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My Town Grand Rapids: Design class lets students design Grand Rapids' future

My Town Grand Rapids: Design class lets students design Grand Rapids' future

My Town Wyoming: Help needed to make 'Read n' Give' a success

My Town Wyoming: Help needed to make 'Read n' Give' a success

WYOMING, Mich.—The LEAGUE Michigan is looking for more schools, organizations and businesses to help encourage literacy through a statewide book drive.

“Read n’ Give” is focused on boosting literacy among youth.  Schools, organizations and businesses collect K-5 books, which are donated to students involved in literacy programs with Camp Blodgett, The Salvation Army and Schools of Hope, which includes the Grand Rapids, Godfrey-Lee and Godwin Heights school districts.   When students are finished with the books, they are encouraged to donate them back into the program the next year, to foster the continuous cycle of giving.

Bridget Knight, who works with The LEAGUE Michigan, says participants in last year’s program collected 65,000 books statewide.  More than 39,000 books of those books came from West Michigan.  Knight says the goal this year is to collect 70,000 books.

My Town Grand Rapids: New Partners for Racism-Free Community

My Town Grand Rapids: New Partners for Racism-Free Community

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Nine more businesses and organizations have joined the Partners for Racism-Free Community in the journey to become racism free.

The following institutions successfully completed the program to become a full partner:

  • Brann’s Steakhouse & Sports Grille
  • Bethany Christian Services
  • Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders
  • The Source
  • Tall Turf Ministries
  • Family Futures (formerly Child & Family Resource Council)
  • YWCA West Central Michigan
  • St Mark’s Episcopal Church
  • Grand Valley State University

To become a full partner, these organizations addressed six key areas to help eliminate racism in the workplace, including:

  • Leadership Engagement
  • Internal Policies, Practices and Processes
  • External Collaborations and Relationships
  • Contractor, Supplier and/or Vendor Practices
  • Client, Congregation, Customer an

Local First presents fourth annual LocalMotion Awards

Local First presents fourth annual LocalMotion Awards

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Local First awarded exemplary businesses and individuals with the LocalMotion Awards at their Annual Meeting, presented by Eastern Floral and held at the Goei Center.

The LocalMotion Awards were created to recognize businesses and individuals leading the way in building a vibrant, sustainable community.  They’re a tool to help shift the “norm” towards sustainable business practices and to educate the community on the unique ways locally owned businesses impact our region. The awards were presented by Local First board members Andy Guy and Emily Loeks.

The winners:

The Triple Bottom Line, Up & Coming Business

Presented to a locally owned company that demonstrates a strong commitment to the TBL– either through successful outcomes or innovative programs. Must be in business between two and five years. Previous winners include: Brewery Vivant, Dwelltech Solutions, MadCap Coffee

Auto parts manufacturer expands in Grand Rapids

Auto parts manufacturer expands in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Grand Rapids manufacturer is growing.

Wolverine Building Group recently finished an expansion project for Thierica, located on Clancy Avenue NE.  The 9,500 square foot addition includes a portion of a docking system and more manufacturing floor space.  Construction crews also completely renovated the employee break area.

Thierica, which has been in business for more than 65 years, makes firm injection molds, paints robotically and decorates automotive components.  Theirica’s latest projects include creating components for the new Jeep and Ford F-150.

Family life stories net scholarships for two students

Family life stories net scholarships for two students

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A look at their roots is helping two young students grow their future.

Lily Frey and Anika Verbeek are the winners of this year’s Heritage Life Story Writing Contest.  Both girls were among the fifth grade students at All Saints Academy and West Side Christian School asked to write about someone who made a difference in their lives.

Lily chose her Aunt Paula:

“One of the struggles in her life was her best friend had cancer and died.  My Aunt Paula took care of her until she died.  Also, she took care of my Uncle Art’s parents when they were sick, and she takes care of my Grandma and Grandpa Robach.  My Aunt is kind of like a caretaker,” she writes.

Anika chose her grandpa, Renz Verbeek:

Company steps up to help feed hungry children

Company steps up to help feed hungry children

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Byron Center company in charge of shipping auto parts to major suppliers is using its expertise to feed thousands of hungry children.

Martin Transportation Systems teamed up with Kids’ Food Basket this holiday season to deliver sack dinners to five area schools for children who often go home hungry.  MTS employees also got hands-on experience in preparing meals for the more than 5,000 area children Kids’ Food Basket feeds each day.  MTS also challenged its employees to donate food and money to Kids’ Food Basket for a company match.  Collectively, the company raised $2,630 which will create more than 2,500 sack suppers.

Both companies plan to continue working together in the future.