Get Involved

  • The Volunteer Connection

    The Volunteer Connection connects area residents to their philanthropic passions while providing all non-profit organizations with a portal to solicit potential volunteers. This robust website provides customized volunteer suggestions based on each individual's personal interests, communication functions, reporting capabilities and much more.

  • 2-1-1

    2-1-1 helps our fellow St. Joseph County residents gain access to resources ranging from basic needs, such as food, housing, and utilities to crisis services, such as suicide prevention, child abuse, domestic abuse. Help is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week by dialing 2-1-1 or by visiting Last year, 2-1-1 connected over 15,000 St. Joseph County residents with assistance.

  • United Way of St. Joseph County

    United Way of St. Joseph County's mission is to mobilize the community to collectively reduce poverty. We do this by focusing our work in three areas: Early Learning, Youth Success and Stable Families. Because poverty is a complex problem, it will require many people working together to identify strategies and develop solutions, which otherwise are not achievable through individual efforts. Therefore we have implemented a collective impact approach, engaging individuals and organizations across sectors to work on reducing poverty.

    Areas of Impact:

    • Reducing Poverty

    Top Outcomes: Our children succeeding, our families strengthened, and our community thriving.

    Volunteer and/or support opportunities: United Way hosts The Volunteer Connection website, a community-wide resource for volunteer opportunities. All non-profit organizations are encouraged to post agency needs and promote their organization to those interested in volunteering. In turn, volunteers can search for areas of interest and connect directly with the organization through the website. Check it out! Visit

    Contact information: Matt Harrington, President & CEO 574-232-8201 ext. 230
  • Woodland Elementary School

    Woodland Elementary is a k-6 public elementary school where the Woodland School Community provides a safe, positive environment where all students can become lifelong learners. We have a special emphasis on supporting all families by introducing early childhood education tools.

    Areas of Impact:

    • Elkhart Community Schools
    • Parent Support
    • Title I

    The information provided in this wonderful series will be used to continue to education parents and staff on how early childhood education and support impacts learners. Knowledge is power for change. We are considering parent workshops to show this video.

    Volunteer and or support opportunities: Parents of students and their families are always welcome to volunteer at Woodland for mentoring, helping teachers with tasks, and working with our awesome Parent Activity Council to support education at Woodland.

    Contact information: Theresa Maier 574-262-5578
  • El Campito Child Development Center

    Founded in 1970 to aid migrant families coping with the struggles of starting a new life, El Campito has grown to become South Bend's oldest, independent, nonprofit child development center. El Campito is a licensed, NAEYC Accredited Level 4 Paths to Quality, bilingual child development center and the only one in the city of South Bend serving primarily low income families and providing bilingual (Spanish-English) instruction. Through their three programs - learning center, after school, and Parents as Teachers - they demonstrate a commitment to create a community of their own - an inclusive environment that embraces and celebrates children from all cultures and backgrounds.

    Areas of Impact:

    • Quality Education for All.

      Our mission is to provide all children with the opportunity to receive a high quality early childhood education - regardless of their socioeconomic status.

    Top Outcomes:

    • Children acquire knowledge and skills to be ready for kindergarten through active learning experiences in a supportive classroom community to help them develop socially, emotionally, developmentally, and physically
    • Parents attain knowledge and skills to help them better prepare their children socially, academically, and physically for school entrance

    Volunteer and or support opportunities: After school tutoring, reading to children, assisting with parent workshops/meetings, scholarship assistance to continue allowing us to follow our mission of serving those most in need of our community, children's book donations to keep lending library full

    Contact information: Laura Jensen, Executive Director, at, Marisa Cortes, Family and Community Support Specialist/Parents as Teachers, at
  • Christ Child Society of South Bend

    CCS is part of a national organization that helps families who lack resources to meet their children's needs. Locally, we provide new clothing for children ages birth to 12, including coats, hats, clothes, underwear and shoes. In addition, CCS tutors young students and offers a college scholarship to parents of the children we serve.

    Area of Impact - reducing poverty; providing needed resources, support for parents

    Top Outcomes:

    • Annually, over 4,500 children in St. Joseph County wear baby clothes and blankets or new warm coats, clothes and shoes, giving them self esteem from looking like their peers, and giving families a break in the cost of raising children.
    • Since the renewable scholarship was first offered in 2011, 7 women (a total of 11 semesters) have been able to continue post-secondary education and offer their children a better life.

    Volunteer and/or support opportunities: CCS is an all-volunteer organization; last year over 6000 volunteer hours were devoted to their programs. More than 400 volunteers are engaged in purchasing, stocking and distributing clothing at the Clothing Center on South Scott Street. Volunteers also organize fund raising events such as the annual Let Love Shine dinner and the sale of paper dolls every September in local Martins stores and banks. Donations and event underwriting are gratefully accepted.

    Contact information: Peg Riggs, President
    308 South Scott St.
    PO Box 1286
    South Bend, IN 46624
    (574) 288-6028

  • Elkhart Area Career Center, Elkhart IN

    Early college credits can be earned. The students can earn 12-18 Ivy Tech college credits, a CDA and valuable work experience working with children in the early years. The course work relies heavily on the importance of play in a child's learning.

    Area of Impact The Career Center has many different areas of work readiness and early college opportunities for high school students. The Early Childhood Education courses are dual credit (high school and Ivy Tech). The goal of the program is prepare early childhood professionals ready to work in child care, preschools or home child care programs. If the students complete the two year program, the student may earn a CDA, a national credential for working with young children.

    Top Outcomes: High school graduates with a CDA, a minimum requirement for quality childcare programs Trained work force for working with children birth to 3rd grade

    Volunteer and/or support opportunities: Guest speakers are always welcome. The students are looking at careers in early childhood education, therapy work including physical and speech, and working in elementary, preschool, and infant programs.

    Contact information:
    Barbara Gingerich
    Early Childhood Education Instructor
    2424 California Road Elkhart, IN
    Cell: 574-349-0783

  • Center for the Homeless and the Early Childhood Intervention Center

    The Center for the Homeless has served more than 60,000 people in our community in its 27 years. Serving more than 200 people daily, the Center strives to break the cycle of homelessness by providing counseling, adult basic education and job training skills. The Center is constantly learning and implementing best practices to provide the services needed by the most vulnerable in our community.

    In addition, our on-site Early Childhood Intervention Center is committed to:

    1. Providing a high quality educational environment for children ages 2 months - 6 years that supports each child's growth and development
    2. Partnering with parents to equip, encourage and empower them as their child's first and most influential teacher.

    Top Outcomes: Job placement and Permanent housing

    Volunteer and/or support opportunities: tutoring, job training skills, serving in the kitchen, volunteering at the front desk and more!

    Contact Information:
    Christin Kloski, Community Involvement & Volunteer Coordinator
    (574) 282-8700 x81329

  • PNC Bank

    Through PNC Grow up Great, PNC has been a consistent voice for more than 12 years and has invested $350 million in early childhood education. By awarding grants, championing the cause, creating materials and volunteering, PNC knows that investing in our smallest children reaps the greatest returns.

    Area of Impact: Financial Support , Volunteerism, and Educational Materials for qualified Early Childhood Providers.

    Contact information:
    Kimberly Geiger

  • Friends School & Day Care

    Area of Impact Providing quality care and early childhood education for young children

    As a nationally-accredited childcare center, we strive to grow lifelong learners and confident, caring individuals. This is accomplished by providing each child with a wide range of developmentally-appropriate experiences that encourage them to grow socially, emotionally, physically, cognitively, and creatively. We continue to go above and beyond expectations in all areas, including teacher training, physical health and fitness, and the implementation of the Creative Curriculum.

    Top outcomes:

    1. Children who are loved, cared for, and nurtured to help them realize their full potential
    2. Parents who are confident in the care and education their child receives

    Volunteer and/or support opportunities: Volunteers enjoy reading storybooks, conducting Small Group Activities, playing outdoors, and participating in other activities with the children. The more adults who are involved in the children's everyday routines, the more growth and learning we see. And it's always fun!

    Contact information:
    Clara Stalvey, Owner

  • School Volunteer Network

    Volunteers provide needed assistance required by teachers in their classrooms. They work with children individually or in groups.

    Area of Impact - Volunteers are provided to school classrooms at principals' and teachers' requests.

    Top outcomes:

    • Assist teachers who are often burdened with overly large classrooms.
    • Enhance learning by the extra assistance these volunteers give.

    Volunteer and/or support opportunities: Volunteers are needed who can assist in an educational setting.

    Contact information: Genevieve H. Trench (574)277-3149 or 855-4211 email address:

  • Campus Center for Young Children

    CCYC provides high quality early childhood programming for children ages 6 weeks through 5 years old at two locations in Goshen. Our top priority is to do what is best for the children in our care, meeting their needs as individuals.

    Area of Impact - Early Childhood Education

    Top outcomes:

    • Providing children with the foundation upon which future learning will be built, providing support for families of young children

    Contact information: Janet Whalen Couch (574) 535-7298,,

  • Junior League of South Bend

    Area of Impact - Early Childhood Education

    The Junior League of South Bend, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

    Top outcomes:

    • Leadership Training for members
    • Serving the community, with a focus on early childhood education (We've helped Harrison Primary Center start a preschool and are working with Hope Ministries Hope4Kids Program to advance them to their next High Scope Credential through an outdoor playscape.

    Volunteer and/or support opportunities: Becoming a member of the Junior League will allow opportunities to serve in the community with agencies such as the Center for the Homeless, Hope Ministries, Healthy Families and Harrison Primary Center. We also provide unique training that will not only help you in your volunteering, but in your personal and professional life.

    Contact information: Kayla Ernsberger, Community Vice President; - 574.360.0417

  • Early Childhood Alliance (ECA)

    Area of impact: Providing and promoting quality early childhood education

    ECA is a non-profit organization serving the early education needs of children across northern Indiana, including parent engagement programs; assistance for families searching for child care; and training and coaching for early childhood professionals. ECA is the backbone organization of the Early Childhood Coalition of St. Joseph County, working with community organizations that serve families and children and businesses,and to align services that impact early childhood education across the county.


    • 1) Providing a strong foundationfor children to enter kindergarten ready to learn with the range of skills and development needed to succeed in school and beyond - academically, socially, emotionally and physically
    • 2) Building a platform ofunderstanding across the community of the critical role of early childhood education for not only children and families, but also the economic strength of the community.

    Volunteer/Support opportunities: Volunteers are needed to serve on committees, and to help plan events and activities for the coalition. There are ongoing opportunities for volunteers to help with ECA services, and to advocate for quality early childhood education for all children. Organizations can support families by placingthe FREE Child Care SearchTool on the company's website as a core benefit provided by the company. Donations and event underwriting are also welcome.

    Contact info: Madeleine Baker, CEO of Early Childhood Alliance,, 800-423-1498; Shannon Gage, Program Director of Early Childhood Alliance,, 800-423-1498.

  • Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth

    SAFY is a nonprofit foster care agency with a mission: Preserving Families Securing Futures, with a vision To be a national leader in the provision of community-based care resulting in permanency and well-being for families and youth. SAFY provides support to foster families through licensure and placements of youth.

    Area of Impact: SAFY is a foster care agency that licenses foster parents through the state of Indiana. Foster parents are trained in trauma informed care, sexual abuse, and tools to manage behavior as well as CPI - nonviolent crisis intervention training for de-escalating their own behavior as well as the youth. Also SAFY organized a Spring training with the local St Joseph County coalition on Bonding and Attachment with children who have experienced trauma. SAFY provides on-going training to foster parents in all areas that pertain to children. This spring SAFY is having a four hour training on Brain development presented by BrainWorks and Notre Dame in Early childhood development. Also provide foster parent and youth activities for bonding, attachment and connections.

    Outcomes: Stability and Permanency

    Volunteer and/or support opportunities: Office support, planning and set up events, Child Care for trainings, Venues for training and other events. Presenters for foster parent and staff trainings, collecting donations and fund raising for staff and foster parent appreciation events opportunities. Awards for Youth, Mentoring individual youth, Donations for families and youth events and activities.

    Contact information: Anna Carter SAFY of North Central Indiana 2410 Grape Road, Suite 6 Mishawaka, IN 46545 Office Phone: 574-217-0128 Fax: 574-288-3447 Toll Free 888-261-1760 Anna Carter's Cell: 574-303-9424

  • KidsPeace Foster Care and Community Programs

    KidsPeace is a private, not-for-profit foster care and adoption agency. In existence for over 130 years, KidsPeace provides help, hope and healing to children, families and communities by securing safe, loving and nurturing homes to children that have been abused or neglected. If your family could open your home to a child please call us.

    Area of Impact: Healing Truama

    Outcomes: Need for more foster homes

    Volunteer and/or support opportunities: Office support, planning and set up events, Child Care for trainings, Venues for training and other events. Presenters for foster parent and staff trainings, collecting donations and fund raising for staff and foster parent appreciation events opportunities. Awards for Youth, Mentoring individual youth, Donations for families and youth events and activities.

    Contact information:, or call 574-237-1046

  • The Dekko Foundation

    The Dekko Foundation considers grant proposals that benefit people in the communities that its founder, Chet Dekko had an interest in. In Indiana, they award grants to organizations in the counties of DeKalb, LaGrange, Kosciusko, Noble, Steuben and Whitley.

    They provide information on early childhood development, middle childhood, adolescence, and community development.

    Check out this link for more resources and information about child development.

    The Dekko Foundation also has valuable resources to build a non-profit organization.

    Contact information:
    Phone: 260-347-1278
    Fax: 260-347-7103