Rockford’s Rotary Club approved spending $1,500 to help families in need in Kent County this holiday season. According to Sandy Waite, director of the North Kent Service Center, which provides assistance to those in financial difficulties, the center will give out over 2,000 dinners over Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Last week Wolverine World Wide helped make up meal packages, which, with the addition of the turkeys, will be complete and ready to go home with clients. “We couldn’t have done this without the generous pricing by Spartan Foods/Rockford D&W Fresh Market. We are grateful to D&W butcher Jim Jackson’s help with this project,” said Rotary president Ramona Hinton. “It is unbelievable how appreciative people are. We’ll help 2,000 families this holiday season over Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Deb Slot, office manager at North Kent Service Center. John Leale, warehouse manager for the center, said the need is greater than ever right now and the people of Rockford have always been very generous to those less fortunate. The North Kent Service Center is receiving record high requests for aid. The center provides aid in the form of food, clothing and limited financial support, and helps with access to medical care and educational opportunities.
North Kent Service Center
Sweetheart Splash, art event benefit local families in need Sandy Waite, director of the North Kent Service Center, recently visited Rockford Rotary Club to thank the service organization for generous donations made over the years. She said need requested from the center is at an all-time high and each donation helps a local family that is in financial difficulties. “In 2005, your generous donation of $10,000 was designated to be used by our clients who needed assistance in paying utility bills,” she said. “Money spent on our clients utility needs in 2006 and 2007 was $3,938 and $5,717, respectively, with the balance of $759 used in January 2008.” Waite said the Rockford Rotary donation of $500 in 2008 was used to purchase a variety of meat averaging 50 cents per pound. The donation allowed the center to buy approximately 1,000 pounds of chicken, sliced hams and other meat to stock the food pantry. In 2008 the center distributed 739,000 pounds of food. The 2007 Art Gala, jointly organized by four local Rotary groups including Rockford’s, and held in the Wolverine World Wide corporate offices, raised $17,000 for the center. That money, Waite said, was used for operational expenses, such as the building mortgage, electric, heat, waste removal and gas for company vehicles. Waite reported that utilities for the center are approximately $30,000 per year. “Your donation helps keep our facility up and running so we are able to service our families,” she said. In the past four years, Sweetheart Splash, also a Rockford Rotary event, raised $10,790. “As you can see, there is always a financial need here at the North Kent Service Center,” Waite said. “The Rockford Rotary has played a significant role in allowing us to continue ‘Helping Our Neighbors in Need.’”
American record-breaking champion Dathan Ritzenhein isn’t the only person from Rockford who loves to run. The eighth annual Run for the Prize, hosted by Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, last year raised an amazing $3,500 to donate to the North Kent Service Center. With requests for help at an all-time high at the service center, lacing up and hitting the streets—either running or walking—has never been more important. The annual 5K run is Saturday, September 12, with packet pickup and late registration on Friday, September 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, September 12 at 7 a.m. Pre-register by visiting cosrock.org or goracego.com. The race begins at 8:30 a.m. Pastor Thomas Martin is excited to offer the race as a fundraiser for the service center, which helps so many of our neighbors in need here in our own community. “I know that all of us have been greatly affected by the current economic conditions,” Martin said. “The North Kent Service Center is standing there in the midst of it all, trying to meet the many needs of the families in the area who are struggling.” Martin said many in the community may not realize that the church has been holding this run for seven years. Each year 100 percent of proceeds has gone to the center. Participating in the walk/run or making a donation can make a big difference to a family struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. The event features post-race refreshments and awards for the overall male and female and top two finishers in each age division. A Little Tykes dash takes place for children 6 and under at 9:30 a.m. There is no charge to enter the Tykes race, and every child will receive a ribbon. There is free childcare for infants and toddlers for those who register for the race. The cost for the 5K race is just $25. Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church is located at 4610 Belding Road, just off Wolverine Blvd.
North Kent Service Center to retain summer hours The North Kent Service Center (NKSC) is keeping the summer hours of Monday-Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., as new service hours for their clients and the community. NKSC has found that these hours have been beneficial for everyone during the summer months. With the longer hours, NKSC is able to meet the need of clients who are working, and community members wishing to drop off items at the donation center after work, and saves on operational expenses. The donation area will also be open Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Please do not drop off donations at the front door on Sunday or when gates are closed.)
Starting June 1, 2009 through September 4, 2009, North Kent Service Center (NKSC) will be expanding their service hours going to a ten hour day-four days per week. Due to the large number of families who are working and are unable to shop in their food pantry during the day NKSC is changing their hours to accommodate those working families. NKSC will be open at 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. They will be closed on Friday. They look forward to assisting those families who in the past have not been able to access their food pantries due to work commitment. They are also excited that they will be open to the community for donations longer hours during the week. This also gives them longer hours for volunteers to assist after work. NKSC summer donation hours for the weekends are Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Please-no donations on Sunday or when their gates are closed.