Bridges of Hope, Allegan County has been hard at work during the second quarter. Read on to see what we have been up to!
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In April, we offered a Bridges out of Poverty workshop to help members of the community better understand the limitations of living in poverty and how we can enable change. While some attendees represented non-profit organizations, such as St. Vincent De Paul, others came for their own personal knowledge and understanding. Chris Haas, our Facilitator, discussed the "hidden rules" among economic classes as well as barriers faced. One barrier, access to affordable groceries, is something Mary Lober, one of the attendees, had never considered. A person living in poverty may not live near or have transportation to a grocery store, forcing the individual to shop within walking distance, often at gas stations where food is much more expensive. Bob Benson, an attendee from St. Vincent De Paul and Bridges of Hope, feels the workshop changes the perception of generational poverty. If you are interested in attending a Bridges out of Poverty workshop, contact us at 269-685-5113 ext. 102 or
Our Bridges out of Poverty workshops are based on "Bridges out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities." The book offers many insights into how those in poverty may think and the "hidden rule" by which they are governed.


June 11 - Pancake Breakfast We offered a pancake breakfast in a low-income neighborhood to establish relationships with individuals that may benefit from our programs. We provided information about Getting Ahead, and our Summer Enrichment Program as well as other free programs in the community.

June 25 - Volunteer Recognition Brunch To show our appreciation for the hard work they do, we provided a delicious brunch for our volunteers.

June 26 - Staying Ahead Picnic We held a picnic with games and children's activities for all Getting Ahead graduates and their families. With 33 people in attendance, it was a very enjoyable afternoon!

(Summer Enrichment Program 2015)

Our Summer Enrichment Program will offer a healthy lunch and various enriching activities to the children in one low-income neighborhood throughout July and August. The program, directed by our Vice-President, Nancy Heilig, will also provide numerous children the opportunity to visit the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Dairy Discovery, Roller World, and the Kingsman Museum. New to the program is the chance to be in a play as part of the Children's Summer Theatre Group! If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering to help with the play or the Summer Enrichment Program, we would love to hear from you!

We would like to express our gratitude to the Allegan County Community Foundation for the TAG Grant to fund this program, as well as to Clearwater Financial for their generous contribution.
Bridges of Hope, Allegan County attempts to combat poverty from every angle. Our newest effort is our Housing Help Program, which helps locate housing for individuals who have been approved for housing assistance through the Housing Assessment Resource Agency (Allegan County Community Mental Health Services 269-686-4703). By answering a few basic questions about your situation, we can help to resolve paperwork issues and get you pointed in the right direction. By creating a list of available apartments that fit your needs and for which you qualify, we can help you avoid paying unnecessary application fees. If you would like help finding housing, email us at
Gail Hill, our Board President, joined others in accepting the Legacy Grant from the Allegan County Community Foundation in April.
During the second quarter of 2016, we were fortunate enough to be blessed with several grants:
  • The Allegan County Community Foundation's Legacy Grant awarded us $9000 (see picture above) for client programs, volunteer training, community events, and wages for our Administrative Assistant.
  • The Allegan County Community Foundation's TAG Grant awarded us $500 for our Summer Enrichment Program.
  • The Anna R. Pipp Endowment Fund awarded us $1000 to fund the building of our website (, coming soon).
  • The United Methodist Church's Unified Fund Grant awarded us a quarterly payment of $850 for Getting Ahead workshops, workbooks, and Facilitator training.
Bridges of Hope, Allegan County is so grateful for all of the grants received! They allow us to continue working toward our goal of eliminating poverty in Allegan County. We would also like to thank the Plainwell Meijer for their gift card donation to provide meals for participants during our Getting Ahead workshops.
Contact us at 269-685-5113 ext. 102 or
  • Become an Encourager - work with graduates of our Getting Ahead program to help them find sustainability.
  • Provide childcare during workshops - on-site.
  • Provide a simple meal for Getting Ahead participants (and any children present) - this can be as simple as sandwiches and chips.
  • Provide transportation to workshops for our Getting Ahead participants - all workshops are within Allegan County.
  • Serve on the Board of Directors - the Treasurer position is currently vacant.
  • Serve on the Finance Committee - ensure corporate finances are being utilized, recorded, and reported effectively, efficiently, and according to regulations.
  • Serve on the Program Development Committee - develop, implement, and evaluate our programs.
  • Serve on the Summer Enrichment Program Committee - plan, implement, and evaluate our Summer Enrichment Program.
  • Serve on the Outreach Committee - plan events and promote our programs within the community, including opportunities for speaking, fundraising, and marketing.
  • Serve on the Development and Recruitment Committee - form and maintain lists of potential board members as well as help to ensure the board remains effective; coordinate and track volunteers and volunteer activities.
  • Tax-deductible donations are also welcomed: Bridges of Hope, Allegan County, 290 12th Street, Plainwell, MI 49080

25' extension cord - with multiple outlets
Surge protectors
Digital camera
Paper shredder
Paper cutter
10-key calculator
Labeling machine
Dorm refrigerator
Staples gift cards
Copyright © 2016 Bridges of Hope, Allegan County, All rights reserved.

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