Guest Column: Donations to Comprehensive Community Solutions make a difference

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Editor and Publisher Frank Schier.

Message from the Executive Director

As we come to the end of our 21st year serving the Rockford community, and begin the 19th year of our YouthBuild Rockford Program, we are grateful for the support of the individuals and organizations that make it possible to continue our mission. This year, we passed the 1,000 mark of the number of young adults served by YouthBuild, and yet this pales against the 5,500-plus who have sought the assistance our program offers.

CCS, like most nonprofit agencies, has seen our private donations shrink over the past two years, due to the economic conditions as well as the decline in the housing market. No matter what the obstacle, we join others in our community to combat the increasing rate of high-school dropouts (now about 40 percent), and offer pathways to self-sufficiency for those seeking them.

There are real costs to develop new solutions to old problems while maintaining current levels of service. As a past contributor to our organization, we thank you and hope you will renew your support and consider a modest increase. Your support of our work through being a FRIEND OF YOUTHBUILD is truly appreciated. Your contribution will also help support our other important work, including Salvage Too-Rockford ReUse Center, our development of affordable housing and more. The long-term success for the young people we serve and our community lies in generating significant support of individuals and businesses in the community.

As a Friend of YouthBuild, your contributions will go toward the operations of our programs, including such things as GED testing fees (which increase significantly in 2014), tools and equipment, student stipends and scholarships, and other critical operating costs. As a Friend, we would also invite you to help us find five of your friends, family, co-workers or employees to do the same. You can join by mailing your contribution, or by visiting our website at and clicking on the “Donate Now” button on the home page — it’s that simple. Your contribution is tax-deductible and will begin supporting our programs IMMEDIATELY.

I recognize there are many worthy causes in our community seeking your support, especially at this time of year. Let me assure you that the case for supporting CCS and YouthBuild is a compelling one, and the benefits are tangible and substantial. This is a program that works, that brings real dollars into our community, and that currently is only able to serve less than 20 percent of those who seek admission!

Thank you for your generosity and consideration of our appeal. If you would like to learn more or discuss additional ways of supporting us, please give me a call anytime.

Warmest personal regards,

Kerry Knodle, Executive Director/CEO

From the Jan. 1-6, 2014, issue

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