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.
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.
The benefits of leading a comprehensive program like Leelanau Outdoor Center manifests itself perhaps most prominently in the way kids come out of their protective shells. They learn to take risks, make friends, and be less concerned about perceived failures; it’s a real confidence builder.
The budding group of members experienced exponential growth, so, in 2007, four years after its inception, Local First hired Elissa Sengalli Hillary as director and acquired nonprofit status in order to begin fundraising. In just two years, Local First membership grew from 150 to over 500 locally owned businesses and was able to hire additional staff to assist Hillary in brainstorming new undertakings the organization could sustain.
Communities in Schools (CIS) is a national organization that removes barriers that typically derail students from attending or finishing school, some of which are outside their control. Some barriers include receiving adequate nutrition, help with homework, ample homework supplies, and sufficient healthcare.
She founded her organization, Each One Teach One, in 1999 so that these women could enhance the quality and stability of their own and their children’s lives.
Since its inception, For a Brighter Tomorrow has assisted 333 clients, including reuniting five mothers with their children, all with a volunteer staff of just three. Their purpose is to connect individuals with the resources they need to overcome addiction, which often includes funds for transportation, clothing, court fees, gas, and so on.