SERVPRO of Rockford, Servicing the Community
The best way for a business to succeed in our eyes is to be involved in our community. We at SERVPRO volunteer to several local charities, but our primary organization right now is the Alpine Kiwanis as they prepare for "Brat Days" next week the 16th and 17th. This local charity raised approximately $100,000 that went back to the community through various childrens' charities. We are very proud to donate our time to "serving" at multiple locations throughout the event, as well as helping deliver foods from one location to another. This group helped the "United for Youth" project (which is a combined effort between the boy and girl scout organizations) raise money for their new green building, as well as helping the local Boys and Girls Clubs and their subsidiary charities. There are also several other Kiwanis clubs in the area including the Rock River Heritage Kiwanis Club, which the owner vp's for. This particular group raises money through peanut sales. It is not as big of an event as "Brat Days", but the money raised from this fundraiser also goes back into the community to support local children based charities.
The other group we are very active with right now is Rosie's Birthday Club. This group serves children who have never had the honor of celebrating their birthday. They provide a gift of their choosing on the day of their birthday, and once a month they through a birthday party to celebrate all of the birthdays within said month. They had their first annual fundraiser in March of 2010, and are getting ready to have their second fundraiser in September (on the 15th). They are birthday themed fundraisers and provide a fun filled, birthday party atmosphere.
We believe that supporting charties similar to these that we can have a greater impact on more than just those who end up being a customer/client. Events and groups like this serve a greater good than that of our restoration and remediation work. Groups like this step up and go beyond just helping someone in one time of need, but maybe several times of need. We strongly encourage anyone and everyone to find some local group to be a part of and become a part of someone else's life!
You’ve got that Giving Feeling…
Often at this time of year, we find ourselves with a more giving spirit. This extends not only to family and friends, but to organizations that we recognize as doing great work in our communities. Most of us see and hear the bell-ringers at the Salvation Army red kettles on the street corners and outside the places we shop. We know from direct and indirect experience and from charitable giving reports that our donations are used for valuable and successful programs to help those in need. Here in Rockford, we know that the Rockford Rescue Mission also is recognized the same way. There are many churches and local non-profit service organizations that provide a wide array of other much-needed assistance to give those seeking help with food, shelter, clothing, healthcare and other life needs to sustain them through difficult times.
Over the past few years, panhandlers have become more prevalent on busy Rockford street corners. They tug at our heartstrings, making us feel selfish and uncaring if we don’t offer money to keep them warm and fed. It may seem like a very kind and generous thing to do, but it is strongly discouraged by those who work in services to the homeless population. Your money may be putting them at risk! You have no control over how that handout is used. We would like to believe it is used for food or shelter, medicine or clothing to protect them from the elements, as many of these folks are homeless. The cruel reality is that your generous donation mostly goes to feed habits: alcohol and drugs – not just baseline street drugs, but hard drugs. Panhandling in traffic also places them in jeopardy of injury and even death. It is a very rare person that can win a battle with an automobile or truck.
For more information, talk to someone from a local service agency. Please take a few moments to go to the link below in order to inform yourself before you simply hand over money:
Our recommendation to those of you who are in this giving spirit would be to offer a gift card to a restaurant close to that street and to set someone in the direction of local services, such as Salvation Army, Miss Carly’s, Rockford Rescue Mission, Shelter Care Ministries or Rockford MELD (for women and children). These have emergency services available and can personalize the assistance of the individual’s needs. Or if you feel exceptionally generous, the hotel down the next block might very willingly accept a donation for overnight lodging for some of those street folks! I would hope that these suggestions should keep both you and the panhandler at less risk.
Thank you, Rockford, for your generous spirit through the Holidays and during the remainder of the year!