RIVERWORKS FOOD SHELF
In 2010, the RiverWorks Food Shelf was formed. Today, the food shelf serves an average of 1,300 families, which translates to 155,383 pounds of food being distributed and a minimum of 4,800 visits to the food shelf each year. It is with the help of countless volunteer hours and food donations totaling over 80,000 pounds annually that the food shelf is able to help RiverWorks reach the heart of homes in our community – the family table.
THE RIVERWORKS STORE
In 2012, the RiverWorks Thrift Store opened in Rockford. All proceeds from the merchandise sold go back into our community through RiverWorks programming. Furthermore, our thrift store helps our mission go farther as we share our surplus inventory with many different organizations both locally and internationally with similar missions of serving their communities. Through our storefront, we have the unique opportunity to share our philanthropic purpose with the public as we visibly advertise our name and mission to the individuals who shop our racks or simply drive by our store.
Every May nearly 400 people take a day to unite and serve our community. Our service projects are vast and reach every corner of our town. Some of our projects include park clean up; providing haircuts and a health fair; senior lawn care and much more! Out of our annual service day, Thousand Hearts 365 was born as a program to continue to service the needs of the community all year long. Our 365 group has helped preserve the historical Stork House, assisted a single mom and is bringing community together at Maple Hill Estates and providing volunteer ‘reading buddies’ at Rockford Elementary School (REAMS).
LUNCH BOX FEVER
Lunch Box Fever is a RiverWorks program that provides meal assistance for school aged children during the summer term. Through this program, children in the Rockford School District receive four meals each week that are delivered by local volunteers directly to their doorstep. In a typical summer, over 30 volunteers prepare, cook and deliver over 4,000 meals to 90 children. RiverWorks is able to partner with some amazing other local organizations that support this program through generous donations of both financial means and space in which we can cook and prepare the meals. Lunch Box Fever is essential to serving one of the greatest needs of our community and nurturing the minds and bodies of one of the greatest assets to our community, our children.
COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS
An essential element of RiverWorks is helping people connect and our community gatherings is one way in which we live out this aspect. Throughout the year, RiverWorks takes part in sponsoring or helping events around the community; events such as Movie in the Park and National Night Out. And the year culminates with our biggest community gathering – Crow River Christmas. The event includes a pancake breakfast, a visit from Santa, holiday shopping and concludes with Christmas fireworks! Crow River Christmas elicits several types of involvement from the people in our community, from event participation, to hosting a booth for holiday shopping and even sponsoring a Christmas tree in memory or honor of loved ones that are displayed in Riverside Park. Crow River Christmas brings people together.
BOUNCE BACK-Health Through Happiness
The Bounce Back program is just one example of RiverWorks partnering with like-minded organizations in the community. RiverWorks has recently become an official Bounce Back partner with Allina and Stellis Health. The program is a unique collaboration of physicians, nurses, hospital leaders and community partners in the Wright County area who have come together for a single purpose – to impact the lives of individuals, communities and organizations by promoting health through happiness. Our RiverWorks staff and volunteers are bringing the principles of the Bounce Back program to all our clients; individuals who might not only be poor financially but also poor in spirit. With the tools of Bounce Back, such as random acts of kindness and three good things, RiverWorks is striving to bring wholeness to the community’s spirits.
Introducing a new program for RiverWorks.
Last summer Lunch Box Fever (LBF) fed 90 kids daily from June-August. That led us to think about what these same kids do over the Christmas break since they are once again home alone. So here comes Lunch Box2.0, a version of LBF where volunteers will make and deliver meals that can be warmed up and enjoyed at home. RiverWorks is so excited to expand this program. For more information about volunteering for LBF2.0 email Jenny at LBF@riverworksonline.org.