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. Tue, 21 Jan 2020 21:23:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 Introducing our New Executive Director https://streamsofhope.org/2020/01/21/introducing-our-new-executive-director/ https://streamsofhope.org/2020/01/21/introducing-our-new-executive-director/#respond Tue, 21 Jan 2020 21:23:52 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=17095 We are so excited to announce today that our Board of Directors has unanimously approved the appointment of Kurtis Kaechele as our next Executive Director. Kurtis will be taking leadership in our organization’s first full-time position beginning February 17. With the continued growth of 10 existing programs and planned expansion into new offerings for our […]

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We are so excited to announce today that our Board of Directors has unanimously approved the appointment of Kurtis Kaechele as our next Executive Director.

Kurtis will be taking leadership in our organization’s first full-time position beginning February 17. With the continued growth of 10 existing programs and planned expansion into new offerings for our community, the time is ripe for Streams of Hope to invest in a full-time leader. Our former Executive Director Paul Holtrop, who has helped lead the organization since its inception in 2006, will be ensuring a smooth transition with Kurtis.

“I’m excited to have Kurtis starting soon,” says Paul. “He is an enthusiastic leader and faithful Christian who will continue to emphasize community building at Streams of Hope.”

Kurtis is a native of Caledonia, Michigan and lives in Grand Rapids with his wife and young daughter. He spent the past 15 years as a brand and marketing strategist, most recently as the Marketing Director for Nexstar Media, the parent organization for WOOD TV8 locally. Kurtis holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State in Communications and Media, and has been instrumental in planning and promoting the popular Maranda Park Parties in West Michigan. His background in communication and strategic planning is a wonderful fit for Streams of Hope, which has been a staple of the Townline community for the past 12 years.

“Streams of Hope is well established, and it’s just starting to build on a really solid foundation,” shares Kurtis. “I’m really impressed with what they offer and the good work they’re doing in our community, and I look forward to sharing that story with others.”

Our organization is fairly young, but we have been blessed with a significant, long-term impact on this community. Our focus is healthy schools, neighborhoods, and families. Through a variety of programs we touch almost 600 neighbors each month. Supportive services like the Food Center, an onsite medical clinic, fitness and cooking classes, and after-school programs for students help foster a healthier community.

Under Kurtis’s leadership, we plan to continue expanding our programs to reach more neighbors. In 2019, Streams of Hope had a $1 million economic impact on our community. We are looking forward to increased growth!

“God has truly blessed me with this incredible opportunity,” says Kurtis. “I am excited to bring my passion, experience, and fresh perspective to this amazing team of staff and volunteers. Together we’ll build upon Streams of Hope’s successful history of positive, sustainable change in our community!”

Looking for ways to get involved at Streams of Hope? Check out volunteer opportunities here and sign up for our newsletter here.

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A Bank of America Blessing https://streamsofhope.org/2019/12/17/a-bank-of-america-blessing/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/12/17/a-bank-of-america-blessing/#respond Tue, 17 Dec 2019 13:27:32 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=16836 We had an amazing group of Bank of America employees volunteer at Streams of Hope on this November. Their team did a variety of maintenance work indoors and out. They emptied flower boxes, raked leaves cleaned shelves and windows, mopped floor, and compiled receipts. They also presented us with a most generous donation of $5,000 for our […]

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We had an amazing group of Bank of America employees volunteer at Streams of Hope on this November. Their team did a variety of maintenance work indoors and out. They emptied flower boxes, raked leaves cleaned shelves and windows, mopped floor, and compiled receipts. They also presented us with a most generous donation of $5,000 for our Food Center, which supports 500+ families each month!

Bank of America has been a multi-year sponsor, and a great partner for our community. They routinely invested in Streams of Hope as an economic development organization for our neighborhood. Thank you Bank of America for blessing us with your generosity!

Check out some photos from their volunteer day below:

Looking to volunteer at Streams of Hope? We’d love to have you! See what kind of volunteer opportunities we have available here. 

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Streams of Hope, Tax Season, and YOU! https://streamsofhope.org/2019/12/04/streams-of-hope-tax-season-and-you/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/12/04/streams-of-hope-tax-season-and-you/#respond Wed, 04 Dec 2019 17:11:44 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=16615 Tax season is coming up and we need YOUR help! Streams of Hope is looking for volunteers to prepare tax returns for lower-income families. Last year, our amazing team of volunteers was able to prepare a total of 109 tax returns, allowing community families to collect almost $200,000 in refunds, credits, and avoided fees. In […]

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Tax season is coming up and we need YOUR help! Streams of Hope is looking for volunteers to prepare tax returns for lower-income families. Last year, our amazing team of volunteers was able to prepare a total of 109 tax returns, allowing community families to collect almost $200,000 in refunds, credits, and avoided fees. In addition, filing taxes can help reduce poverty, promote work, and even improve the school performance of children. 

This year, Streams of Hope is calling upon the help of our community once again. Will you help? You don’t need any previous experience to be a Volunteer Tax Preparer – United Way will train you. They provide free training materials, support, and equipment for this team of about eight volunteers. Training sessions are in December and January and tax preparations will begin from February until April. Refer to the flyer below to get details on specific dates.

Tom Bulten, our VITA liaison, calls this an opportunity to “strengthen families and communities.” Contact him at bultentom@gmail.com for more information. 

 

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Join us for the Chick-fil-a Fundraiser on Tuesday, Dec 3 https://streamsofhope.org/2019/12/02/join-us-for-the-chick-fil-a-fundraiser-on-tuesday-dec-3/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/12/02/join-us-for-the-chick-fil-a-fundraiser-on-tuesday-dec-3/#respond Mon, 02 Dec 2019 14:32:03 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=16657 Streams of Hope Spirit Night Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019 6:30am-10:30am and 5-7pm Come support Streams of Hope at Chick-fil-A Grand Rapids South! During event hours, a portion of sales will be donated back to our organization. Simply show this flyer to be counted and enjoy a night of food, friends, and fun with us. Chick-fil-A […]

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Streams of Hope Spirit Night
Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019
6:30am-10:30am and 5-7pm

Come support Streams of Hope at Chick-fil-A Grand Rapids South! During event hours, a portion of sales will be donated back to our organization. Simply show this flyer to be counted and enjoy a night of food, friends, and fun with us.

Chick-fil-A Grand Rapids South
616.656.6000
1545 Edgeknoll Dr SE
M6 and Kalamazoo

Mobile orders count, too! Just write Streams of Hope in the comments, and we will handle the rest. Be sure to scan your Chick-fil-A One App to earn FREE REWARDS!

 

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Crafts for Streams of Hope https://streamsofhope.org/2019/11/18/crafts-for-streams-of-hope/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/11/18/crafts-for-streams-of-hope/#respond Mon, 18 Nov 2019 14:43:42 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=16558 Streams of Hope was joined by over 200 other crafters at Legacy Christian School for their annual craft sale on Saturday, November 2nd. Streams of Hope had three tables set up with beautiful homemade crafts for sale. There were gorgeous wreaths, crochet blankets, necklaces with earrings, and many other items that everyone could receive from […]

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Streams of Hope was joined by over 200 other crafters at Legacy Christian School for their annual craft sale on Saturday, November 2nd. Streams of Hope had three tables set up with beautiful homemade crafts for sale. There were gorgeous wreaths, crochet blankets, necklaces with earrings, and many other items that everyone could receive from our booth. The items were all created by some of our very own volunteers. We raised over $400 which will benefit our Streams of Hope Food Center. Thanks to Elaine Sherwood, Jan Ouendag, and everyone else for your beautiful donations! 

Looking for other ways to get involved? Check out volunteer opportunities here, or if you have a creative fundraising idea please get in touch with our team.

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Investing in Families in our Backyard https://streamsofhope.org/2019/10/23/investing-in-families-in-our-backyard/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/10/23/investing-in-families-in-our-backyard/#respond Wed, 23 Oct 2019 20:23:10 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=16444 Please enjoy this video spotlight from our partners at Feeding America as they interview one of our Food Center clients and our Food Center Director, Barb Nauta. To support this work of investing in our very own neighborhood, please consider a secure online gift today.

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Please enjoy this video spotlight from our partners at Feeding America as they interview one of our Food Center clients and our Food Center Director, Barb Nauta. To support this work of investing in our very own neighborhood, please consider a secure online gift today.

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Online Auction Benefits Streams of Hope https://streamsofhope.org/2019/10/22/online-auction-benefits-streams-of-hope/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/10/22/online-auction-benefits-streams-of-hope/#respond Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:24:26 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=16414 The post Online Auction Benefits Streams of Hope appeared first on Streams of Hope.

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Bid online for fun and unique items, knowing that ALL monies raised support this ministry.

Christmas – it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the season for snowfall, Christmas carols, and of course, giving back. And so, in the spirit of the holiday, Streams of Hope is hosting its first Christmas auction this year! Will you be joining us?

Our auction already has awesome gifts up for sale. A gift card to Cost Cutters Hair and a trip to Mackinac Island are some of the awesome items you can expect to see. There will be new auction features coming in by the week, so make sure to stay up-to-date with the site – especially since we will be accepting donations for items up until the day OF the auction.

Bidding is currently OPEN and the auction will end on Monday, December 9th at 8:00pm. Payments can be made by check or credit card no later than December 12th. If you’re not in the local area, no worries! Bidding can be done completely online and we will ship the items to you as needed.

All items will be available for bidding online, so help us get the word out in any way you can! We hope to get a lot of participation from the community! All proceeds will go to Streams of Hope so that we may continue to provide invaluable programs for over 600 community families.

To learn more about the items or about donating, please contact David Buist.

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Our Night Out https://streamsofhope.org/2019/09/13/our-night-out/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/09/13/our-night-out/#respond Fri, 13 Sep 2019 19:30:04 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=16221 National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships. The resulting neighborhood camaraderie makes our neighborhood a safer and more caring place to live. It is inspiring to see how a network of community partners, including local churches and law enforcement, can really bless our neighborhood. This year’s event fell on Tuesday, […]

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National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships. The resulting neighborhood camaraderie makes our neighborhood a safer and more caring place to live. It is inspiring to see how a network of community partners, including local churches and law enforcement, can really bless our neighborhood.

This year’s event fell on Tuesday, August 6th, and we had the chance to be part of it again through one of our partner churches, Kentwood Community Church. This year over 1,000 people were present to join this great event!

We love meeting and sharing information about Streams of Hope with all of our community families, church partners, police partners, and area businesses. Everyone who visited our booth was able to win several different prizes including amazing brand new Christian books from our wonderful long-time partner, Harper Collins. We are so blessed with their most generous partnership, Deb and her family for volunteering at this event, and the community that makes our neighborhood a joy to serve. 

Join the Streams of Hope family! Explore programs here and check out volunteer opportunities here.

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Thank You, Partners and Volunteers! https://streamsofhope.org/2019/08/31/thank-you-partners-and-volunteers/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/08/31/thank-you-partners-and-volunteers/#respond Sat, 31 Aug 2019 12:20:41 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=15799 During our World Cup Readers Summer Camp, Streams of Hope was graced with the help of generous volunteers and helpful partner organizations.

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Streams of Hope exists to provide change through services that build relationships, meet family needs, and promote a healthier community. Our hope is that these programs will ripple hope to the ends of our community – both to and through our clients.

During our World Cup Readers Summer Camp, Streams of Hope was graced with the help of generous volunteers and helpful partner organizations. Miles Colago, director of the program, shared his experience working with them here:

“Jeanette F., a parent from the neighborhood, did an amazing job volunteering at the registration table for World Cup Readers. She welcomed new families and was incredibly helpful in giving a thorough explanation of the program, plus the reasons why she keeps bringing as many kids from her neighborhood as she can. I think it’s thanks to her enthusiasm that more parents were willing to volunteer and read with their children during the program. She opened a door to community involvement that we’ve been trying to open since the birth of World Cup Readers.

The KDL Bookmobile was definitely a highlight this summer. Many of these kids did not know how libraries work outside of school, so this mobile library allowed for the kids to get their very own library cards. They were not only able to learn how to check out and return books, but they could also pursue knowledge and their curiosities for free. Books that they initially felt were too expensive and out of reach are now accessible to them. We hope this will encourage the kids to visit their local public libraries and utilize the resources that the city provides for public use.”

In addition to parent volunteers and the Bookmobile, we have another story to share. Barb Nauta details our NOW program’s partnership with the YMCA:

“The YMCA is offering the Cooking Matters Nutritional Cooking Class to our Streams of Hope community families and NOW clients. This is a six week (2hrs/week) cooking and nutrition course offered free to low income food pantry families. Each participant learns valuable cooking skills, budgeting techniques and important nutrition information focusing on the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables.

Participants are also given groceries each week to practice a recipe at home and tasting the delicious food samples! The YMCA is working with different sites throughout the community to offer these classes to the people we serve. This cooking and nutrition class is taught by Lorna, an experienced nutrition educator. We are so blessed with this partnership.”

Be a part of Streams of Hope! You are always invited to join us whether you need service, or want to be of service. Find more information here.

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Summer of Service https://streamsofhope.org/2019/08/28/summer-of-service/ https://streamsofhope.org/2019/08/28/summer-of-service/#respond Wed, 28 Aug 2019 12:17:55 +0000 https://streamsofhope.org/?p=14723 “We do so much more for our clients than just food here. We love our clients and go above and beyond.”

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“We do so much more for our clients than just food here. We love our clients and go above and beyond.”

– Judy Nahs

Streams of Hope is home to a variety of community outreach programs. From our fun, student-oriented programs to the bountiful Food Center and community garden, we love serving our community. Our team’s passion for service often brings them to help individual lives beyond our programs. In this blog post, we will be sharing some stories of service from both on and off our campus.

Kristi

Kristi Cole, Tutoring Coordinator
“This summer, area students volunteered in our tutoring program. Our tutoring program kids spend 40 minutes with a volunteer and play games or read for the remaining 15 minutes. Our volunteers are the top middle and high school students in the area, with even a college student coming to join the fun!

The tutored students like the break from the traditional tutoring environment and it provides positive interactions with older students. The volunteers enjoy working with a variety of kids and giving back to the community. The volunteers say their students are ready to work hard and focus with them because they get that fun time built-in with the volunteers.

Parents of the students also love this program! They often request longer tutoring sessions so their kids not only learn more, but they can also have time to run errands and such. They report that their kids are enjoying tutoring, which might not normally be their first choice on a nice summer evening!”

Barb (left) and Judy (right)

Judy Nahs, Food Center Volunteer
“Streams of Hope had a client, Dee, who needed her mobile home painted soon but could not due to her age and various health issues. She was on the verge of eviction for this reason. So Barb and I talked to Joyce, a volunteer, to see if she could help us.

Joyce recognized Dee from “shopping” with her several times at our Food Pantry, and was happy to help! After Joyce and her husband, Merle, talked to a group from their church who help people in need, the group went right over and painted Dee’s mobile home for her. Dee was so happy and appreciative of their service!”

Barb Nauta, Food Center Director

“Recently, our amazing partner church First Cutlerville CRC was able to quickly provide for a community family. Mariah lives near Streams of Hope in a mobile home with her mother and two boys. She receives food from us and was also referred to us from one of our Spring GR graduates, Kaboose, to possibly receive a bike that would allow her to obtain a job near her house.

Mariah has had a very difficult year.  Her two boys ages 7 and 9 both needed to have heart surgery to replace their pulmonary valve. While paying an Uber driver to take her back and forth to work four days a week as a Nurse Aide,  she was also frantically trying to take care of her children. One boy ended up with pneumonia and the other had fluid around his heart. Thankfully and with the grace of God, her two boys made it through the surgery and are now on the mend.

While meeting with Monica and the team at First Cutlerville Church, I had mentioned that one of our families needed a bike to be able to ride to a job that would be closer to her house. During our meeting Monica had sent an email message out to the congregation asking for help to obtain this bike. Within minutes of our meeting she had a bike secured that was going to be dropped off at Streams of Hope for Mariah. Wow, God is truly working through this wonderful partner church and congregation! Mariah picked up her bike and will now be able to ride to work and spend some family time riding bikes with her boys.”


When you join one of our programs, you’re also joining our family. It’s a helping relationship that exceeds our campus limits. Explore all that we have to offer for the Kentwood community here.

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