Rock Valley Youth for Christ seeking donations to survive

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Friday, March 21, 2014

JANESVILLE—A youth organization with four decades of history in Rock County is considering how—and if—it can continue its ministry.

Rock Valley Youth for Christ Interim Director Doug Shaw said the organization has about four mouths funding left until it will have to close its doors.

Like many other nonprofits, the group has struggled with the downturn in the national economy and problems specific to the local economy, Shaw said. 

This year brought additional problems.

“Our major fundraiser is a sale of Colorado peaches,” Shaw said. “This year, our supplier had a total crop loss.”

The organization serves youth who are not from church backgrounds and those who are in churches that are too small to support full-fledged youth groups.

Currently, Youth for Christ runs Campus Life, a group that connects Christian teens; Rock Solid, a group that connects youth groups from different churches, and Release Time, a school-day event that's part fellowship and part Bible study.

In addition, Rock Valley Youth for Christ sponsors a music group, Koinonia, which has performed at local churches.

In the past, the organization has been financially stable enough to bring in guest speakers, go on mission trips and do other service projects.

Despite the group's financial challenges, Shaw hopes Youth For Christ will be able to expand its ministries in the coming year with the community's financial support.

The chapter is part of a national network of Youth for Christ organizations.

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