Senior Neighbors, an agency that operates out of Grand Rapids and in four other locations throughout Kent County, has developed dynamic programming to enhance the lives of those who participate in the organization.
PeaceJam Foundation, a Colorado-based international organization supporting young people working for peaceful change, was founded by two Michigan natives, Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff. As Suvanjieff left his apartment to go to work one day in 1996, he saw four young boys carrying guns, which was commonplace in that area at that time.
Along with a supportive board and the consistent contributions of Aretha Franklin for over 20 years, the Motor City Lyric Opera brings a highly musical and artistic performance to grade schools with messages that address bullying and promote kindness.
Project 111 (pronounced one eleven) was the dream of Midland police community relations officer Chad Schieber, who wisely observed that the most effective way to improve teenage driving records is through an incentive.
Programs that address this tumultuous history for Native Americans are still lacking in Michigan, with one beautiful exception: Spirit Journey. It was the vision of Brandon Ahmicasaube Smith, who conceived of the organization in 2012 after a conversation with his parents about providing summer programs that could empower participants in unprecedented ways.
Starting in San Sebastian, I walked through almost 30 towns on my way to Santiago. I was struck by the large and unoccupied swaths of land I passed, many of which had beautiful but abandoned houses or villas on the property.
MomsBloom offers myriad in-home services, ranging from meal prep to emotional support and companionship to care for additional siblings. People who have taken advantage of MomsBloom services refer to the program as the “extended family of the 21st century.”
The Kalamazoo Cat Café and Rescue opened its doors in 2017. Café director Abbey Thompson was already spearheading local adoption events when she happened to visit Catmosphere Cat Café in Sydney during a post-grad school trip to Australia. It was this experience that inspired her to further action.
Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen, a notable former owner of the Van Hoosen Farm, is a great example deserving of such recognition. A world-renowned surgeon in the late 1800s, Van Hoosen overcame significant challenges and criticism before launching her private practice – and she confronted similar challenges throughout her career.
Audrey Ann Wiggins led such an impactful, albeit brief, life that her parents decided to start an organization in her name to provide hope, love, and normalcy in support of medically fragile children and their families.