North Kent Community Services (NKCS) is collecting items in February and March to make 500 Easter baskets for the children they serve. NKCS would appreciate donations of the following items by March 31: • candy or fruit snacks • Easter baskets and grass • small stuffed animals—Beanie Baby size • bubbles and sidewalk chalk • jump ropes and balls • markers, colored pencils and coloring books • small cars and trucks—Matchbox/Hot Wheels size • any other suitable Easter basket items for children ages 1–10
North Kent Community Services
For the third year, the Rockford bus drivers union gave back to the community by donating food and money. Working with North Kent Community Services to make the best use of monetary donations, the group was responsible for feeding six families this holiday season. Union President Craig Morrow said the group, which is technically known as Rockford Education Support Personnel Association (RESPA), knows many in the area are having a hard time financially. He said they put up a poster representing six families and list the staples of a holiday meal. Union members either donate those items or sign up to make a financial contribution for the cost of the food. The two-week drive included all 66 Rockford bus drivers. Morrow said next year the union members plan to increase their giving and adopt a family from each of the elementary schools for which they drive.
For the second year, Rockford Rotary Club and D&W Fresh Market have teamed up for a tasty and timely donation to families in need. Rotary donated $1,500 from the service organization’s budget and D&W offered a great price to provide 140 turkeys to North Kent Community Services (NKCS), a faith-based organization serving over 10,000 families. “This year every family that signed up for a food basket was able to receive a turkey,” said Ramona Hinton, who implemented the donation a year ago. According to Hinton, last year the NKCS was unable to provide a turkey to every family who asked for one. Last year the donation provided 110 turkeys and this year D&W was able to help donate an additional 30 birds to ensure each family could enjoy a traditional meal on Thanksgiving Day.
by JUDY REED It’s been around for almost 38 years, serving the northern Kent county community—from 6 mile north to the county line—with food, shelter, utilities support, clothing, counseling and more. Technically known as the Rockford community services center, it began being called the North Kent service center sometime in the 1980s. However, effective October 1, the center changed its name to North Kent Community Services. “We wanted to put ‘community’ back in our name to better reflect what we do,” said executive director Sandy Waite. “We are blessed to have the opportunity to help our neighbors in need in northern Kent County, but we also want to emphasize that we are a part of the local communities in which we serve. We want our influence to extend well beyond the walls of our facility.” As part of the name change, NKCS unveiled a new identity, with a new logo that reflects its heritage and mission, said Waite. “We believe our new identity highlights our ongoing mission to love our neighbor. We are blessed to be able to do so.” Their hours will remain the same, open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The donation area will be open, however.