For a number of years, on a given Wednesday morning at the Presbyterian Church in Rochelle, you may find a host of retired educators volunteering through teaching and tutoring. Their students are members of the community who are interested in improving their English language skills in an effort to become more integrated into the community.
I have seen first-hand the pride these students take in their accomplishments and the bonds they form with their volunteer teachers and mentors. What a joy it was to learn about Delia and Rosa. As their skill improved over four years, they each decided to begin preparing for a quest to become a citizen of our country. They participated in the classroom sessions regularly and used their tutored time to study for the citizens test. After a lot of diligent work on the part of the student and the tutors, they both passed their tests and are now U.S. citizens.
This story — along with the countless others like it — demonstrates the importance of community foundations in this country, which are uniquely situated to improve their regions through supporting innovative solutions and creating powerful partnerships. From Nov. 12 to 18 we celebrate Community Foundation Week, a time when we can share and reflect on the stories of impact over the last year. Though you may not yet know your local community foundation, you’ve likely felt its impact.
That’s because the Rochelle Area Community Foundation and more than 1,000 other community foundations across the country help to bring donors and residents together. Community foundations work to support the efforts that will help the places we call home continue to flourish and grow.
Members of the Rochelle Area Community Foundation board and staff are passionately interested in enhancing life in the communities we serve. As a convening partner and fiscal sponsor of “Revved Up Rochelle,” we have enjoyed working alongside community volunteers in visioning and planning innovative solutions to enhance the quality of life in the Rochelle area.
As we enter the giving season, millions of people from every background will be looking to give back to the communities that have supported them. They’ll also look to ensure that their heartfelt giving — however they choose to give — will have the most impact. That’s why so many of them will choose to give to a community foundation.
A gift to your local community foundation is an investment in the future of your community. We like to say that community foundations are “here for good.” At the Rochelle Area Community Foundation we don’t think about the next election or business cycle, we think about the next generation and the next after that.
That can seem a daunting task, but it’s one that we all share. During Community Foundation Week, I hope you’ll join us in recognizing our collective impact and the difference we can make together.
For more information visit www.cof.org/cfweek and follow #CommunityFNDWeek on Twitter.
Executive Director RACF