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Tag Archive | "NKCS"

West Michigan Works! opens satellite site 


New site opens at North Kent Community Services


N-West-Michigan-Works-logoNorth Kent Community Services, 10075 Northland Drive NE Rockford, is now offering services to help people find jobs. On Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., West Michigan Works! will help people with resume writing, cover letters, and more at the NKCS location. Anyone can use West Michigan Works! Services. You do not have to be a client of NKCS.

West Michigan Works!, a workforce development firm that aims to develop Michigan’s economic future, helps clients take the next step in their new career, free of charge. “The best way out of poverty is through livable wage employment,” said Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director of North Kent Community Services. “People need the right skills to be competitive in the workforce. To have this vital resource available to people at NKCS will impact northern Kent County in a powerful way.”

Through North Kent’s partnership with West Michigan Works!, clients will have the opportunity to utilize the resources provided at NKCS, such as access to its computer lab, printing, and fax services. “We are pleased to partner with North Kent Community Services to better coordinate services for residents in northern Kent County,” said West Michigan Works! CEO Jacob Maas. “Employers are looking for talent; this new location will offer a variety of job search resources to make that connection.”

For more information about West Michigan Works! and to see upcoming hiring events and workshop schedules, please visit westmiworks.org.


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North Kent Community Services receives Rotary Grant

Rotary grant presentation to North Kent Service Center with Jason Parker, Kim Burge-Stout, Claire Guisfredi,  and Tom Noreen.

Rotary grant presentation to North Kent Service Center with Jason Parker, Kim Burge-Stout, Claire Guisfredi, and Tom Noreen.

In October 2016, Cedar Springs Rotarian Kim Burge-Stout submitted a $7,000 matching grant to Rotary District 6290 in support of North Kent Community Services (NKCS) in Rockford. The Rotary Clubs of Cedar Springs and Rockford each donated $3,500 towards the grant. In December, the Cedar Springs Club was notified that the grant had been approved and NKCS would receive a total of $14,000.

On January 11, the Rotary Clubs of Cedar Springs and Rockford presented NKCS Executive Director Claire Guisfredi a check for $14,000. Presenting the check on behalf of the two clubs were Rockford President Jason Parker, (a former Cedar Springs Rotarian), Kim Stout, and Cedar Springs’ President Tom Noreen.

Claire updated the Club on how past grants have been applied toward some of the Center’s programs. She talked about the difference the Thrive Empowerment Program for Women was making in the lives of mothers in the area. Women who were at their wits end have found hope and success after attending the six-month program held in the annex of the Cedar Springs Public Schools’ Hilltop Administration Building. Facilitated by NKCS Program Director Chérie Elahl, the students learn life skills, goal setting, and mindfulness skills, while holding each other accountable for the goals they have set for themselves.

Guisfredi went on to explain how the current grant money would be used. About $6,000 would be used for technology upgrades to the Center’s hardware and network. The remaining $8,000, along with funds from the Sparta Community Foundation and other organizations, would be used to fund a Community Needs Assessment.

NKCS is implementing a three-year strategic plan and has a bid out to select a group to conduct the assessment to determine whether NKCS is meeting the community’s needs with its current programming. It will look at clients, current programs, the community at large, and several other factors to determine what NKCS could be doing better to fulfill its mission “….improving the lives of all people in northern Kent County by providing access to basic needs and promoting economic independence.”

The local portion of the Rotary grant comes from funds raised by the Cedar Springs and Rockford Clubs. For the Cedar Springs Club, funds raised at the annual golf outing and Red Flannel Day chicken dinner were used. The matching portion is money returned to the district from contributions to the Rotary Foundation by Rotarians and others world-wide. The Rotary Foundation, which has a four of four-star rating by Charity Navigator, returns one-half of the funds raised within a Rotary District back to the District after three years. The District then can use these funds for local and international projects. Every Rotarian is encouraged to give $100 to the Rotary Foundation each year.

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Gently used items needed at North Kent Community Services

Poverty is everywhere. It’s not just impacting the inner city anymore; it’s becoming more prevalent in our own backyard. North Kent Community Services is dedicated to helping our neighbors in need, but we can’t do it alone.
“We see that many of our clients are getting jobs, but they are low paying jobs that can’t sustain a family,” says Claire Guisfredi, executive director of NKCS. “Our families come to us for food, clothing and personal care items, the things that many of us take for granted.”
NKCS depends on community donations to supply our clients with these everyday necessities. We are currently in need of:
•     Gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories
•     Gently used household items and linens
•     Child-friendly food items (e.g., cereal, juice, peanut butter)
•     Personal care items (e.g., shampoo, soap, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products)
You can make a difference in our local community. As you clean out your closets and garage this summer, please consider donating your gently used items to NKCS. Drop off all food and other items Monday-Friday, 8:00 to 6:00. We are located at 10075 Northland Dr. NE (north of 12 Mile Road.)
Thank you for supporting NKCS as we serve your friends, family and neighbors.
North Kent Community Services is the largest food pantry in northern Kent County, serving families and individuals from 6 Mile to 22 Mile Roads. We provide food, clothing, senior meals on wheels, tax preparation and more to those in need.
For more information on NKCS, please visit www.nkcsc.com. Follow us on Facebook at North Kent Community Services and on Twitter at @nksc.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


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