Altrusa Club of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois - News

2016-17 Activities for CU Altrusans

The Altrusa International of Champaign-Urbana is an active and enthusiastic group of volunteers.  In our 60+ year history, we've been involved in dozens of causes and below is a sampling of our current projects.  We welcome new members at any time.  Please use the information at the right of the information page to contact us.

Service Projects

Our International organization emphasizes literacy, while each club also selects projects important to their communities.  Our club primarily adds projects that impact women and children or that affect hunger and homelessness.  We welcome new members at any time.  Please use the information at the right to contact us.

Read Across America

Read Across American (RAA) is an annual nationwide reading celebration that coincides with Dr. Seuss's birthday.  Each year approximately one thousand eager children and their parents flock to Lincoln Square Village in Urbana, IL to take part in dozens of literacy-based games and activities.  After completing activities each child selects a book to take home.  In addition to helping bring the event to our community in 2000, the Altrusa Club of Champaign-Urbana has been extensively involved each year by hosting a popular puppet-making booth, coordinating volunteers and activities, and providing books for the children.

Books for Migrant Children

Each summer, children of migrant workers attend summer school as their parents work in our area.  For the last 10 years, our club has invited these children to come to a locally owned bookstore where Altrusans help each child select books to take home.  Barnes & Noble graciously provides a 20% discount on purchases, and our club provides the rest of the support via our fundraising efforts.

Make a Difference Day

Make a Difference Day has a special relationship to the Altrusa Club of Champaign-Urbana; we promoted the first effort in 1997 and were honored with an award from the Paul Newman Foundation which our club designated to the Altrusa International Foundation.  Since then, all Altrusa Clubs have been encouraged to participate.  Activities for this event change annually based on community needs.  This year we are making book bags and filling them with appropriate books for the GOALS children.

Many more partners including...

  • Books for Prisoners
  • DREAAM (Driven to Reach Excellence and Academic Achievement for Males) Summer Academy to help prepare African American boys for success in school
  • Eastern Illinois Foodbank high school food pantry, repacks, and SNAP outreach
  • East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center (ECIRMAC)
  • Illinois Marathon
  • GOALS (Going on Against Life’s Struggles) to provide support to keep teen moms in school


Members of the Altrusa Club of Champaign-Urbana are tenacious fundraisers, and we tap into multiple resources to finance our projects.  We hold an annual holiday silent auction with items donated by members and solicited from local businesses.  We also routinely obtain funds from successful grant applications, raffles, and any other opportunity that our savvy fundraising committee finds.  In 2015, we held our first fashion show, which netted enough money to fund a high school food pantry for two years.


Altrusans met at Barnes & Noble Bookstore to assist the children with selecting new books. Each child was able to spend $30.00 due to a grant from the Community... Foundation of East Central Illinois.Joan Dixon, Foundation President and CEO and Edra Scofield, also from the Foundation, were there to see the joyous expressions on the children’s faces. Books were also provided to kids who in remote locations who aren't part of the larger school program and to the teachers to purchase classroom supplies.
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