Community Service

Opportunities for NIU Students

NIU student volunteers are the heart of NIU Cares Day. On the day of the event, volunteers are provided a light snack and t-shirt, then shuttled to sites around DeKalb county to complete various projects for not-for-profit organizations and community agencies. Volunteers can expect to find themselves painting, cleaning, or providing support for events. NIU Cares Day volunteer teams will be assigned to project sites according to the needs of the organizations and the experience level of the teams. Organizations that NIU has 'cared' for in past years include: 

Students volunteering for NIU Cares Day
  • Salvation Army
  • YMCA
  • Opportunity House
  • DeKalb Park District
  • Art Attack
  • Family Service Agency
  • DeKalb & Sycamore Public Libraries
  • District 428 School District
  • Tails Humane Society
  • St. Jude's Research Hospital

NIU Cares Day Registration

Volunteer registration will occur in waves again this year starting with Team Leader registration in February 2015 and Team Member/Individual registration in March 2015.

Volunteer teams should contain no more than 10 people and must designate one individual to serve as the Team Leader (the leader and primary contact person for the team). For larger organizations, there is a maximum of three teams per organization and 10 members per team (30 total per organization). 

Some team ideas include:

  • Student organization
  • Residence Hall floor
  • Study group
  • Group of friends
  • Carpool crew
  • Co-workers

Team Leader Orientation Sessions 

In order for a team to be added to the online roster, the Team Leader must attend a MANDATORY orientation session. At this orientation session, Team Leaders will receive information on new NIU Cares Day policies and have an opportunity to register their team for the big day! The Team Leader only needs to attend one of the above mentioned orientation dates. Orientation sessions for NIU Cares Day 2016 will be determined in the fall. Check back for dates and keep an eye out for our posters!


On the Day of the Event

NIU Cares Day will provide one shift of workers. Volunteer check-in takes place in the morning in the Duke Ellington Ballroom, specific times to be announced later. Volunteers check in separately from their Team Leaders. After checking in, volunteers should pick up their shirts then find their team members and Team Leader who will have the assigned project site information. 

Kickoff takes place in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium and consists of a short program featuring speakers from the university and community. Volunteers are then dismissed to board buses to head to their work sites. Volunteers will work at their site until conclusion of the event and can board a circulating bus as they complete their work.

STAFF will be around to help direct and answer questions! 

A few helpful tips:

  • You will get dirty. Please plan your clothes and shoes accordingly. Bring a pair of work gloves if you're really worried about getting your hands dirty!
  • Dress for the weather! NIU Cares Day will happen regardless of rain, sunshine or snow!
  • Do not bring anything that you won't want to lug around all day. This includes purses, backpacks, etc.
  • Take pictures! NIU Cares Day can be a great opportunity to capture some great NIU memories.