Make a difference

Our volunteers assist with direct child care responsibilities such as rocking babies, helping with lunch time, reading to them, or playing with them. When the little ones are sleeping, volunteers help our staff clean around the building by loading the dishwasher, vacuuming, or disinfecting toys. If you have love and happiness to share for a couple hours a week, consider joining our volunteer team!

Volunteer Hours Logged in FY22
Total Value of Volunteer time in FY22

What Does it take to be a Nursery Volunteer?


Must be at least 18 years of age
Must complete required paperwork and training including: initial orientation, physical, TB test, and fingerprint background check
Must have a valid Social Security Number or ITIN (International Tax ID Number)
for a background check to be completed


Commit to a 3-4 hour shift per week, ideally for a period of at least 5 months
Ability to be non-judgmental towards children and their parents
Be dependable

Crisis Nursery is not currently accepting new applications as we transition to a new Volunteer Management platform. For questions, please reach out to Lauren To at lto@crisisnursery.net


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Our volunteers fill a variety of roles, each of them
impacting a child's life in a meaningful way

Safe Children Program Volunteer:
Works directly with childcare staff and children, providing emotional and physical support, while also creating a safe environment for children. For questions about volunteering with kiddos, call 217.337.2731 or email Lauren To.

Volunteering as a Group:
Looking for a volunteer opportunity for a group? We often offer group volunteer opportunities as well as event volunteer opportunities.
For more information, please call the Nursery at 217.337.2731 or email Naomi Whitman.

Internships and Practicum:
Opportunities to work in our Safe Children and Strong Families programs, helping us provide care for children, conduct home visits, facilitate parent-child interaction groups and support groups, and teach parent education classes. Interns may also work with our administrative staff, assisting with fundraising and special events, grant writing, and program outreach. Specific duties assigned vary based on intern skills and academic requirements.
Interns are typically expected to commit to at least 16 hours a week. All internships are unpaid. If you are interested in applying for an internship or practicum, please download the application here and send it to Lauren To along with a resume and cover letter, by the appropriate application deadline.
Fall Internships (August - December), apply by March 15th.
Spring Internships (January - May), apply by November 1st.
Summer Internships (May - August), apply by March 1st. 

How to become a Volunteer

  • 1

    Fill out an application

    Click here for our online volunteer application

  • 2

    Complete Required Paperwork

    After submitting your application, you will need to fill out the required paperwork. As a DCFS licensed facility, we must have specific paperwork on file for every childcare volunteer. Contact the Nursery at 217-337-2731 with any questions or if you would like to discuss your volunteer interests.

  • 3

    Attend Volunteer Orientation at the Nursery

    At orientation you will meet with our Volunteer Coordinator to turn in your paperwork, watch a volunteer training video, and complete paperwork to authorize a background check through DCFS. This is a requirement for all Nursery volunteers and staff. At this time you will also get to take a tour of the Nursery and learn more about our program! 

  • 4

    Complete a Background Check

    You will receive directions on how to get fingerprinted free-of-charge for the background check. This must be completed before scheduling your first volunteer shift. Once fingerprinted, contact our Volunteer Coordinator to set up your volunteer shift. Fingerprint receipt must be submitted to Crisis Nursery before volunteering begins.

Volunteer Spotlight


Karen has been a volunteer at the Nursery for over six years. Her love for the Nursery and the kids we serve shines through each time she enters the building. When asked why she chose to volunteer at Crisis Nursery, Karen's response was; "During my teaching career, I planned a 7th grade field trip to the Nursery each year.  I wanted my students to learn about this great place and the work done in and for our community.  When I retired, I knew I had a great opportunity to share in the work, so I signed up."

Marian started volunteering at Crisis Nursery in 2006, and since then has always gone above and beyond what is expected of a volunteer. As our longest standing volunteer, Marian has helped many new volunteers to learn our philosophy. She always maintains a positive attitude no matter what the circumstance. Marian is often at the Nursery multiple times a week, lending a hand when things get busy. She takes time to get to know the Nursery staff personally, even occasionally surprising us with chocolate! Marian's commitment and dedication to caring for the children is second to none. Thank you, Marian!


Mahlah is an LLC K-9 Comfort dog for Our Savior Lutheran Church in Milford, Illinois. LLC K-9 Comfort dogs are friends who bring a calming influence, allowing people to open up their hearts and receive help in time of need.

Our friend Mahlah and her caretakers came to visit us at the Nursery every Tuesday. You would often find her receiving hugs and kisses from the kiddos.  We love Mahlah and the comfort and joy she brought to the children and staff at the Nursery!

24-Hour Crisis Line