Streams of Hope https://streamsofhope.org To demonstrate God’s love and foster sustainable change through services that build relationships, meet family needs, and promote a healthier community. Thu, 25 Jul 2019 15:32:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 READ-y? Set? Go! https://streamsofhope.org/2019/07/24/read-y-set-go/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/07/24/read-y-set-go/#respond Wed, 24 Jul 2019 16:52:14 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=14662 For the past month and a half, kids have come to our campus every Monday to read, play games, and learn new soccer skills! We are, of course, talking about the World Cup Summer Readers Camp.

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For the past month and a half, kids have come to our campus every Monday to read, play games, and learn new soccer skills! We are, of course, talking about the World Cup Summer Readers Camp.

It’s a fun weekly program where students in grades 1-5 can hang out, learn about different countries, and be physically active. Best of all, not only is this summer camp fun, it’s a truly educational program as well! Here’s what Program Director Miles Colago had to say:  

“Kids transfer from playing competitively on the soccer field to listening intently to someone reading a story. They learn that they can not only enjoy being outside but also being enwrapped in a story, expanding their imaginations.” 

Miles also mentioned the “increase in passion for books” through this program. He cites the presence of the Kent County Bookmobile program and reading leader Courtney Oosterhouse as factors in augmenting the kids’ passion for reading. “They’ve been borrowing books every week and learning the value of going to the library and engaging with a librarian. It has been fantastic to witness over the last few years,” Miles explains.

The Bookmobile also helped us with other fun things like the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs you will find pictures of below! 

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This year, we welcomed around 40-60 kids every week, with many parents joining us as volunteers. Watching Kentwood community families flourish together has been such a blessing for us here at Streams of Hope. Our last day of the summer camp was on July 22nd, but we offer many other awesome programs for students all year long! Learn more about these opportunities here.

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We’re Growing: Position Open for Full-Time Executive Director https://streamsofhope.org/2019/07/11/candidates/ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 13:12:46 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=14624 Streams of Hope is excited to be seeking a full-time Executive Director to lead our team into new growth and impact.

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Streams of Hope is excited to be seeking a full-time Executive Director to lead our team into new growth and impact. God has blessed this organization with resources and open doors to continue expanding our programs, and with that comes the need for full-time leadership. Please review the Opportunity Profile and video introduction below for more information.

You may direct questions or your application to *protected email*.

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The Hudsonville Fair, Hogs, and 4-H https://streamsofhope.org/2019/07/11/the-hudsonville-fair-hogs-and-4-h/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/07/11/the-hudsonville-fair-hogs-and-4-h/#respond Thu, 11 Jul 2019 12:31:34 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=14505 H as in “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health”- the motto for the non-profit organization 4-H.  H as in the Hudsonville Community Fair  H as in..hogs? How do all of these things relate?  Well first, 4-H is a non-profit organization that strives to engage “youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth […]

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H as in “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health”- the motto for the non-profit organization 4-H. 

H as in the Hudsonville Community Fair 

H as in..hogs?

How do all of these things relate? 

Well first, 4-H is a non-profit organization that strives to engage “youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development” through experiential learning and the development of practical skills. The Swine Curriculum is one such program. Through this program, kids are taught how to raise pigs for a show. Aimee, a friend of our Streams of Hope team member Fayth, first introduced us to this program. Her two sons have been raising two pigs EACH through the program, and Aimee wanted to purchase one for Streams of Hope. This brings us to the next H… the Hudsonville Community Fair! 

From August 19-24, the city of Hudsonville holds a week-long fair featuring fun events like carnival rides, delicious food, and live music. One event is the livestock auction, where livestock are auctioned to fair-goers. Pigs raised by 4-H program kids will also be put on auction, and Streams of Hope has raised enough funds to win one this year! Aimee has been fundraising for Streams of Hope for quite some time now. Her efforts have not only helped us raise money for the pig, but has also introduced our organization to new donors. When our pig is available, we will process the meat at BC meats in Byron Center and offer it to our Food Center clients as some of the freshest and tastiest meat in town! 

So there you have it! The 4-H’s of the 4-H Swine Project. The fair will be taking place in just a few more weeks now, and we can’t wait! Having a whole pig donated to our Food Center means so much to the 500+ community families who regularly visit us for supplemental food. Thank you to all the donors – including the Boom Exercise Class – who made this purchase possible!

 Learn more about our Food Center by contacting Barb at *protected email*

 

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Spring GR Recap https://streamsofhope.org/2019/06/25/spring-gr-recap/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/06/25/spring-gr-recap/#respond Tue, 25 Jun 2019 12:12:18 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=14477 Let the party begin! The Spring GR training program came to a close on June 6th with a big graduation celebration. A total of 71 students participated in the program this year, with 18 of them being Streams of Hope’s very own. Most exciting of all? This year’s 1st place winner, Valarie James, was a […]

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Let the party begin! The Spring GR training program came to a close on June 6th with a big graduation celebration. A total of 71 students participated in the program this year, with 18 of them being Streams of Hope’s very own. Most exciting of all? This year’s 1st place winner, Valarie James, was a Streams of Hope student! To provide a little background, Valarie founded VSJ Fitness in 2015.

Her business “creates customized workout plans and offers personal training opportunities that improve the overall wellness goals for women who want to feel supported, motivated, and empowered.” VSJ Fitness was originally Valarie’s blog back in 2015. As a licensed personal trainer with a master’s degree in social work, she wanted to synthesize her two areas of expertise and help women reach their fitness goals. She wrote on topics concerning mental health awareness and the importance of being physically active.

Eventually, Valarie’s passion moved her away from the blog and towards building personal relationships via in-person classes. “Through VSJ Fitness I want to help my clients overcome these challenges and reduce the signs and symptoms associated with mental illness through being physically active. That’s why my mission is to ‘Inspire the Everyday Woman,’ ” she says. As her business grew, she joined the Spring GR class at Streams of Hope to take her business to the next level. She credits Streams of Hope for creating “The Extreme Team” for Spring GR, saying:

“We were able to have a safe space to be completely vulnerable about our struggles and success during the program, offering support and even prayer. I was so nervous to even practice my pitch at Streams of Hope but everyone was so encouraging and that helped me get over my fears. Thanks to Barb and the awesome cooks & team. Each week I looked forward to our Wednesday meetings and still missing everyone!”  

Valarie was awarded at graduation night along with the 2nd and 3rd place winners.

Although competition is a part of Spring GR, the program emphasizes training as the most integral aspect. As Arlene Campbell, Chief Creator of Opportunities at Spring GR, put it:

“All of the people who pitched did a fantastic job, and what we like the best here is that we don’t judge the competitions. We emphasize through the training that it’s not all about winning the competition, but it’s about effort, completing the work, and working on goals to move their business or idea forward. All of the people who pitched did a fantastic job.”

This year’s graduating class put the number of total Spring GR alumni to 431 people! Join this impressive alumni network if you are a budding entrepreneur looking for the next step.

Applications for Fall 2019 are now open. Learn more about Spring GR here and contact Barb at *protected email* to join the class at Streams of Hope.

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Grow with Streams of Hope https://streamsofhope.org/2019/06/14/grow-with-streams-of-hope/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/06/14/grow-with-streams-of-hope/#respond Fri, 14 Jun 2019 17:08:01 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=14427 Nothing says SPRING like gardening! *We’ve got just a few spots left in our Community Garden! It’s not too late to sign up – get more details below. If you have ever wanted to grow a garden, harvest your own vegetables, or just enjoy the community of gardening, we encourage you to join our Community […]

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Nothing says SPRING like gardening!

*We’ve got just a few spots left in our Community Garden! It’s not too late to sign up – get more details below.

If you have ever wanted to grow a garden, harvest your own vegetables, or just enjoy the community of gardening, we encourage you to join our Community Garden.

This program requires advanced registration and a small fee to enjoy all the joys of our plot of land. These benefits include healthy food, a beautiful green space, and community strengthening camaraderie.  

An upward of a dozen gardeners are projected to participate this year. Will you be one of them? We’re excited about the opportunity to offer green space to more of our neighbors this year!

Click here to view the registration form, or send us an email at *protected email* with any questions you may have.

 

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SimplyGive is Here! https://streamsofhope.org/2019/05/21/simplygive-is-here/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/05/21/simplygive-is-here/#respond Tue, 21 May 2019 12:06:41 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=14311 Exciting news! Streams of Hope is partnering with our Gaines Township Meijer Store again through their Meijer SimplyGive Campaign from Sunday, May 12th through Saturday, June 22nd. Most importantly our DOUBLE MATCH DAYS are on FRIDAY, MAY 31 and FRIDAY, JUNE 14! For every $10 you donate, your amazing Gaines Township Meijer Store will turn it […]

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Exciting news! Streams of Hope is partnering with our Gaines Township Meijer Store again through their Meijer SimplyGive Campaign from Sunday, May 12th through Saturday, June 22nd.

Most importantly our DOUBLE MATCH DAYS are on FRIDAY, MAY 31 and FRIDAY, JUNE 14! For every $10 you donate, your amazing Gaines Township Meijer Store will turn it into $30!

 This initiative helps us provide healthy, nutritious food to over 500+ community families at our Streams of Hope Food Center. Here’s how it works:

  1. You can find “Simply Give” gift cards at the Gaines Meijer at 1801 Marketplace Drive SE  Kalamazoo Avenue Meijer or at Streams of Hope.
  2. You can bring your “Simply Give” monetary donations to Streams of Hope on Tuesday or Thursday from 11am-1pm or 6pm-8pm. We will turn any monetary donations into gift cards for Streams of Hope.
  3. Meijer will then give Streams of Hope food gift cards that can be used in their store to purchase product for our food center
  4. DOUBLE MATCH! Meijer will double match your amount on May 31st and June 14th. 

When using the cards just let the cashier know that you would like the donation to go to Streams of Hope. Take one donation card and give it to the clerk as you are checking out at Meijer. You can let the clerk know the $ amount that you would like to donate Streams and they will add this amount to your bill.

We need your help to make a difference in this community! Thank you so much for making this opportunity a great success.

Follow us on Facebook to be the first to know about these exciting opportunities.

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Free Tax Assistance Earns $105K in Refunds & Credits for Families https://streamsofhope.org/2019/05/08/free-tax-assistance/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/05/08/free-tax-assistance/#respond Wed, 08 May 2019 16:38:27 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=13827 April 15th marked the end of another tax season. During this past tax season, Streams of Hope had the pleasure of providing a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This program offers free tax help to lower-income individuals. Along with other VITA partners like Kentwood Community Church, Maplelawn Baptist Church, GVSU, and Steelcase, we offered […]

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April 15th marked the end of another tax season. During this past tax season, Streams of Hope had the pleasure of providing a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This program offers free tax help to lower-income individuals. Along with other VITA partners like Kentwood Community Church, Maplelawn Baptist Church, GVSU, and Steelcase, we offered tax assistance at our campus during the weeks leading up to April 15. The results were incredible – 6 volunteers served a combined 413 hours to complete 107 tax returns, earning $171K for lower-income families!

As an added benefit, this program not only helps individuals file their taxes, this comprehensive process ensures that these individuals can get their maximum refund. This  creates a positive “ripple effect” that benefits the whole neighborhood. A study conducted in Austin, TX  found that tax credits stimulate can stimulate local economies by a multiplier of 1.6.

Our VITA volunteers are trained and certified by the IRS so that the taxes can be filed as accurately as possible. Volunteers also identified valuable tax credits for eligible individuals. Available tax credits included Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, Educational Credit, Homestead Property Tax Credit, and Home Heating Tax Credit. Streams of Hope served lower-income families from all over Kent County with this program. The majority of families came from our neighborhood and received $105,000 in refunds and credits!

In addition to securing refunds and credits, Streams of Hope saved community families $21,800 in tax fees this year. We extend a heartfelt “thank you” to our tireless volunteers who not only transformed the lives of the individuals you helped, but the community as a whole. We encourage you to consider volunteering with the Streams of Hope Tax Assistance program next year. You will receive training through the Kent County Tax Credit Coalition and do not need any previous experience or certifications! Learn more here.

Looking for other ways to get involved at Streams of Hope? Visit our volunteer page for more information!

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Thanks to the Buist Community Center https://streamsofhope.org/2019/05/07/thanks-to-the-buist-community-center/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/05/07/thanks-to-the-buist-community-center/#respond Tue, 07 May 2019 17:25:03 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=13706 Our partnership with Buist dates all the way back to the launch of our Food Center.

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“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Behind Streams of Hope, there lies a whole network of people who support us with their time and resources. The Buist Community Assistance Center, a choice food pantry in Byron Center, is one of those groups. Our partnership with Buist dates all the way back to the launch of our Food Center. When we received approval to build the food pantry, we weren’t sure where to start. We contacted Larry Buist, who provided us with his construction, design, and equipment expertise as he guided us through the whole process. He not only graciously lent us Buist’s truck, he also helped us source our first truck, as well as a few walk-in coolers and freezers for the Food Center.

Our Food Center’s relationship with Buist continues to flourish to this day. The Buist Community Assistance Center consistently supplies over half of our total monthly pounds of food to support the 500+ client families who come to our Food Center.

Above, you can see a great picture of Buist’s amazing Executive Director, Shirley Tenharmse, and her invaluable team receiving a thank you plaque and a pizza lunch from Streams of Hope. Buist has supported Streams of Hope since the very beginning, and we wouldn’t have been able to bless so many families without them.

Streams of Hope is incomplete without the support of our community. If you are another business church, or another nonprofit that shares our vision of service, we invite you to email our Executive Director Paul.

Thank you, once again, to the Buist Community Assistance Center!

 

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Sharing God’s Love with Kids https://streamsofhope.org/2019/04/08/sharing-gods-love-with-kids/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/04/08/sharing-gods-love-with-kids/#respond Mon, 08 Apr 2019 17:53:33 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=13684 “One main goal in the middle school program is to share God's love with all of the kids. We consider ourselves as a second family. This means we strive to treat each other with kindness and respect.”

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“One main goal in the middle school program is to share God’s love with all of the kids. We consider ourselves as a second family. This means we strive to treat each other with kindness and respect.”

Our After School Program is a program designed to provide middle school students a space to hang out, have snacks, and enjoy organized activities such as baking, crafts, and sports. They also participate in “Real Talk,” where they discuss the real issues kids face, the importance of healthy values, their belief in God, and His love for them.

Paula Guikema serves as Program Director for the After School Program. She has been a dedicated part of the Streams of Hope team since our founding in 2006, and she lives within 2 miles of our campus.

“Some people get called to Africa… but my mission field is just down the road!” she says. Here’s what else Paula had to say about our After School Program:

“We gather around the table for snack and share what’s going on in our lives. We talk about how much God loves us and encourage the kids to develop a relationship with Him. We pray together. Within this goal, we seek to partner with parents, teachers and administrators to help kids navigate adolescence, which can be a difficult time of life for many kids. Their desire for independence is growing and yet they still need to depend on parents for the things they need.

“They want to make their own decisions, but parents and teachers still need to monitor and approve those decisions. They have a desire to have their own privacy, yet parents need to make sure they don’t put themselves in danger. They want to go places and choose their own friends, but parents must put boundaries on that to keep them from making bad choices. It is a constant tug-of-war that is frustrating, confusing, and tiring for everyone involved.

“In adolescence, a kid’s brain is still evolving and their thinking takes on a new dimension. As young children, they accepted and trusted mom and dad’s values, but in adolescence, they want to figure it out for themselves. They start to question their parents’ decisions, rules and values. They have to decide if they will adopt their parents’ beliefs as their own. Since they aren’t adults, they find it hard to understand what parents and teachers expect, and misunderstandings abound. Communication becomes strained. This is where we try to help.

“We listen to kids’ frustrations and can relate to them because we have all gone through those teenage years ourselves.  But we also relate to parents, because we are parents. We seek to explain why a teacher may hold them to certain standards or why a parent may have made a decision they don’t like. We talk about the importance of trying one’s best in school, of being respectful to parents and teachers. We explain that they will always have obligations and authority figures in their lives.

“Their relationships with family and friends will be challenging at times. They will encounter difficult people that they need to get along with. As adult staff and volunteers, we too face certain expectations at work and at home. We share our own experiences with the kids. We use the Bible as our guide to help us all understand how God wants us to live and work with others. Loving others isn’t easy and we will all fail from time to time, but with God’s help, we can continue to grow in our love for others.”

Do you also have a heart for helping? Apply to volunteer here!

 

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The Bike Rodeo is Rolling Back https://streamsofhope.org/2019/03/29/bike-rode-rolling-back/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/03/29/bike-rode-rolling-back/#respond Fri, 29 Mar 2019 13:25:29 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=13626 Delicious food, an exciting giveaway, and fun galore! The Bike Rodeo is rolling BACK to Streams of Hope. For the second time EVER, we will be hosting our annual Bike Rodeo from 10am-2pm on May 4th at our campus. Our 2019 sponsors include our friends at the Gaines Township Meijer and Integrity Business Solutions. And […]

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Delicious food, an exciting giveaway, and fun galore! The Bike Rodeo is rolling BACK to Streams of Hope.

For the second time EVER, we will be hosting our annual Bike Rodeo from 10am-2pm on May 4th at our campus. Our 2019 sponsors include our friends at the Gaines Township Meijer and Integrity Business Solutions. And we want to give another special thank-you to Kruse Orthodontics and Armbrecht & Wierenga Orthodontics. We are grateful for their partnership!

The Bike Rodeo is a family-friendly neighborhood-wide event where friends of the Streams of Hope community can come together for an exciting day of fun. The Bike Rodeo last year had face painting, bike repair/safety tips, and a bike giveaway! We plan to have all the same events along with an exciting Rodeo Race to top it all off.

We hope this year will bring more fun and more families than before! We enjoy being able to bless local kids with a new bike, which they ‘earn’ through volunteering a few hours at a campus. And it is a great afternoon to meet our neighbors and celebrate our community. Last year, we enjoyed partnerships with the local sheriff department in addition to several businesses. 

Streams of Hope is also looking for volunteers and sponsors who would be willing to help us make this day even more special. Sign up here to volunteer, and email Sandi for sponsorship opportunities.

So mark your calendars for May 4th! This will be a day you won’t want to miss. 

 

Interested in volunteer on the day of the event, or in earning a bike through volunteer hours? Fill out the volunteer signup form here.

 

 

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