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 waves this year starting with Team Leader registration in February 2015 and with Team Member/Individual registration starting after Team Leader registration closes. Students can register as individuals (register for Team-NIU Cares) or in teams. Volunteer teams should can contain no more than 10 people and must designate one Team Leader (the leader and primary contact person for the team). Some team ideas include:

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

Team Leader Orientation Sessions 

Team Leaders must attend a mandatory Team Leader Orientation Session in order to register their Team's name with the online registration system. Team Leader orientatin dates will occur throughout February 2015 and will be posted later this Fall semester.

Volunteer Registration


On the Day of the Event

NIU Cares Day will provide one shift of workers. Volunteer check-in will be in the morning in the Holmes Student Center Art Gallery Lounge , specific times will be announced later. Volunteers will check in individually and project sites will be assigned. Volunteers can enter the ballroom for music, t-shirt pick-up, and to meet with their teams.

The Kickoff Event is in the Duke Ellington Ballroom 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 conclusiong of the event and can board a circulating bus as they complete their work.

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.