All posts in “Jeremiah Fund”

Q&R: David Sidney, Transform Rockford

by Jim Killam | 8-minute read


In 2013, Forbes magazine listed Rockford as one of the most miserable communities in the United States. It was the latest in a decades-long series of slams by various national media.

Transform Rockford exists to change those perceptions, and to help our region become a Top 25 Community by 2025. By that, they mean as compared to other regions with 100,000 to 500,000 residents.

We spoke recently with David Sidney, executive director of Transform Rockford, about the spiritual components of this effort. Read More

St Marks Church

St. Mark Church

Thank you for following up on the uniform project and verifying the Norquist’s hours. We received the $750 check from the Jeremiah project and are grateful.

After our Registration Day sales in August, we will send you a report. We appreciate your support.

Peace and blessings,

Stella L. Schroeder

St. Mark Church

Rockford Dance Company

Rockford Dance Company

Thank you for your generous donation of $750.00 to Rockford Dance Company, we truly appreciate your support. There are countless opportunities ahead for RDC and with the continued financial support from our friends we have the foundation to advance our mission of pursuing excellence in the art of dance through performance, education, and outreach.

Rockford Dance Company is committed to providing each student with the opportunity to grow as a dancer, an artist, and as a young adult. We work with our students to instill the importance of discipline, responsibility, and team work–qualities essential to success in life.

On behalf of the Rockford Dance Company family, please accept my deepest gratitude; your gift allows RDC to continue its 45 year legacy in the Rockford community as a premiere performing arts organization.

Best regards,

Emily Cooke

Executive Director

Fish Abled Foundation

The Fish-Abled Foundation

It is with a sincere and humble heart that I write to thank you for your generous gift to The Fish-Abled Foundation. The Foundation provides social outings for those with mental and physical disabilities in Winnebago and Boone Counties and the surrounding area. They continue to expand those boundaries as they build and restore a better quality of life for people who otherwise would not get out because of their disabilities. The Foundation is dependent on the generosity of individuals and organizations so that they may continue to provide “day-cations” for these individuals.

The events include performing arts, bowling, sporting events, picnics, holiday banquets, zoos, apple orchards, support groups, museums and … of course … FISHING. Eric’s influence, passion and love for Jesus has affected not only the more than 200 individuals involved in the Foundation, but also the many “behind the scenes” volunteers. The Fish-Abled Foundation is changing the lives of those with mental and physical disabilities by expanding their horizons, giving them an opportunity to socialize with others and showing the love of Jesus every step of the way. This has a ripple effect in our community and opens doors for other opportunities. It also helps educate our community regarding the personal needs of these individuals and their desire to be a part of our growing society.

The Fish-Abled Foundation’s mission is to lift up and encourage people with disabilities through planned events, fellowship and various outreach opportunities. Erick Fishe, the founder, has a passion to empower our friends with disabilities by providing them fellowship, field trips, and encouragement. Many of these people were just bouncing from doctor appointment to doctor appointment. By getting to know each person individually, Eric began to see what burdens they had. The Fish-Abled Foundation liberates them, so they can re-establish an active lifestyle.

I am personally inspired by Eric’s love, compassion and devotion to God’s leading regarding the Foundation and each individual participant. I also appreciate the many selfless volunteers who have a special place in their hearts for these members of our community. There is no monetary compensation, but the personal, relational and spiritual compensation is eternal. All events are free to the participants and many times their guests. Your generosity will help The Fish-Abled Foundation continue to grow and bring enjoyment and purpose to many more in our community as well continue to spread the love of Jesus. Your generous gift is appreciated beyond words.

May God richly bless you all!


Jeanne Greenfield, Board Member

The Fish-Abled Foundation

Serene Park Bench

A retreat for parents of kids with a developmental disability.

Dear Pastor Luke,

I can’t begin to express my deep gratitude for the Jeremiah Fund money your church has given to my program! Our “Retreat Yourself” weekend is a much-needed break for moms, grandmothers, and aunts who are raising or helping to raise a child with a developmental disability. It was at our first weekend in 2009 that we met Penny VanScoy, who came with her daughter Jessica. Ever since that weekend, Penny has been on our retreat planning committee making sure the weekend is a success! We are proud to put on this event for the ninth year in a row now. We have been a part of women forming support networks, learning how to balance life, learning new skills and information, and last year we found out we saved a life. Yes, we had one woman attend who had been contemplating suicide and because of the retreat, decided not to end her life.

Thank you again for your generous gift-it will be put to good use!

-Patti Mook, Family Support Specialist

CEF Materials

New materials for CEF teachers.

Dear First Free Church,

I am writing to thank you for your generous gift of $750 from the Jeremiah Fund! When Dorothy Smith shared with us that she would be applying for the Jeremiah Fund scholarship, we immediately thought that if you chose to honor CEF with this generous gift, we should use it for Good News Clubs. Dorothy has been a Good News Club volunteer here for several years, a CEF missionary years ago in Costa Rica, and a missionary worker with other organizations her entire life. Good News Clubs run for an hour to an hour and a half once a week throughout the school year. The majority of these clubs are held in public schools directly after school is dismissed. The club consists of songs, prayer, Bible lesson, memory verse teaching and memorization, teaching on having a daily quiet time with God, missionary story, review game, and snacks. The volunteers usually purchase their own lesson material, but we thought it would bless the teachers to offer the first six weeks of lesson materials to them free of charge. After hearing and being inspired by Ken Ham during CEF’s International Conference in May, we decided to begin the Good News Club season going back to Genesis. We will use the CEF Press series, God the Creator King. Each week, as a supplement to the Bible teaching, the volunteer teachers can use The Answers Book for Kids. They contain questions children have already asked about creation. We plan to hold a drawing on the last week for one child to win The Answers Book for Kids! This is a great way to get good literature into the homes of the children who attend the Good News Club. Our prayer is that children will believe that true science and the Bible agree. They can get good and logical answers and believe that only God is our creator King!  Your gift makes this possible! Thank you for your generosity!

-Glenda Dukey

Lydia Home

Lydia Home receives funds to train staff.

I want to thank First Free for the Jeremiah Fund Grant to Lydia Urban Academy last spring.
For some time, Lydia has been serving many low-income Rockford youth who had been unsuccessful in their previous schools and who needed a non-traditional classroom setting as well as appropriate specialized intervention to improve their chances for earning a diploma and gaining the life skills for employment so that they can contribute to their community. Our classroom ratio is 10:1, which allows students to receive more help from the teacher. We use much project-based learning experiences so that students can learn subject matter material in different ways, allowing a student to express their learning in ways appropriate for their learning skills and abilities. It had become increasingly apparent that our specialized intervention program, utilizing the  NILD (National Institute for Learning Development) program, needed to expand so the Jeremiah Fund contribution helped make it possible to train additional staff so we could expand help to low-income students who otherwise could not afford such services. So many of our students have Individualized Educational Plans (IEP’s) and 504 Plans and still were unsuccessful in their previous schools because their achievement scores were often 4 or more years below their expected grade level. For them to earn diplomas and become successful in getting jobs, they needed intensive intervention that would change the way they learn and help them develop strategies to become efficient and effective learners at the level that would allow them to become successful and independent. NILD Educational Therapists are trained to guide learning and mediate student’s thinking to higher levels with good questioning, utilizing specific academic and processing techniques so they can make more than a year’s progress academically in one year, rather than to continue to lose ground each year they are in school. The NILD philosophy is based on the expectation that cognition and academic difficulties can be improved, giving student’s new hope in the future. This year we were able to provide  Educational Therapy to three more Lydia students and we expect that more will be added during the year.

Thanks again for the Jeremiah Fund contribution.

Vesta Gillette

Guitars for Vets

Healing for Vets through Guitar Lessons

Dear Pastor Uran,

Thank you for the amazing $750 donation to the Rockford Chapter of Guitars for Vets from First Free
Rockford’s Jeremiah Fund. The national Guitars4Vets handles all finances and I have forwarded your check to them with a note that it is to benefit the Rockford Chapter of G4V.  Veterans served by G4V are receiving mental health services through the VA. Upon completion of ten weeks of private lessons, they are presented with a brand new guitar with accessories. we have been so fortunate to have Laura Nothnagel as a faithful volunteer. Thank you for your help in bringing the healing power of music into the hands of heroes.


Trish Rooney