by ERIN COLE For 10 years Gild the Lily, a consignment shop located in Rockford, has sold top-quality secondhand women’s clothing, home decor and furniture. They are more than just a shop, though; they are a valuable part of the community. In 2010, Kimberly Johnson and Carol Keller, owners of Gild the Lily, started a monthly event, called “First Friday.” It started as a way to give back to the community after being blessed by the community’s continued support for the store. “First Friday” takes place on the first Friday of every month. As a thank-you for its valued customers, Gild the Lily offers a free catered lunch for them to enjoy as they shop and socialize. Each event supports a specific charity, and 10 percent of the proceeds made during the day are donated. Since it began, “First Friday” has raised approximately $4,500 for charities. North Kent Community Services (NKCS) is the charity sponsored for July’s “First Friday” event on July 6, 2012. NKCS helps out families in need by providing them with food, clothing, and health care products. According to Sandy Waite, NKCS executive director, NKCS sees the needs go up twice a year, around the holidays and during summer, especially for kids who don’t fall under the free-and-reduced lunch program in the summer. “The people we are helping aren’t strangers. They are the people next door, neighbors helping neighbors,” Waite said. In an effort to boost efforts for the NKCS, Gild the Lily will also be collecting both food and health care items at the store during the “First Friday” event. Gild the Lily is located at 450 E. Division (10 Mile Rd.), Rockford. They can be reached at (616) 863-8491.