We depend on people like you to keep our mission alive. Our staff is comprised primarily of volunteers – wonderful people who are in it for the earth, the art and the big I.D.E.A. Our volunteers are fabulous, fun, and essential!

Volunteering at The I.D.E.A. Store is a great way to meet and work with some of the area’s most creative artists, educators and “green thumbs.” Whatever your specialty is, we’d love to incorporate it into our work. And since all profits from The I.D.E.A. Store go directly to help the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation, donating your time and talent benefits students in our community.

Volunteer as much or as little as you’d like. Get started by filling out our Volunteer Form or contacting us at 217-352-7878 or volunteers@the-idea-store.org. Stop by the store and see what we are all about!


“I came here because I was a retired teacher and I wanted to continue contributing to CU schools. But I stay because of the wonderful people I volunteer with…and chocolate.”
-Volunteer, Katherine Gorski



“For me, The I.D.E.A. Store has been a healing place, an oasis from my troubles of the outside world. There would be days when I would come in for my volunteer shift with a headache and in a matter of 20 minutes, the headache would be gone.”
Volunteer, Ruta Rauber

Volunteer Perks

There are as many reasons to volunteer at The I.D.E.A. Store as there are items in it.

  • Right away, you’re bound to “earn” some chocolate and good company.
  • For every 8 volunteer hours logged, you’ll earn 1 “buck” to spend on anything in the store.
  • Log 24 volunteer hours and earn a spot on our Volunteer Wall of Fame.
  • 40 volunteer hours gets you a special 20% discount, and your own shopping day!
  • 120 volunteer hours gets you free rental of the classroom space for an event of your own!


“I was a merchandiser who worked with high-end china. Now I have limited hand mobility, and The I.D.E.A. Store is a way I can use my merchandiser skills on a craft scale.”

Volunteer, Erin Kerr