Community Service


Opportunities for Community Members

When is NIU Cares Day?

NIU Cares Day will occur on Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 10:00am-2:00pm (tentatively). Volunteers will be arriving at registered project sites between 9:30-10:00am, depending on how far your project site is from campus, and they will remain on site for a maximum of 4 hours from the time of arrival.

Who is eligible to register?

All not-for-profit organizations, community agencies, and individual homeowners are eligible to apply. It is important to note that a submitted application does not guarantee assistance. Inclusion in NIU Cares Day is up to the discretion of the NIU staff. Please contact Destiny McDonald at 815-753-6511 with questions regarding eligibility.

Note that campus initiatives that organize campus volunteers (mainly students) to perform a variety of service projects throughout the greater DeKalb Community cannot host project sites that are private property of Northern Illinois University faculty, staff, or students.

How to register for NIU Cares Day

Please check back in the fall for details on how to apply for registration as a Project Site! 

You will be assigned to someone designated to work with your organization. He/she will guide you through the registration process, answer questions, and help you prepare for the day’s event.

Why should our organization get involved?

As the popularity of the event has grown, we have found ourselves continuing to expand our outreach to compile enough projects for our NIU volunteers. As you begin to take stock of your project lists, we encourage you to think outside the box for projects that will benefit your organization. Perhaps there is a fund-raising or outreach program you’ve been intending to do but were concerned about having staffing. Maybe there is an event you have scheduled for the summer that you need assistance preparing for in the spring. Big or small, we look forward to all project submissions. For additional ideas, look here.

The benefit of participation not only includes free labor in order to complete a variety of projects but also provides an opportunity for organizations in DeKalb County to build a stronger relationship with the NIU community. Through your participation, NIU students, faculty, and staff develop awareness of the mission and needs of your organization which in turn may foster future support from interested individuals. Ultimately, the assistance provided on NIU Cares Day will further benefit the residents of Sycamore and DeKalb as your organization continues to serve those throughout the community.

What organizations have participated in the past?

A few of the organizations who have benefited from NIU Cares Day in the past include the DeKalb Park District, Family Service Agency, Salvation Army, Kishwaukee Family YMCA, Hope Haven, various day care facilities, and the DeKalb 428 School District. Last year’s event included over 80 project sites that received assistance from over 1,000 NIU volunteers!

What is required of our organization?

In addition to registering, we do ask that all project sites provide at least one staff member or homeowner to be on site the day of the event to answer any necessary questions or concerns.  We would also like each project site, not including individual homeowners, to prepare a short 5-minute presentation on the programs and services that your organization provides, and how the work the students will be completing that day will benefit your organization. Even though providing supplies is not required by participants, supply requests are taken into consideration when NIU staff determines inclusion in the day’s event.

Questions or concerns?

Please contact Destiny McDonald at 815-753-6511 or by email for more information about your participation in NIU Cares Day 2015.