Opportunities for Community Members


NIU Cares Day will occur on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Volunteers often arrive at registered project sites 30 minutes before and after the start time, depending on how far your project site is from campus and they will remain on site for a maximum of three hours from the time of arrival.

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.

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. Get additional NIU Cares Day project ideas.

Last year’s event included over 60 project sites that received assistance from over 500 NIU volunteers! Organizations who have benefited from NIU Cares Day include:

  • DeKalb Park District
  • Genoa Park District
  • Opportunity House
  • Kishwaukee Family YMCA
  • Hope Haven
  • Local DeKalb area residents

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.

Organization Requirements

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 who attends our mandatory online orientation to answer any necessary questions or concerns. Those who are not able to attend the orientation must reach out to our staff to discuss expectations.

We would also like each project site, not including individual homeowners, to prepare a short five-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.


Please call 815-753-1421 or email niucaresday@niu.edu for more information about your participation in the event.