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News & Press: Community News

North Kent Community Services Named Non-Profit of the Month

Wednesday, October 1, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Rockford, MI, September 18, 2014 – North Kent Community Services has been named the September 2014 Non-Profit of the Month by the National Association of Social Workers – Michigan Chapter. The award recognizes agencies throughout Michigan who perform outstanding community work and have shown a continued commitment to social justice.


“North Kent Community Services is honored to be recognized by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)-Michigan Chapter as the non-profit of the month,” said Program Director Cherie Elahl, BSW. “NKCS was established in 1973 by a group of pastors in Rockford, MI to address the increase of struggling community members in regards to their basic life needs. NKCS has since been one of the only resources available in northern Kent County for people living at and below the poverty level.”


NKCS offers a wide variety of programs to members of the community; including: a food pantry, clothing pantry, financial assistance, Meals on Wheels for seniors, income tax assistance, holiday food and gift baskets, and community and volunteer gardens. Additionally, NKCS offers educational opportunities, such as budgeting classes and MI Bridge navigation to help empower their clients and community.


In 2012 NKCS hired a new Executive Director, Claire Guisfredi, who soon realized that a program needed to be established in order to help clients reach self-sufficiency. With many advocacy efforts on her behalf as well as with help from board and committee members, NKCS was able to raise enough funds to hire a new Program Director/Social Worker in order to create the Thrive Empowerment Program. The new Thrive Program Director, Chérie Elahl, BSW, was hired in May of 2014. The pilot Thrive Empowerment Program begins on September 22, 2014 and will last for about six months. This program will focus on empowering women with children in the NKCS service area by connecting participants with resources that will help further their education and/or obtain livable wage employment. As the program continues to develop, Thrive will be offered to everyone in the NKCS service area.


For more information about NKCS or to make a donation go to 

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