Riverbend Family Ministries would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s Grace Skief Volunteer Memorial Scholarship.
Wood River, IL – The RiverBend Growth Association’s (RBGA) Young Adults Committee awarded Riverbend Family Ministries with $3,300.
“The students selected Riverbend Family Ministries because they knew the money would go to help those most in need in our community,” said Alex St. Peters, RBGA’s Young Adults Committee Co-Chair. “The students recognized the important work that RFM does on a daily basis, and they wanted to help out the best way they could.”
The Young Adults Committee (YAC) consists of representatives from RBGA member schools and mentors from the RBGA membership. This committee focuses on the importance of guiding our young adults to give back to their community through outreach within the nonprofit organizations in the RBGA membership.
“We were so fortunate to be selected by this group of incredible young adults,” said Tammy Iskarous, Riverbend Family’s Executive Director. “Their dedication and passion for community will change the trajectory of generations to come. We are blessed to have them as partners in assisting our families in crisis.”
Iskarous said they’re so thankful to the Growth Association for putting this group together and walking alongside them as they navigate their last two formative years of high school. During their service project back in February, they helped us move some things from our current building into our new facility across the street.
“After we had finished, we started talking about all the services in our building, one of the RBGA youth members asked: “If you were to win the grant what would you do with the money?” Without hesitation, I told the group 100% would be spent on housing, utilities, and food for our families in crisis,” said Iskarous.
“Little did we know that a week later our world would be turned upside down due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Iskarous. “How timely this grant is right now as we navigate to help so many families in our area with these needs.”
#GivingTuesday the groundbreaking global generosity movement, announced #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of
giving and unity, set to take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented
need caused by COVID-19. The day is designed to drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement,
business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world.
You can use this global opportunity to bless your neighbors here in the Riverbend area through your financial gifts.
- $26 will buy a train ticket to send someone to detox and rehab
- $31.60 will empower one youth to make safer choices each week
- $50 will buy a bus pass for someone needing to provide for their family
- $65 will purchase a hotel voucher for a family in crisis
- $100 will provide safe housing for one week
- $120 with underwrite one month of Christian counseling
- $150 will help keep the lights on
- $200 will help keep a family housed
- $316 will help a 12-17 successfully complete the Youth program
- $450 will pay deposit for family in crisis
- $1200 will provide services for one child to feel safe
- $1500 will move someone from homelessness to housing
I would like to take this time to just simply say thank you for the support you have given RFM and the organizations it holds. We really do appreciate the investment you have made in the lives of our families… Especially right now.
Right now we all find ourselves in a time of uncertainty and a new normal. Let me tell you some of the things we have done as we have navigated to best serve our families in crisis and be a light to this community.
*What’s happening for us right now.
Although we may not actually be in the building, every single organization under the roof of RFM has found creative and safe ways to still provide services for our families in Madison County that are in crisis.
*How those we serve are being impacted.
As you can imagine, many of our families are concerned with how they will come out on the other side of this pandemic. Will they have a job, will they be able to pay their bills, will their child/youth/families be able to still receive the tools to feel safer and healthier? and so on and so on… None of us can answer most of those questions because none of us have never been through any of this before… We don’t have the answers… But this is what we do know at RFM
- *What we’re focused on in the short-term.
-we are checking phones everyday and triaging immediate needs of food,shelter, and utilites
-Therapists are seeing the kiddos through telehealth and actually connecting in ways that feel safe in a scary uncertain time.
-our youth and recovery groups are checking in with their groups to do sessions and make sure they are doing well.
-our advovates are still connecting with kiddo in fostercare
-food is being delivered to those in need
-some of our most vulnerable homeless are being found temporary shelter
-recovery is being found for those in need.
It’s because of you that we can continue to operate. So today I just wanted to say thank you. Know that when the world seems to be shut down, your investment is still making an impact.
Here at RFM there is hope… There is healing… and there is a community coming together that is strong and will get through this. Thank you for being that community.
Be blessed knowing you are such a blessing to others today
Riverbend Family Ministries
RFM opened its doors in August of 2007. Since that day we have worked diligently to provide a place of hope and healing for residence in the Riverbend Community. Those strong roots have sprouted into greater opportunities to serve our neighbors. We invite YOU to be part of this growing movement of HOPE. For a dozen years, Riverbend Family Ministries has served the community from its location in downtown Wood River. They have grown to the point that more space is needed, and plans are now underway to move to a larger location across the street at 144 E. Ferguson Avenue.
RFM founder and Executive Director Tammy Iskarous owned a business, TR’s Café, in that same building before launching the ministry. She tells The Big Z this will enable them to expand their ability to serve.
*More space for each organization to provide services
*Opportunity for additional training and education
*More individuals and families served and strengthened
*The ability to add additional services and organizations to our team
Work on the new building is expected to begin soon. A fundraising campaign is now underway. The goal is to raise $550,000.
You can find out how to give at http://riverbendfamilyministries.com/
RFM would love for you to volunteer to help families shop, serve treats, help wrap toys, and bless families by serving them. What a great time of unity with community serving community in the light and love of Jesus. We are in need of Christmas wrapping and tissue paper, ribbon and name tags
This year’s dinner will recognize twelve years of providing service to Madison County, highlighting achievements, and celebrating accomplishments made because of those who have supported Riverbend Family Ministries (RFM). Key stakeholders from RFM and the community will provide remarks, followed by inspirational words and testimony from the founder and Executive Director, Tammy Iskarous.
“We’ve watched lives change and generations of families be put on a new path of life, all under our roof,” said Iskarous. “We know when our families are safer, they become healthier and our communities become stronger.”
Riverbend Family Ministries has been a staple to Madison County for twelve years. Providing programs like Refuge that provide services to children (0-11 years-old), helping prevent childhood exposure to violence and abuse. One of their newer programs, Amare, that offers services and programs aimed at supporting and educating individuals, families, and communities affected by drug and alcohol addiction. Another one housed at RFM, the Youth Development program geared towards youth, (12-17 years old) that teach skills to empower youth to make safer choices, avoid abusive behaviors, learn nonviolent alternatives and share what they’ve learned with their peers.
Rated one of the top five nonprofits in Madison County, Riverbend Family Ministries has helped change families and lives that may not have had an opportunity if these services and programs were not made available.
“We understand that we cannot do this alone,” said Iskarous. “It takes staff, volunteers, other agencies, the judicial system, our community leaders and a facility to change the lives of those who find the courage to seek our assistance.”
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. Attendance is free to the public. RSVP by visiting www.rfmcelebrationdinner.eventbrite.com.
Rockin’ for Recovery
Music Fest and Fundraiser for Amare
WOOD RIVER, IL (June 25) – Music Festival and fundraiser, Rockin’ for Recovery will help raise funds to help support Amare, a riverbend nonprofit, and their mission to help the individuals and families they serve. The event is set for September 7th at 4:00 pm, at the St. Louis Regional Airport grounds.
The community event will be equipped with: food trucks, a bounce house, face painting for kids, washers and bags for adults, resource booths, and, most importantly, live music.
Headliner for the event is the band, Exile. Their hits are; “Kiss You All Over,” “I Can’t Get Close Enough,” and “Woke Up in Love.” Exile is working on their 55th year of touring with all of their original members and will bring experience and a musical legacy that the band calls “it’s a miracle.” They have had 11 no. 1 hits and have written songs for the country superstars, Alabama.
Opening for Exile will be the 1990’s heartthrob and well-known artist, Bryan White. White has had 6 no. 1 hits like “Sittin’ on Go” and “Rebecca Lynn.” He also recorded a duet with Shania Twain on her country hit “From This Moment On.” He has written songs for country legends Sawyer Brown and Diamond Rio.
Local band, Soul Cracker will also be present to offer the crowd throwbacks like the 1994 Peter Gabriel hit “Sledgehammer.”
The event is also in honor of National Recovery Month, which is held every year in September to celebrate those in recovery, how they accomplished it, and that recovery is possible. Amare serves the entire Madison County area, working to help those in or seeking recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, their family, and the community; they are the first Recovery Community Organization and Association of Recovery Community Organizations member in Madison County and the third in the State of Illinois, providing advocacy for recovery, awareness, education, and recovery support services like peer recovery support, recovery coaching, treatment navigation, and much more. Amare is also a member of the Metro-East Recovery Council and will introduce the newly formed council to the public at this historical event.
Amare’s Rockin’ for Recovery will be free admission to the public and is anticipated to have a crowd of more than 700 people. Sponsors so far include: Bickle Electric Contracting Co., Inc., River’s Edge Entertainment, Riverbend Family Ministries, and Callis Entertainment. If a business is interested in sponsoring, contact Amare’s Executive Director, Ty Bechel, at 618-780-4843. Vendors interested in registering a booth may contact Jason Farley at 618-623-5875. Volunteers interested in helping may contact Sharon Chapman at 618-414-0028. To stay up-to-date on event developments, visit Amare’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/amarenfp.com.
WOOD RIVER — Members of the National Guard in Madison County to aid flood fighting efforts this week received free meals and supplies from area residents. Since 2007, Riverbend Family Ministries of Wood River has worked to help those in need when they need it. That goal this week has meant providing supplies and breakfast, lunch and dinner to members of the National Guard. On Wednesday, the non-profit organization fed 13 soldiers at noon. They’re expecting that number to nearly double by Saturday.
Angie Betts, one of the group’s members helping with the project, has been touched by the response from the community. “People have sent everything from bug spray to laundry, sometimes even cash,” she said. “I’m very happy with the response of the community.”
On May 30, Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler signed a proclamation declaring Madison County a major disaster and asking Gov. JB Pritzker to provide the National Guard to aid in its flood fighting efforts. Prenzler sought help monitoring the county’s 44 miles of levees as the Mississippi River nears its anticipated crest of 38.4 feet on Friday. In May, Pritzker signed a proclamation declaring Madison County and 33 others as a disaster.
On May 31, he activated 200 members of the National Guard due to flooding. On Tuesday, he activated another 200 members for flooding. “As we continue to strengthen our levees in west-central Illinois, we must also plan and prepare for this force of nature to move downstream to our southern Illinois communities,” Pritzker said Tuesday. “These soldiers will help not only bolster our current numbers on the ground, but allow us to pre-position key assets in downstream communities to prepare for what’s to come in the days ahead.” At 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Mississippi River was at 37.83 feet in Alton. Flood stage at Alton is 21 feet. The record height of 42.72 feet was set on Aug. 1, 1993. As the crest neared, the city-constructed floodwall in Alton appeared sound with very little water on the dry side as businesses pumped water from basements back to the river.
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