What becomes of an organization, a group that rallied around a single issue, when that issue fades from public consciousness?
In the case of Kankakee's youthful grassroots movement "Still I Rise," you shift your focus slightly from restoring peace in drug and crime-infested neighborhoods, and you tackle a quality of life challenge with a free community health fair.
"This is something that gets overlooked during the holidays," said Tocarra Eldridge, the executive director of Still I Rise. "We tend to think about gifts and special meals. We look out for the less fortunate, but we don't look at the big picture."
To take on health matters, Still I Rise partnered with Riverside Medical Center and local Walgreens drug stores. Together, they created a "Healthy for the Holidays" event that will be held Dec. 13, at the Kankakee Public Library.
"We're going to do blood pressure checks, blood glucose checks and others tests," she said. "The ultimate purpose is to provide a fun, informative and positive experience for some folks who maybe don't have a family doctor, and instead wait for something to get so bad that they wind up in an emergency room."
The event, set for 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., also will includes talks by local physicians, fitness trainers and other health professionals. Eldridge noted that organizers hope to encourage participants with a collection of giveaway items and raffle prizes.
Still I Rise continues to offer programs aimed at young adults. The topics range from life skills and entrepreneurship to art and ethics.
Eldridge added that her nonprofit organization always is seeking additional funding, but noted that there was still time for businesses who would like to partner with Still I Rise, at the health fair. To contact her, call 815-414-8814.