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We are committed to engaging the most marginalized people, places, and issues in our region and around the world. Our approach is to balance out immediate relief efforts with long-term development efforts –working for systemic change that gets at root causes whenever possible. Watch for opportunities for all ages to engage your head, heart, hands, and voice [holler!].

Racial Justice + Reconciliation

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.

  • Education [Affinity Mentoring]

    Affinity Mentoring champions, empowers, and serves kids and families in some of the most under-resourced schools in the Grand Rapids.

  • Resources for Fighting Racism

    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.

Youth Homelessness

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.

  • HQ + 3:11 Youth Housing

    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.

  • Jenison + Grandville Public Schools

    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.

  • Mel Trotter Ministries

    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.

Human Trafficking + Gender-Based Violence

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.

  • Sacred Beginnings

    Our Joy Box giving helps Sacred Beginnings provides housing costs and mentoring for trafficked women who are just getting off the streets.

  • Solutions to End Exploitation [SEE]

    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.

Refugees + Immigration

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.”

  • Partners Relief + Development

    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.

  • Treetops Collective

    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.

Clean Water

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.

  • 20 Liters

    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.

Grassroots

Help us create a world where the creativity, passion, and drive of Jesus’ followers carve out spaces of belonging and strength for those who feel left on the outside. Our Grassroots Initiative provides funding and mentoring for people and organizations in the Mars Hill community who are launching new projects—whether for-profit or nonprofit—that can make measurable change in the world.


2018-2019 Grant Recipients

  • Faith 45

    Faith45 was born out of a dream to help other couples and families going through those days and weeks following the loss of a child. Losing a child is one of the hardest times a parent could ever have to live. We believe God has called us to walk this road and to help others walking it as well.

  • H.O.P.E. Gardens

    The Mission of H.O.P.E. gardens is to bring sustainable, no-till organic gardening practices to the market place for the purpose of supplying healthy, affordable sources of food to those that are challenged with finances, growing conditions and time. From a gardening practice standpoint, H.O.P.E. organic “covering” methods provide a rich soil base for growing in most climates. It requires little to no watering and provides a weed barrier and minimizes maintenance during the growing season and preparation in spring and fall by a process of recreating the forest floor.