Partners & Programs

What We Offer

The Grow Center offers original programming as well as collaborations with community partners.

Click on each image for more information about what we offer.

Central Christian Church

Central Christian Church is a worshipping congregation that was originally established in Kankakee in 1893. Worship is offered on the 2nd & 4th Sundays of the month at 10:00 a.m. at The Grow Center.

Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack River Valley Communities is the local chapter of the national Blessings in a Backpack organization. Our local chapter provides weekend nutrition for over 450 students in 19 schools in the Kankakee River Valley.

Market 102

Market 102, located at 310 Main St NW in the parking lot of The Grow Center, has been the home of the Farmer’s Market in Bourbonnais since 2016. 2022 Markets take place on the 2nd & 4th Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm.

The Grow Center sells fair trade coffee, chocolate, tea, and other products through Equal Exchange. Purchases can be made during open hours, at Market 102, or online.

All proceeds support our mission of creating a sustainable food system.

Learn why Fair Trade chocolate matters.

Spiritual Direction

Tim Nelson, certified Spiritual Director, offers this opportunity at The Grow Center. The art of Christian spiritual
direction is the practice of two people engaged in a companioning
relationship for the purpose of encouraging a maturing relationship
with God.

Project Sun

The Grow Center has partnered with Project Sun to offer sessions of “My Piece in the Puzzle,” a 4-week introductory program to create shared language, knowledge, and experiences related to systemic racism. This program is facilitated by Shannon Swilley & Robert Bushey Jr.

Catholic Charities

The Grow Center has provided space for Catholic Charities for workshops about caregiving for loved ones with Alzheimers as well as drive-through flu shot clinics and other programming for seniors.

Route 102 Car Shows serve as a fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack River Valley Communities.

$20 per vehicle entry donation. Awards for Best of Show, People’s Choice and Top of Class (Classic, Muscle, Motorcycle, Custom, Truck/Van).

2022 shows are on Sundays July 17, August 21, September 18, and October 16 from 11 am to 4 pm.

Harbor House

The Grow Center’s staff who serve on the Community Commission to End Domestic Violence. We partnered with Harbor House to raise awareness of domestic violence and to create a violence prevention initiative, “Not in Our House” offered the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Sundays of the month through the summer and fall from 11 am – 4 pm on the parking lot.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers meets at The Grow Center on Monday and Saturday mornings. We’re glad to partner with them on a journey of wellness through progress, not perfection.

Illinois People’s Action

Our Executive Director is a Community Organizer with Illinois People’s Action. The Grow Center serves as IPA’s hub in Kankakee County. IPA is a progressive, multi-issue faith and community organization in downstate Illinois. Their mission is to empower everyday people to become true partners in the decision-making process on justice issues affecting their communities, state and ultimately the nation as a whole.

Christmas Day, Inc.

This year is the 28th Annual Christmas Day Dinner. From serving at one site 28 years ago, we have grown to now serving free dinners for all at 9 sites in Kankakee County. The Grow Center (formerly Central Christian Church) has been a Christmas Day Inc site for over a decade.

Stony Road Podcast

A Podcast about Then and Now featuring educator Shannon Swilley & Rev. Robert Bushey, Jr. Whenever we discover what history has to offer it grounds us. We appreciate the opportunity to be connected to all that has come before us and all that will follow. We want this podcast to serve as a model for connecting the dots backwards as a means to bringing light and understanding to our current conversations about race and racial identity in America.

Polling Location

The Grow Center serves as a polling location for Precinct 5 in Bourbonnais.

Enneagram Coaching

Coming in 2023! Program & Communications Director Kelly Perotti will offer individual and group sessions to help people and organizations understand and know their true selves.

Happy Healthy Thriving Relationships

Coming in 2023! Original workshops on healthy relationships will be offered.

Bangs Library

Coming in 2023! Named after longtime CCIW Disciples Minister Clarence Bangs and his wife Lois, the Bangs library will house his collection of books on all topics. This library will be open to the general public.

Let’s grow peace in the community together.