Help build your community

The Co-op holds all kinds of charitable events throughout the year. Big or small, local or national, we feel it is important to support organizations that match values of community, health, sustainability, and the environment. 


Locally, we support smaller organizations that have a regional impact through our Wooden Nickels program. Shoppers receive a Wooden Nickel for every bag-able purchase when they bring their own bag to take it home in. They can then donate that Wooden Nickel to one of two nonprofits. These nonprofits are chosen quarterly from suggestions made by staff, customers, owners, and community members.


Note: Our program has had a few changes during COVID. We discontinued the use of the wooden nickel temporally, however the purpose still remains. Instead we are taking cash donations for organizations that the Co-op will match dollar for dollar up to $250! This means a non-profit could earn up to $500!! Double from before!

To apply for our Wooden Nickel program please fill out our Donation Request Form

Other Community Donations: If you would like support for an event you have coming up, please let us know. Our resources are limited, but we will provide what we can.  Fill out our online Donation Request Form.

Our Donations Policy

Organizations must be a registered 501(c)3 Not-for-Profit; must be nonpartisan (not affiliated with or promoting any political issue, party, or candidate); cannot discriminate on the basis of race, creed, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or physical disability; should benefit Southern Illinois communities and their citizens; are fundraising for programs that are not intended to advance a particular religious belief; and are fundraising for programs that meet all of the above criteria.

For any purchase requiring a bag, when you bring your own reusable bag, you will receive a wooden nickel per transaction to donate to one of two regional charities that change each quarter. You decide which organization to donate to. (Wooden Nickel donations are capped at $250 per organization. However, all cash donations will be given to the organization in addition to the Wooden Nickel contribution.)

Current Recipients

Wooden Nickels


Southern Illinois

Collaborative Kitchen

The SI Collaborative Kitchen works with community members and organizations to feed those in need. Meals are purchased from local restaurants at a lower cost, then offered to the community with the option to “pay what you can” donation. This method allows meals to be ordered by those experiencing difficult times who may not have funds to cover a meal and can get it for free or at a reduced cost without question. Donations that are received cover the costs of meals; additionally, this also helps support and drive businesses to local restaurants.  


Meals are available to the community by ordering online for pickup. The same meals are also offered to the general public who may want a meal from a local restaurant and have the means to make a suggested donation. All donations go to provide more meals. 

To Learn more visit

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World Hunger Sale

Since the mid-1970s, CWU has sponsored the annual World Hunger Sale, which benefits primarily local organizations, such as Good Samaritan Ministries, The Women’s Center/Survivor Empowerment Center, Feed My Sheep, and area food pantries. A multitude of volunteers makes the sale happen. Local businesses and organizations donate food, auction items, advertising services, and storage facilities. Some provide assistance setting up and taking down the event. Various agencies pick up unsold items after the sale to further benefit community programs, such as the Boys and Girls Club, Big Muddy Correctional Center, and Southern IL Coalition for the Homeless. We intend to continue and increase our outreach to those in need in our community. Any Wooden Nickel funds received would increase donations to the local organizations.

To Learn more visit