Rockford Non-Profit Feeling Effects From Lack of State Budget

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The Easter Seals website has been heavily promoting “Giving Tuesday”, a global day dedicated to encouraging donations for those who need it most.

Odhe says donations are needed now more than ever. Easter Seals is a non profit organization that helps people with disabilities. The budget impasse in Springfield is causing big funding problems for some of their programs. It’s hitting their autism division especially hard.

Easter Seals Director of Communications, Kelly Anne Odhe, says, “Things like ‘Giving Tuesday’ help us diversify funding. We’re always looking for different opportunities to maximize, and really to be able to enhance those services.”

Odhe says, “Basically, the governor [Bruce Rauner] pulled the rug out under certain services that the state provides. One of them was the [Easter Seals] autism program.” 

State senator Dave Syverson (R) says private human service providers like Easter Seals are usually the ones taking the biggest hit during budget battles.

Syverson says, “I think it’s purely politics. Private human service providers aren’t part of government. They’re not part of the government unions that contribute a lot of money. They’re not part of education, which has a strong lobby.”

Syverson hopes a state budget can be passed soon to help out Easter Seals. Odhe does as well. She says it’s becoming more difficult to continue their service without help from Springfield.

She explains, “It can [be] come really challenging to us, because as an organization we want to excel. We want to help families. We want to deliver services to them in the best way possible.”

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