Jumpstart is a partnership between the offices of Civic Engagement and Volunteerism and New Student and Family Programs. It is part of the Prowl activities planned for freshmen and transfer students on the Saturday during move in weekend in August each year. This event is important not only because we are welcoming new students to campus, but also because we are showing them how our campus community values giving back and volunteering.
New Panthers choose between 22 service opportunities in Charleston, the surrounding area or right here on campus. Projects range from fundraisers to work for local non-profit organizations to "community aid" trips to nearby towns. Opportunities can involve interacting with local youth as well as work to benefit seniors, veterans or making fleece blankets for local children that participate in the One Stop Community Christmas program.
Join us each fall (in conjunction with EIU Family Weekend), for an opportunity to volunteer side by side with EIU students and family member in our community. Here in Charleston, we welcome our EIU students AND any family or friends visiting for Family weekend to participate in an on campus indirect service project, or an off campus direct service project. Details will be available beginning in September.
Each November, Civic Engagement and Volunteerism hosts our Hunger Action Month. We host activities nearly daily during the month. Our goal each year is to educate our campus community regarding local poverty issues and challenges our neighbors are facing. We also want to inspire action to help our community through related service opportunities, through food drives, by fundraising for local food pantries, and awareness of local resources.
In 2015, the national poverty rate was 13.5 percent, while Illinois’ rate was 13.8 percent. EIU Civic Engagement and Volunteerism coordinates “EIU Hunger Challenge” as a month-long program to bring education and action to this important human issue. Currently, Coles County's poverty rate is surpassing 18 percent. Eastern Illinois Foodbank, which serves a 14-county area in Eastern Illinois covering just over 8,000 square miles including Coles County, reports that in 2012 one in six people may not have food for dinner tonight.
Come out to EIU's annual MLK Day of Service and make a difference in your local community! The annual event honors Dr. King’s legacy and is an opportunity for Americans to renew their own personal vows of citizenship through service to others. Details will be available beginning in December on the MLK Day of Service page.
Eastern Illinois University is proud to host the Annual Panther Service Day each April. This annual day of volunteering and service began in 2003, when EIU Student Government initiated an effort to improve the relationship between EIU students and the citizens of Charleston through encouragement of acts of volunteerism and service in the community.
Since then, Panther Service Day has evolved into a large-scale event allowing EIU students, staff, alumni and community members to work side-by-side through volunteerism and service in Charleston and the surrounding area. Panther Service Day was awarded the prestigious Governor's Hometown Award in 2004 for its contributions to our community.