Inspiring Forward: Three Day Giving Back Process with the Rockford IL Rescue Mission

After being inspired by Activus Connect’s Day of Giving benefit, Robert “Bob” Vannini (RV) with his spouse initiated a 3-day process to donate and support the Rockford IL Rescue Mission.

We met with Bob to go over his Day of Giving experience on his last day of this process.

AC: For your Day of Giving, what did you do?

RV: My spouse and I along with our visiting grandchildren decided to begin a campaign to donate winter clothing to a local homeless shelter. As we began to gather coats, jackets, hats, scarves and gloves from our closets this effort mushroomed into a full-blown purge of donations to support the Rockford IL Rescue Mission. We began the process during week of Thanksgiving with meals and completed our giving of clothing during the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

AC: That’s amazing, do you do this every year?

RV: We actually can’t do this in one day, it’s a process that this year has taken 3-days so far. This is our first year of giving to this degree and was actually inspired by Activus Connect Founder’s, Felix and Miranda Serrano’s generous offering of a “Day of Giving” paid-time-off for our entire company. This is not only unheard-of, but groundbreaking! Any gratitude must be shared with them and their inspiration to all of us in the Activus Connect Family!

AC: Can you tell us a bit about the organization?

RV: Rockford Rescue Mission shares hope and help in Jesus’ name to move people from homelessness and despair toward personal and spiritual wholeness. Their Crisis Centers provide food and shelter to hundreds of men, women and children each day and the Life Recovery Programs offer long-term, Christ-centered help and hope for men and women struggling with addiction, domestic violence and other desperate circumstances.

AC: Was this your first-time giving back to this organization?

RV: No, we have given to the Rockford Rescue Mission throughout the years with clothing, furniture, household items and time… serving holiday meals for those families in need.

AC: Did you manage to learn something while at the organization?

RV: Rockford Rescue Mission believes in “whole person” care — always with Christ at the center. To that end, they offer a range of services that people usually don’t equate with a rescue Mission.

  • Tutoring, training and testing for people entering or re-entering college or the workplace.
  • Life Recovery residents can explore music and the arts as creative outlets.
  • The Thrift Store Serves the community with donated goods, while generating a significant percentage of the Mission’s annual funding.
  • Nettie’s Mercantile & Café staffed by volunteers is stocked with handmade décor as well as food and drinks … with all of the proceeds supporting the Mission.
  • Hope Clinic offers free medical, nursing, chiropractic and dental care from volunteers in Rockford’s medical community.

AC: Was there any noticeable impact on the organization due to Covid?

RV: The pandemic has only intensified the homelessness and addiction pain points in our city challenging both mission staff and community to innovate, as mentioned previously.

AC: What motivated you to give back?

RV: Simply the growing number of less fortunate families with nowhere else to turn for assistance, some due to the pandemic, some due to family tragedies, some due to circumstances beyond their control.

AC: How did you come up with this initiative to give back?

RV: Rockford’s local community news programming regularly highlights volunteering and need.

AC: How was your experience while giving back?

RV: Rewarding, as you would expect in that access to many goods, services and assistance programs are offered for these community outreach programs.

AC: Can you walk us through this giving back journey? How was the process and preparations?

RV: Easily accomplished over 5 full days of purging closets and storage areas and gathering clothing, furniture, household goods, and tools and games, puzzles and art supplies no longer necessary, but very useful to others through our donation.

AC: What would you say to encourage others to participate?

RV: There are immediate and recurring needs all around you for individuals and families less fortunate. Consider cleaning out a closet, a bookshelf, a workbench, your garage or basement… or even picking up a few extra things next time you shop and drop them by a food bank in your community.