Getting out there and volunteering in our community has allowed us to meet new people who we may not have met otherwise. These relationships have helped us create a group of people to consult with outside of our immediate business network.
Being active in our community also gives us a chance to continue to collaborate with colleagues we’ve worked with before. Teaming up for a greater good is a powerful way to strengthen bonds and solidify relationships.
Casa de Esperanza
Casa de Esperanza Ministries is heavily involved in helping children and young adults in Honduras finish their primary education and go onto higher learning so they can have hope for a brighter future. Our first project “the Girls Project” placed 6 girls in a home with a mother, father and their children so they could learn daily living skills (cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc.) while finishing their high school education. All of the girls came from an orphanage where they’re often “kicked out” at 18 years old with a very limited education, most having only completed 5th or 6th grade. We also help them if they want to go onto the university level. Two of our young women have completed college, one is a head nurse at an Evangelical hospital in Honduras and the other owns her own store in Honduras.
Our newest project “the Boys Project” is very similar, 6-10 boys live with a family while they complete technological training (welding, woodworking, plumbing, etc.). We believe education brings people out of poverty. We also join forces with other Christian organizations with construction projects. We’ve recently replaced a sewer system, helped build a new bathroom and painted a newly built classroom at an Evangelical Church. We fund our projects with donations from churches and individuals, as well as through sales of some amazing foods that we sell throughout the year and during Coast Guard Festival.
Tri-Cities Kiwanis is a volunteer organization whose primary mission is helping children around the world and in our own community. Our members age range from early 30’s all the way up into the 60’s and 70’s. We’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars with fishing tournaments for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Devos Children’s Hospital, and have recently partnered with our local hospital, North Ottawa Community Hospital. We’ve committed to raising $100,000 that will go toward a Children’s Emergency Room right here in our local community. We also bring Santa to Downtown Grand Haven at no cost, only donations, because we recognize how difficult times have been. In 2013 we raised over $5,000 on Santa House and donated that money to Salvation Army who provided Christmas dinner and gifts for more than 70 families right here in Grand Haven.
Grand Haven Area Jaycees is a young persons’ volunteer organization (21 to 39 years old) that teaches leadership skills through community service. Jaycees runs many projects in the community (Adopt-A-Highway, Christmas Charity Dinner, Big Brother/Big Sister events, Haunted House, Christmas Tree Pick-Up, National Holiday Flag Settings along the boulevard) where the “chairperson” takes the lead with the help of other group members. The friendships that develop when you’re working toward a common goal last forever and the people skills you develop serve you well in your lifetime and in your career.