Stories

Feature Story D&HHS Board President Rowan O’Dougherty speaks at the organization's capital campaign launch.

7 ways Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services pivoted during the pandemic

Responding to clients who were frustrated about missing out on critical COVID-19 information, staff at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services in Grand Rapids made changes to better serve them. 

Development News walk roll ride 2

Active Commute Week: Walk, Roll + Ride

It’s Active. Commute Week in West Michigan, a celebration of cleaner, healthier, less congestion-causing transportation. The Rapid’s West Michigan Rideshare program, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum (WMSBF) and participating businesses are encouraging people to walk, bike, scooter, carpool or take the bus to get where they want to go from June 16 to 23

Feature Story Chalk Art Festival

Enjoying art, beer and music as summer approaches

Summer is almost here. Take a look at a few arts-focused events taking place that you can check out with family and friends.

Feature Story A Holland Rotary Club partners with Gentex to donate accessible equipment to Food Club & Opportunity Hub. (CAH)

Donations of adaptive equipment increase accessibility

Organizations are stepping up to donate equipment that increases or improves access to public spaces for people with disabilities. Most recently, track chairs were gifted to Holland State Park and a motorized shopping cart was given to the Food Club in Holland. 

Feature Story The Lakeshore LEDA staff at  2022 Summit on Race and Inclusion. (LEDA)

Insights from LEDA’s 2022 Summit on Race and Inclusion

Eric K. Foster, managing director of Rende Progress Capital, and Lance Werner, executive director of the Kent District Library, were among the speakers at the 17th annual Summit on Race and Inclusion.

Longform Stethoscope and money

How can Michigan maintain care for 500k residents who gained Medicaid health insurance during COVID?

Over half a million Michiganders stand to lose their coverage again whenever the federal government revokes the public health emergency declared in January 2020.

Feature Story Rafael

Building momentum in careers and community: Latinx leadership program looks ahead

The LEADeres program has been developing Latinx leaders for the last decade. These leaders still rely on the lessons learned in their cohort. Now the program is expanding to meet the needs of returning students.

Feature Story Ava Devanney has used her Spanish skills when traveling to Latin American countries.

How my Spanish Immersion education is preparing me for the future

Eighth-grader Ava Devanney shares what’s like being in a Spanish Immersion program, and why she’s glad her parents put her on that track to be bilingual as a child. 

Development News Lotus Brew

Wellness collective, coffee shop a safe space for gathering, healing and building community

Northeast Grand Rapids small business collective includes LGBTQ-friendly coffee shop and library, yoga, reiki and massage businesses under one roof.

Feature Story Jonathan K. Cauchi leads a class through Disability Advocates of Kent County.

Your words matter: How to respect people with disabilities

Persons First Language is replacing ableist language that devalues people with disabilities by erroneously implying they are abnormal.

Feature Story Despite a labor shortage, people with disabilities are dramatically underemployed. (Disability:IN)

West Michigan employers leading the way in accessible workplaces

Despite a labor shortage, people with disabilities are dramatically underemployed. But there are employers leading the way in providing accessible accommodations so they can tap into this often-overlooked talent pool.   

Longform Dr. Sabrina Ford, an associate professor in the Michigan State University College of Medicine Institute for Health Policy, is leading a project to analyze and address the causes of disparity in ER follow-up care for Black patients.

Black ER patients are less likely to receive follow-up care, and this project is examining why

A new Michigan project is engaging community-based organizations to gather information on, and develop solutions to, disparities in ER follow-up care.

Feature Story Stephanie Deible is community is a inclusion specialist for Disability Network West Michigan.

Former Ms. Wheelchair America leader advocates for inclusion

The Heart of an Advocate: From Ms. Wheelchair America leader to inclusion specialist and ride-share organizer, Stephanie Deible is rolling to a bright future.

Longform Paula Nelson, Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center president and CEO, with Jessica Horton, a former Sacred Heart client and now a Sacred Heart peer support coach.

Michigan’s recovery communities offer a "total ecosystem" of services for getting and staying sober

Recovery communities support a continuum of care by providing detox services, residential treatment, outpatient services, recovery supports, housing, and more.

Partner Content A father selects fresh-picked radishes at a local farm stand.

Creating sustainable, local food systems through food policy councils

This article is the second in a two-part series about food policy councils and how SNAP-Ed can help to inform that work. 

Feature Story lunch at the library

KDL’s summer feeding program helps to fill gaps in student nutrition

Children need food to help fuel their bodies and minds, but over weekends and during summer months, many students who receive free or reduced lunches suffer without proper nutrition. Kent District Library’s summer Lunch at the Library program offers youths ages 2-18 free nutritious meals.

Innovation News microsoft teams

GRow1000 returns for its third year to help shape careers of next generation

GRow1000 returns to employ young adults ages 15 to 24 in professional career opportunities and mentorship. One partner organization, Spectrum Health, explains how participants can benefit from this program.

Partner Content Families enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables at a local farm stand.

The intersection of communities, educators, and food policy councils for just, healthy food systems

A food policy council can influence, improve, or remove barriers in the food system that cause disparities, inequities, poor nutrition, or economic hardships. 

Feature Story banking program

Banking program provides accounts with little or no fees to underserved communities

In May 2022, Gov. Whitmer announced the Michigan Open Account Coalition, which seeks to connect unbanked or underbanked Michiganders with access to financial services.