Words Project Oz with two figures in the O of Oz

Project Oz logo

The Civil Service Council will have its annual Spring Drive from April 2 to April 30. Household items such as basic cleaning products, toilet paper/paper towels, laundry pods, and rolls of quarters for laundry will be collected to support Project Oz.

Donated items for the spring drive will be collected to help fulfill the “General Wish Lists” of youth who access services through Project Oz. Additional needed items for youth receiving housing assistance can be found on the Project Oz website.

Dropboxes can be found at the following locations:
Office of the Registrar
Hovey Hall
Alumni Center
Nelson Smith
Uptown Crossing
The third floor of DeGarmo Hall
Milner Library break room

Project Oz has been assisting youth and families since 1973. The organization provides crisis intervention and mentoring for young people in McLean and Livingston counties who have runaway, are homeless, or who are “housing distressed” and need a temporary place to stay.

“There is no shelter geared specifically for young people,” said Lisa Thompson of Project Oz, who noted the organizations’ programs reach more than 8,000 area young people each year. “Think about it, for the price of incarcerating one homeless or runaway youth, we can assist 123 young people with preventative services. It’s just a better option.”

More than a temporary haven, Project OZ is also active in prevention efforts, including mental health and suicide prevention. Other programs, like the Community Youth Employment Program, train young people for job interviews and working in a professional setting. “Bus passes are integral to obtaining and maintaining employment,” said Thompson, who said the organization also often uses $5 restaurant gift cards as incentives. Donations to Project Oz can also be made at 1105 W. Front St. in Bloomington.

More information on Project Oz is available on the website, or Facebook. Those with additional questions, can contact CS Council member Hayley Helpingstine at hlhelpi@ilstu.edu, or call 309-438-5272.