivatingCommunity.


Project Proposal: Solidarity Gardens maintains support network for 15 organic community gardens across town who grow food for donation. Our network donated over 3,000 pounds of fresh produce last year. To achieve this, we coordinate the collective expertise and resources of the Urbana Parks District, the Cunningham Township Supervisor's office, and Sola Gratia Farms.


Funding from this grant would go directly into our affiliate garden support project. Each of our gardens may apply for up to $500 each season to cover the cost of garden tools, seeds, infrastructure, compost, signage, packaging/processing materials, &etc. In other words, this grant would ensure that public learning gardens which have become fixtures in Urbana-Champaign--such as the gardens at the Cunningham Township Office, Meadowbrook Park, and Victory Park--will have fences and beds in good repair, healthy soil, and most importantly, food-producing plants that will beautify and feed our community. Significant growth in our affiliate network means that next year's cost for this project will be up to $7,500, which means this grant will provide much-needed support.

Our steering group reviews all funding requests to ensure that funding is distributed appropriately.



The Station Theatre

Mission: The Station Theatre challenges and entertains our audiences with classic plays, musicals, and innovative works. We seek out and nurture local talent, providing a supportive environment that fosters a love of all things theatre. We encourage and explore ideas, beliefs, and relationships in order to better understand the world we inhabit and the diverse voices that envelop us.


Project Proposal: At the Station Theatre, lighting helps tell our stories. We propose to use these funds to upgrade our light and sound board. The current light and sound board is very outdated, preventing us from updating our lighting system. This upgrade is the first step that will allow the station to modernize its lighting system, reducing overall energy use, costs, excess heat, and enabling a more diverse lighting profile through use of full color LED stage lights. The grant will help fund some or all of the board upgrade costs, allowing the station to begin fundraising around upgrading the individual lights.



Stephen's Family YMCA

Mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirt, mind and body for all.


Project Proposal: Stephens Family YMCA’s Larkin's Place programs seek to bring together typically developing children and those with disabilities to play and learn, create memories, skills, and bonds of friendship that will cross all barriers and last a lifetime. Larkin’s Place is ingrained throughout the entire YMCA through accessible spaces, an attitude of acceptance, and programming that brings our community together; a ray of hope that inspires us all to be better.


The Round Up for Good Grant would be used to support up to 20 kids per week in our 2024 Summer Camp Programming. Youth with disabilities are able to participate in our Summer Camp Programming with the oversight of a one on one Inclusion Counselor (IC). Our IC’s are trained to work with a child, providing access to camp activities. They are responsible for making modifications or adaptions to games and activities so that a child can participate at their own level. Inclusion counselors can provide support for children with physical disabilities, including mobility support, changing, and feeding needs. Counselors also work on emotional regulation for children who may exhibit challenging behavior at camp. They help reinforce positive and safe behavior at camp to keep the children they are working with safe and happy. Because the Y is a place for all, we charge no additional fees for Inclusion Counselors. However; the cost to the Y is $600 per week per child. We do not receive funding for our Inclusion Counselors. This grant would go a long way to provide children with disabilities a fun and memorable summer, while ensuring that their need are met.



Strides Shelter

Mission: a Program of the City of Champaign Township main objective is to provide essential services with compassion to the community through programs in a fair, equitable and responsive manner.


Project Proposal: Technology for the guests to utilize in the day service space.



Trauma & Resilience Initiative

Mission: The Trauma & Resilience Initiative Inc. is a not for profit whose goal is to engender resilient communities through the adoption of trauma informed practices, policies and procedures at all levels of a community which, in turn, further enables justice at all levels. It accomplishes these goals through conducting and offering education and training on trauma and trauma informed care: advocating for trauma informed policies procedures and practices; and developing a culturally responsive, community-based violence response model.


Project Proposal: The Trauma & Resilience Initiative (TRI) provides a variety of services and support for individuals and families impacted by community violence and community adversity. Currently, TRI is working in partnership with the Community Violene Response Team (CVRT) on an effort that would greatly benefit from Round Up support. The CVRT is offering the “Game Plan” for young adults aged 17-26 from communities most impacted by community violence. Locally, young adults in this demographic are most likely to be impacted by community violence. They have shared that they feel under supported and disconnected from the resources in this community; sadly, these feelings then contribute to their disconnection from the community. “Game Plan” brings the resources to young adults. The funds will be used to incentivize participation in any “Game Plan” events (prizes) and provide food for all the skill building groups they attend after each monthly community event. Some of the skill building groups to be offered will focus on parenting, wellness/emotional health, financial literacy/budgeting and recovery/addictions.


The other initiative would be used to provide additional resources to support the work of our Wisdom Leaders. Our Wisdom Leaders are individuals who provide wellness and resilience building tools for adults over 45 from neighborhoods impacted by community violence. They especially work with more mature adults (individuals over 45) who might be impacted by chronic mental health, physical health, intellectual, or developmental needs. We have found that individuals from those neighborhoods who are more are frequently expressing feelings of social isolation, higher levels of stress because of shootings and/or their awareness of community violence or other things that make them feel unsafety. These feelings of ‘unsafety’ result in hypervigilance and amplify their fears/worries. Funds will be used to create materials and resources that are linguistically competent around wellness, building social connections and local resources. They are also working to promote community building that improves cross cultural and cross racial connections as a strategy to reduce some of the social and emotional disconnections many more seasoned adults experience. Resources will also be used to provide food and incentives (especially tools to support wellness and stress management) for the Wisdom Leaders’ community events.


We have experience working on collaborative community-based efforts. One of the roles we play is to assist in the coordination and direct support for survivors impacted by gun violence. Via our community violence response work we provided services to 79 individuals/families. Each response represents 3-5 additional people in the household/family unit that also received services. We also conducted wellness, resiliency building, and education and training workshops for individuals, families, community groups, youth in youth programs, and schools. Last year we conducted over 165 community educational events reaching over 360 individuals. Most participants attended multiple group sessions.



United Way of Champaign County

Mission: To bring people and resources together to create positive change and lasting impact in our community.


Project Proposal: The United Way Bottom Line Diaper Bank project partners with local service organizations to distribute diapers to families struggling to afford basic needs. In the last year, the need for diapers has increased significantly. The number of requests across partners has jumped from 10,000 to 14,000 diapers per month. The project is independent of our community impact grant fund. United Way separately fundraises to support it and all donations go directly to purchasing diapers. The Round Up For Good Grant would allow us fulfill 1 to 1.5 months worth of diaper requests with an average cost of $0.24 per diaper.



Uniting Pride of Champaign County

Mission: The UP Center was founded in 2009 as an organization to advocate for the equality, wellness, and visibility of the LGBTQ+ communities in Champaign County. Since then, we have been active in the community through support and social groups, community-building events, educational workshops, local advocacy, resource referrals, and more.​


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.


Uniting Pride of Champaign County will achieve its mission while promoting the well-being of the overall community through advocacy, education, and outreach. In the pursuit of this mission, Uniting Pride is:
- strengthening our community through visibility and celebration
- connecting our community to each other by facilitating safe and genuine social interaction
- serving as a community hub for resources and information
- advocating for our community through education
We do this while building a strong and sustainable Uniting Pride that will be here to serve our community for decades to come.


Project Proposal: We are seeking support from the Round Up For Good Grant for our Support, Social, and Activity Groups. As of this fall, we will have 10 groups and programs serving the LGBTQ+ community in Champaign County across ages, identities, and interests. More information on groups can be found here: https://www.unitingpride.org/groups


With the dramatic political and societal shift toward increased anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment and violence, the need for community resources has grown dramatically. Additionally, thousands of people are fleeing states passing genocidal legislation and are moving into the state of Illinois, and our community in particular, in pursuit of a safer life. This has led to Uniting Pride expanding our offerings with our Support, Social, and Activity Groups. With existing groups, participation has risen and keeps rising. And the community has called out for more groups that meet more needs. In response we’ve created a new support group with a focus on sexual identity minorities called Lift UP (identities include gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual/aromantic, poly, questioning, and more). We also created a social group for all LGBTQ+ adults called Meet UP which provides safe space to gather, play games, socialize, and build community. With Meet UP’s success, we heard interest in more activities so we created a weekly dance class program, and we’ll be creating a community choir, in response to demand and interest.


In order to offer these new groups and programs, plus have supplies for higher attendance of existing programs, we need additional funds and resources. We expanded to add a 2nd office space so we can run concurrent programs, we have to purchase more supplies, we have to pay for qualified talent to help run our artistic programs, and we must maintain a high level Zoom account package so more meetings can take place (entirely online or hybrid) at the same time.


The consistent feedback is that creating these spaces, these groups, and these activities gives the LGBTQ+ community a safe place to come when they need support, a way to expand their social circles, and an opportunity to enjoy the creative arts, all at no cost. Program survey responses show that all of this significantly improves their mental health and wellbeing.


Choosing to support this program means you’ll be funding direct impact work to benefit the lives of a community under a barrage of attacks. We appreciate the work the Common Ground community does to support so many worthy causes in our area, and we're very grateful to be considered as part of that work.



Upper Sangamon River Conservancy

Mission: The purpose of the Upper Sangamon River Conservancy is to preserve, maintain, monitor, and promote public use and awareness of the Sangamon River. Our mission is realized by engaging the public through stewardship, recreation, and citizen science opportunities. We pride ourselves in providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.


Project Proposal: The Round Up For Good Grant would support the USRC's Bringing People to Nature initiative with events that include, among other things, stewardship of our lands, rivers, and stream. River clean-ups, roadside clean-ups, and invasive species removal are among the most popular of our stewardship opportunities. The initiative also includes recreational paddles that are always free to the public with canoes and kayaks made available by the USRC. The initiative provides opportunities in citizen science. Citizen science events include invertebrate monitoring, mussel surveys, and chemical testing of the Sangamon River and some of its tributaries. The educational component of these events are greatly appreciated by citizen science participants. If we were to receive the Round Up For Good Grant, we would be able to expand our annual Sangamon River Showcase in which we provide educational, informational, and recreational opportunities to the community free of charge during our day-long event. This annual community building event has become increasingly popular, and we hope to continue to build on its success in the coming years. The Round Up For Good Grant would be the financial boost that we need at the USRC to serve a greater number of our community members. The USRC prides itself in being an open and welcoming organization for all.



Urbana Arts & Culture Program

Mission: The Urbana Arts and Culture Program (formerly Public Arts Program) and Commission was established by the City Council in April 2008, to foster a city where all residents may engage with the arts and where artists thrive and are valued. The arts, as used in this program, includes but is not limited to music, theatre, visual arts, dance, creative writing, film/video, crafts, performing arts, spoken word, environmental arts, multimedia arts, architectural arts, landscape architecture, and emerging media. Urbana is an Illinois Arts Friendly Community, designated by the Illinois Arts Alliance and Illinois Municipal League in 2008. Through public support for the arts, the City of Urbana increases opportunities for the creation of art, thereby enhancing the quality of life, economic development, citizen participation, cultural awareness, and vibrancy of the community. Since 2018, the explicit mission of the Urbana Arts and Culture Program has been to celebrate Urbana's artistic and cultural diversity.


Project Proposal: As a means to engage the community and activate the downtown area, the grant funds from the Round Up For Good would be used for a proposed illuminated sculpture for the winter months in Urbana. Urbana Arts & Culture and the City of Urbana is working alongside the Urbana Free Library and the Cunningham Township to create new outdoor spaces for residents to spend time to enjoy. One of our goals is to continue the activation throughout the year. This illuminated sculpture project allows us to provide opportunities for local artists to submit work AND it gives Urbana residents and visitors another point of interest during the holiday season and winter.



Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

Mission: The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center’s mission is to foster the creation and distribution of media and art that emphasizes underrepresented voices and perspectives, and to promote empowerment and expression through media and arts education. To that end we operate a Community Media and Arts Center out of the historic downtown Urbana post office building, which we purchased in 2005, located at 202 S. Broadway Ave., Urbana.


Project Proposal: We are collaborating with artist Maya Bauer to paint a mural that will beautify our accessible south entrance . The mural will welcome everyone who walks into the IMC with the native prairie plants and portraits of local activists integrated with the plants. Initially, the mural will feature two local activists - Jenny Barrett and David Monk. Over time, we plan to add more portraits that lift up local activists and community leaders. Maya Bauer will be collaborating with other women, queer, youth and BIPOC artists to create this mural that will celebrate our community and ground us in our local environment.



Urbana Champaign Books to Prisoners

Mission: The mission of U-C Books to Prisoners is to provide books to people incarcerated in Illinois at no charge to them, and promote education and awareness in our community about incarceration and prisons.


Project Proposal: If selected to receive a Round Up for Good grant, U-C Books to Prisoners will use the funds to support three mission-critical projects:


First, It will help us purchase needed library supplies, books, magazines, and newspapers to maintain and hopefully increase our capacity to serve the needs of people detained in the Champaign County Jail where we staff a lending library. Since 2009, our volunteers have been going into the Champaign County Jails (now jail) weekly, to work with residents to provide the books and magazines they want to read. Access to literature that one wants to read increases literacy and can help to develop a habit of reading. Champaign County is one of only a handful of Illinois counties to provide library services in its jail.


Second, it will help us keep our service delivery to people in state and federal correctional centers, at our current rate even with the increase in the cost of postage We ship books to approximately 29 institutions in Illinois, always in response to prisoner request letters. We have been able to ship up to 3.5 lbs of books per prisoner request, with a turn around time of 2-3 months. This is an improvement from five years ago when we only could afford to send 3 lbs per prisoner letter every 4 months. A Round Up grant will allow us to keep our current rate and maybe increase it.


Third, it will go toward keeping an adequate supply in stock of the most highly demanded and necessary texts for increasing literacy, for developing a habit of reading, and for using prison time for rehabilitation: English and Spanish-English dictionaries, up to date G.E.D. Test Study Guides and self-teaching ESL resources). As generous as the C-U community is, for understandable reasons, these reference books are not donated in sufficient numbers to come close to demand, so we purchase them when we can afford to.



Urbana Champaign Reproductive Justice

Mission: Urbana-Champaign Reproductive Justice (UCRJ) is dedicated to lifting up and solidifying our regional commitment to achieving reproductive justice for our community. We are guided by SisterSong's definition of reproductive justice as the "the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities." Many organizations and individuals in the Urbana-Champaign region are already working to create the circumstances critical to achieving reproductive justice, including abortion access, gender-affirming care, food security, birth justice, living wage, comprehensive sex education, and safe housing. We believe that the full liberatory vision of reproductive justice for all can only be achieved through deliberate, creative, and sustained collaboration. Through innovative collaborations, UCRJ aims to educate our community about reproductive justice, elevate work being done locally, and create opportunities for community members to get involved in efforts to achieve reproductive justice for all.


Project Proposal: 

UCRJ will utilize the Round Up For Good Grant to fund community actions and events throughout the 2023-2024 year, including:


- The UCRJ reproductive justice documentary film series;

- Quarterly volunteer opportunities to create abortion after-care packages for patients at local abortion clinics (Equity Clinic and Planned Parenthood);

- Free distribution of emergency contraception and safe sex supplies at community sites (i.e. Cunningham Township, Uniting Pride, and food pantries) and events;

- Funding to expand the impact of the second annual UC Reproductive Justice Week in April 2024:
- Guest panel at the University YMCA Friday Forum;
- Inclusion of music, art, poetry, and dance throughout the week;
- Funds to host a guest speaker with reproductive justice expertise (e.g. UCRJ Week 2023 featured Jenice Fountain, Executive Director of the Yellowhammer Fund).

- Summer 2024 Acts of Joyful Insurrection! An annual arts-focused day of action commemorating the fall of Roe v. Wade.



The Urbana Free Library (TUFL) Foundation

Mission: The Urbana Free Library Foundation is an independent nonprofit established to support The Urbana Free Library.


Project Proposal: TUFL Foundation Board seeks assistance to help update the Library’s Circulation Area. When patrons currently walk through the doors of The Urbana Free Library, they are greeted by a more outdated Circulation Area. While this space has served the Library well for years, it now presents a barrier to many in the community. By better utilizing the space, staff will be able to cultivate stronger connections with patrons. An updated and modernized space will provide opportunities for better browsing experiences and better service.




Mission: The call letters WEFT were granted to the radio station by the Federal Communications Commission on April 28, 1980. Weft is a word used in weaving to describe the cross threads that bind all the various strands together. WEFT 90.1 FM was established as a radio station that would bind the various people of our community together - through talk, discussion, music, and entertainment - into an inclusive, vibrant, and solid fabric that shows the richness and diversity of Champaign-Urbana. Providing a "voice for the voiceless" in the community, WEFT exists for those under-served and under-represented by mainstream, corporate, for-profit radio stations. From the beginning, WEFT has had the mission statement to be Accessible, Responsible, Responsive, and Diverse. WEFT provides the community an outlet by allowing volunteer hosts a forum of expression to share views through a wide spectrum of information, news, and unique musical entertainment.


Project Proposal: Broadcasting since September 25, 1981, WEFT strives to build on a foundation and tradition of 42 years of service to East Central Illinois. But the goal is to not only maintain the radio station as a vibrant resource for the community; but to also adapt, grow, and expand our footprint throughout the community, attracting even more diverse and age-inclusive neighbors to become a part of the WEFT radio family. In 2024, the station will make a renewed effort to build relationships with local neighborhoods, community organizations, non-profit charities, and hometown businesses. This will involve not only attending community events and meetings to reintroduce the radio station to members of the community, but also by participating in and organizing more community-oriented events in collaboration with our East Central Illinois neighbors. WEFT will strive to increase visibility and establish a bond with a variety of diverse groups; ethnic, religious, political, socio-economic, and age demographics fostering a sense of community and inclusivity. If selected for a Common Ground Round Up for Good grant in 2024, WEFT will utilize those funds for event participation costs, required event insurance policies, materials, and charity/organizational memberships; as well as, creating new community events throughout the year.



The Well Experience

Mission: The Well Experience provides services, support, and advocacy that help to dismantle racial disparities and systemic oppression while encouraging healing and hope.


Project Proposal: If granted, The Well Experience will use this funding to purchase laptops and Chromebooks for our youth and staff to use during the program. The youth who participate in the Well Kids summer and after-school program, are provided the opportunity to do STEM and other academic activities that require the use of technology. With limited availability, we are limited on the activities and support we can provide during these activities.


This past summer, The Well Experience enrolled 85 youth in the summer program. We shared 15 Chromebooks between seven classrooms. This was a huge challenge, but we did what we could to make it work for the kids!

An HP Chromebook on Amazon costs $280. An HP Laptop costs $370. With your help, we can purchase 10 Chromebooks and 5 laptops, which will make a huge difference for the youth and families we serve! Please consider us for the Round Up For Good Grant.



Wesley Food Pantry/Campus Recreation Food Assistance and Well-being Program

Mission: The Food Assistance and Well-being Program’s mission is to ensure the Illinois student community has adequate access to nutritious food and key necessities in a welcoming and educational space. The on-campus shopping-style pantry located inside the Activity and Recreation Center (ARC) gives shoppers an opportunity to walk through the aisle and choose what they need. We collect demographic information and feedback and strive to create a place that is equitable, inclusive, and accessible to meet the needs of the diverse Illinois student population.


Project Proposal: More than 20 percent of college students experience food insecurity. Since the fall of 2020, the Food Assistance and Well-being Program (FAWBP) has been diligently addressing this issue, providing over 1,200 visits and 20,000lbs of foods annually. With these funds, we envision the establishment of a mobile food market in collaboration with Wesley Food Pantry. This initiative will feature locally sourced produce, inclusive cooking staples that celebrate diverse cuisines (such as spices from Asian and African cultures), and essential hygiene items. By embracing this approach, we can transcend physical boundaries and enhance accessibility and visibility to hard-to-reach population. Beyond addressing immediate food insecurity, the mobile food market offers the opportunity for students to engage more deeply with nutritional education through the distribution of recipe handouts and infographics on essential dietary elements.