We are committed to engaging the most marginalized people, places, and issues in our region and around the world. Our approach is to balance our immediate relief efforts with long-term development efforts –working for systemic change that gets at root causes whenever possible.
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Simply put, people of color are disproportionately affected in any area of injustice or inequity that you can imagine (including those above). It is more often the rule than the exception that our brothers and sisters of color face bias and prejudice in such a way that their basic humanity, worth, safety, and ability to use their God-given potential is too often thwarted. . And the Church has not only been complacent in its response, but historically churches have been complicit or the cause of great injustices. We say, no more. We want to repent, to do justice, to empower and uplift those who have been marginalized.
Affinity Mentoring champions, empowers, and serves kids and families in some of the most under-resourced schools in the Grand Rapids.
As a community, we are committed to service—to moving our resources and ourselves in response to human need. Focusing largely on the most vulnerable, we’ve established a framework of investing in 4 main initiatives at a time, so that we can maintain our collective focus and make the greatest impact. Locally and globally, our skills, experiences, resources, and heartbeat meet around forgotten places, people, and issues.
Housing costs are skyrocketing in West MI. The demand is high, and the options (for all income levels) are low. Subsidized housing options are few and far between as well.
Mel Trotter rightfully prides themselves on providing housing to anyone in need. Your donations have helped them provide shelter, food, and support services to youth and families when other orgs could not stay open during the peak of COVID.
Hundreds of dollars of gas cards are given to help single mamas and their kiddos get to appointments, jobs, school, and running necessary errands. No public transit makes this essential.
A holistic array of support for a young adult experiencing homelessness: access to care from a nurse, help looking for a job, meet with a counselor or mentor, to find transitional housing, or simply experience moments of safety and belonging.
This isn’t an “issue”, and it’s not “over there.” SEE’s data collection is nationally known, and the numbers are clear that both labor- and sex-trafficking are alive and well in West MI. And with the stats being what they are, it’s likely that “users” are sitting in the pews of our churches. Likewise, with our digital age, kids of all backgrounds can be exploited.
Our Joy Box giving helps Sacred Beginnings provides housing costs and mentoring for trafficked women who are just getting off the streets.
The staff at SEE are known nationally for their expertise in understanding, preventing, and stopping trafficking at the root level. Our Joy Box giving has provided funding for the staff at SEE to share their expertise and connections with local service providers to better care for victims.
The number of refugees and internally displaced people numbers over 65 million worldwide, more than half of whom are children.. We cannot sit idly by while these beloved individuals and families lack access to basic human rights or are marginalized within our own “communities.”
Helping Siblings At The Border
Because of your Joy Box giving, we are able to sponsor 20 pairs of siblings, moving them out of a temporary large border facility into loving foster homes until they can be reunited with family.
The Rohingya refugee community in Myanmar and SE Bangladesh is arguably one of the best kept secrets in the world: almost 1 million strong, yet disregarded by their own government and not often represented in mainstream media. Since learning about this community, folks from MH have rallied to raise money for food and shelter, to launch and support new schools, and to fund the training and supplies for Rohingya health care workers who are helping to educate and care for their own community.
We also were able to help fund their efforts in providing relief directly to Afghans. Because their efforts are ongoing, we can’t release much more information than that to protect those involved in this operation.
Our funding has allowed TC staff to develop relationships with New Americans women and girls, connect them with others within the Grand Rapids community, and help them find their footing in school, work, and everyday life. Since their location is such a critical part of their work, Mars Hill also provided a lead gift in helping them purchase their building on the SE side of Grand Rapids.
Water is a justice issue. It’s a systemic issue. If you don’t have clean water, you can’t bathe or wash your uniform for school or work. You can’t avoid water-borne illness. You cannot live or love well, let alone thrive.
Started by a handful of passionate volunteers and officially launched by Mars Hill as an independent non-profit, volunteers from 4-94 y.o. have been assembling and shipping water filters to Rwanda ever since. And Mars Hill families look forward to walking in solidarity to/from a water collection site during the annual 20L Walk for Water. We are still amazed that $100 provides clean water for one family for ten years.
Help us create a world where the creativity, passion, and drive of Jesus’ followers carve out spaces of belonging, opportunity, and strength for those who need it most. Our Mobilization Incubator helps us capture the needs, opportunities, and ideas that our congregation sees in our midst all year long -- seeking to organically unite like-minded people with the social capital and resources to move them forward. The Grassroots Grants takes this even further, funding fully formed projects proposals -- whether for-profit or nonprofit - that can make measurable change in the world.
The current landscape - in our homes, city, and world – has surfaced some new needs, ideas, and opportunities all around us. As a church that desires to be Outward- and Outreach-focused, sensitive to the Spirit, and empowering of the whole body of Christ, we want to give an opportunity for people in our congregation to share what they are seeing + sensing: What are the needs, ideas and opportunities that you cannot shake? What are the strategies or creative ideas you have that could help meet those needs?
The Grassroots Grant seeks to empower individuals, start-up organizations, and local churches to bring their new ideas, solutions, and passions to life. We recognize that our goal of making measurable change is best achieved through a diversity of people who have unique vision, influence, passions, and skills.