Urbana-Champaign: More than just UIUC

When anyone thinks of Urbana or Champaign, the first thing that comes to mind is our university. It envelops a huge a chunk of both towns, and provides the cities with a vast boost in jobs and opportunities. However, believe it or not, normal adults live in Urbana and Champaign! But sadly, students mostly just stay around campus and never see the C-U area’s people and community. In contrast we, as Alpha Alpha, have a special perspective in Urbana and Champaign. Through volunteering, we interact with local schools, churches, stores, etc. that many other students do not have a chance to. Recently, I volunteered at two events that really touched me because of my interactions with the kind natives of C-U. A couple of weeks back, I volunteered at International Coffeehouse where I got to talk to people around the community who were looking for conversations. Through the talks, I met a local special ed teacher, a Chinese ministry coordinator and even some people from Japan(this is exciting for me because I’m taking Japanese)! I was having a bad day and meeting these people with interesting perspectives and backgrounds helped me cope. I then realized the warmth of the community outside of our campus. Moreover, I had to opportunity to restock for the I.D.E.A. jewelry sale where I got to chat with one the IDEA store’s very kind founders, Carol Jo. She kept praising the generosity of the Champaign community for donating jewelry, arts and crafts. Her praises extended to Alpha Alpha as well for providing the staffing to help with the store, which is something that we should all be extremely proud of. These experiences made me realize how much support our chapter provides for these towns, and I am equally grateful of having the opportunity to meet such caring people in Champaign and Urbana.