Building Community: Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center

Inspired by 826 National, a creative writing program started by internationally acclaimed author Dave Eggers, the Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center (CYC) is the only organization in West Michigan that provides students with enriched writing instruction.

Regional Feature: Patrick Murphy Builders

When the owner of this new farmhouse bought the property, she was no stranger to it. Originally owned in the 50s and 60s by her grandfather, the 52 acres of this combined horse and agriculture farm held memories of her childhood. When her grandfather passed away, the land went to her father, who later sold it. Wishing to own the land once again, the homeowner purchased 27 of the 52 original acres and set the stage for what was to become the backdrop for this 5,300-square-foot, five-bedroom, eight-bathroom dream family home.

Building Community: Grand Rapids Kids Food Basket

A lesser-known fact is that one in five Michigan children are affected by hunger -- a startling statistic, and one that the Grand Rapids-based Kids Food Basket organization is actively trying to combat. While Grand Rapids is commonly thought to be an affluent community, there is also a prevalence of extreme poverty.

Focus On: Boxed Water is Better

In 2009, Ben Gott found himself noticing plastic everywhere – from the cafes he visited with friends to the consulting jobs he held. One such job included a water bottling plant where pallets of empty plastic bottles awaited shipment. So much plastic everywhere! Gott knew that 68 percent of all plastic is not recycled, and he also knew that an alternative was needed.

Regional Feature: Cnossen Construction, 42 North-Architecture + Design, Whit and Willow Design

Three prominent West Michigan business owners recently contributed their expertise to a residential building project that not only exposed their strength as collaborators but their brilliance at their respective crafts.