In 2004, Dr. Rucks established the Coalition for Community Development (CCD) as a 501c3 non-profit grassroots organization. Gathering many dedicated volunteers, generous donations, and a Board of Directors, she began the rest of her life's work in Muskegon Heights. CCD's accomplishments are remarkable. In her words, "every accomplishment embraces the activities, prayers, and encouragement of others". CCD's programs, current and past, have been focused on education, being well aware that the effects of poverty and systemic racism on education are devastating. Literacy programs include: Mentoring the Heights elementary school children that needed individual attention, opening all three of the school libraries staffed with retired librarians, teachers, and dedicated community members to instill the love of reading in the children, Operation Healthy Heights has established gardens at Edgewood and MLK teaching students how to grow and care for plants, where their food comes from, and healthier ways to eat. Through it all students learn math, science, vocabulary and reading skills. Friends of Muskegon Heights Library bring enrichment programs and activities, such as African American authors, film makers and creates a community center within the library. Doris Rucks was the driving force, a force of nature, behind all that CCD has accomplished. CCD is truly her lasting legacy. Doris Rucks embodied persistence, teamwork, service, community activism, a firm belief in the humanity of people in every station of life and dedication to the community. She was always hopeful saying,
"we just have to keep on trying".
A non-profit organization promoting healthy and vibrant families and communities through leadership, positivity, education, advocacy, and collaboration working side by side with the schools and neighbors of Muskegon Heights.
CCD supports and encourages by:
Sponsoring community gatherings, literacy events, and special programs for children and families through the Friends of Muskegon Heights District Library.
Promoting good nutrition and healthy eating by teaching children to garden in the elementary gardens, hosting gardening classes for adults, partnering with neighbors in community gardens, and teaching through Cooking Matters classes.
Working with neighbors to beautify our community by cleaning empty lots throughout the city.
Aligning efforts with resident-led initiatives through collaborations with groups such as the Muskegon Heights Neighborhood Association Council.