Stories

Feature Story Last year, Lowell United Methodist Church ended up exceeding its goal and providing 2,000 gift bags to four groups of essential workers.

Community Support Month in February: Where big ideas start small

Last year, Lowell United Methodist Church started small by providing gift bags for four groups of essential workers. The church not only reached their goal of raising $700 for the effort, but once the word spread in a grassroots way, that number reached $3,000 and they ended up recognizing more than 2,000 people in Lowell and surrounding communities.

Feature Story Sara Crookston directs a toy photo shoot.

How life is better in West Michigan for those designing our world

Sarah Crookston, Mimi Ray and David Allan are all leaders in design. While they could work anywhere in the world, they discuss why they choose to live and work in West Michigan.

Feature Story childcarephoto

A childcare solution: Marquette County to expand home-based childcare

In October, the Marquette County Board of Commissioners approved $100,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to support the Marquette County Childcare Business Lab Pilot, a business startup and growth accelerator program for potential home-based childcare businesses.

Feature Story  The DNSWM brain injury support group celebrates its first in-person meeting in the fall since the pandemic. (DNSWM)

How the pandemic made a brain injury support group more accessible

After going virtual during the pandemic, the brain injury support group hosted by Disability Network Southwest Michigan has shifted to a hybrid model as in-person meetings resume so more people can attend. 

Feature Story Lucia Rios's first time driving her new car. Her nephew Angelo Mata is in the front seat. He helped her identify how to work with the new technology.

Living with a disability is expensive

From buying a car to getting groceries, these necessities cost more when they need to adapt to someone who uses a wheelchair. Lucia Rios explains the hidden costs of living with a disability. 

Development News Grand Rapids African American Health Institute will expand and enhance programming aimed at reducing health disparities within the county's BIPOC communities with $1 million in American Recovery Program Act funds.

Grant expands GRAAHI’s power to eliminate health disparities

GRAAHI will expand and enhance programming aimed at reducing health disparities within the county's BIPOC communities with $1 million in ARPA funds.

Feature Story A Talentfirst panel

TalentFirst: Economic success through talent development

A declining labor force means more talent development is needed. Other issues targeted for the current state of the labor market include childcare shortage as well as racial and ethnicity gaps.

Feature Story Bagley

Detroit's hottest residential neighborhoods in 2023, according to realtors

Despite a cooling housing market, real estate agents in Detroit say due to low inventory, move-in ready houses near the city’s historic neighborhoods and thriving commercial corridors are still a hot buy.

Feature Story Help is just a phone call away.

Community mental health meets Northern Michiganders where they’re at with mobile crisis intervention

The Northern Lakes Community Mental Health Authority mobile crisis intervention services reach across Crawford, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Missaukee, Roscommon, and Wexford counties.    

Feature Story OnPoint provides care at its facilities and also via mobile crisis response.

OnPoint’s mobile crisis team brings help to Allegan County residents with urgent mental health needs

OnPoint’s Community Mental Health Mobile Crisis Intervention Program is available 24/7/365 with a supervisor and two clinicians on-call at all times. 

Feature Story From left: Dennis Young, Tom Sikkema and Melinda Young.

Ride YourWay fills niche for wheelchair-accessible transportation service in West Michigan

Last year demand for Ride YourWay grew nearly ten-fold. The company now has seven wheelchair-accessible vans and one ambulatory sedan to serve clients from Muskegon to Kalamazoo.

Longform Susan Sheppard, COO of Arbor Circle, which recently facilitated a statewide collaboration to better support medically fragile foster children.

Michigan project highlights needs of medically fragile foster children

A recent collaboration is working to address the many challenges faced by medically fragile foster children, who may live with chronic disorders or developmental disabilities.

Feature Story LowellArts Program Director Laurel Conrad is proud of the mission the nonprofit has upheld over the years.

LowellArts: Connecting local artists to audiences for decades

Inspired by a visit from the Artrain USA program in 1976, LowellArts hasn't slowed down since. The nonprofit has been connecting artists and audiences in the little town of Lowell for decades.

Development News Orgnanicycle plans to double composting effort and expand locations served in 2023.

Could compost be Grand Rapids’ next craft beer? Grand Rapids composter to double impact in 2023

Orgnanicycle plans to double composting effort and expand locations served in 2023

Feature Story Michigan musician Kait Rose

Kait Rose, one “Bad Mother,” making her voice heard throughout West Michigan

Michigan musician Kait Rose is becoming more comfortable with herself and her music and expanding her horizons in 2023 with The Band of Thorns.

Feature Story Alejandra Gomez, UNI education initiatives director

Bringing education and enrichment to Southwest Detroit youthQ&A with Alejandra Gomez: Nonprofit Journal Project

When she was 12 years old, Alejandra Gomez, started participating in afterschool activities in Southwest Detroit at United Neighborhood Initiatives. Today she leads afterschool and out-of-school programming for the agency, bringing creativity, heart and expertise to her work with young people.  

Partner Content Third-grade students at Neinas Dual Language Learning Academy in Detroit trying a yummy fruity roll-up tasting.

Detroit Public Schools Community District Farm-to-School initiatives grow through SNAP-Ed

The DPSCD Farm-to-School initiative increases the amounts of locally grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes used in school breakfasts and lunches.

Feature Story It's not a matter of if, but when a cybersecurity breach will occur, and many small businesses are not prepared with the necessary staff to implement good cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity pros are in high demand, but who will fill the roles?

It's not a matter of if, but when a cybersecurity breach will occur, and many small businesses are not prepared with the necessary staff to implement good cybersecurity. Here’s who can help guide us to a cyber secure future.

Feature Story Eastman kids and grandkids hamming it up for the camera.

Foster care fosters hope for Michigan’s most vulnerable children

Michigan's community mental health agencies, CMHs, provide mental health care for the roughly 10,000 children in Michigan’s foster care system. Here is how Genesee Health Systems and Sanilac County CMH are working hard to help foster children in their counties thrive.

Feature Story Sonia Brown

Empowering community members to eat healthierQ&A with Sonia Brown: Nonprofit Journal Project

Sonia Brown, known as Auntie Na, is rehabbing a house to be much more than a food pantry to serve Detroit’s west side. Nutrition education around healthy food shopping, meal preparation, and growing vegetables will take place at the “nutrition home,” located in the beloved neighborhood known as Auntie Na’s Village.