Trendway's tradition of making Christmas special for foster children

More than 70 foster children in Ottawa County will receive Christmas gifts this holiday season, thanks to the hard work of Trendway employees.

It’s become a holiday tradition for employees at the Holland office furniture manufacturer to team up with the Ottawa County office of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for its Angel Tree program.

“Over the past 30 years, Trendway’s support of the Angel Tree program has truly been driven by our employees,” says Teresa Kouw, senior contract furniture sales coordinator at Trendway. “This is a special time of year, where team members from every department enjoy coming together to ensure every child in foster care receives gifts from their wish list.”

For 30 years, Trendway employees have given Christmas gifts to foster children.

The decades-old tradition began when a group of women in the office would go out to lunch and participate in a gift exchange to celebrate the holidays. After a few years, they decided it would be better to do something for the community instead. 

A child’s wish list

The idea of providing for children in foster care was inspired by the volunteer work of Harlan Sprik, a former Trendway vice president of finance. Sprik was on the board of directors for the 4Cs, which, at the time, was part of the foster care system. Eventually, it changed over to the Ottawa County office of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and its Angel Tree program.

Trendway employees wrap Christmas gifts that will be given to foster children.
Trendway employees are committed to keeping the tradition alive. 
Each child receives gifts valued at up to $150 from their provided wish list. The presents are being delivered to the Ottawa County Michigan Department of Health and Human Services office this week. Foster care workers will deliver the gifts to children in the days leading up to Christmas. 

“We are truly blessed to have generous and compassionate partners like Trendway,” says Christopher Knieper, foster care supervisor for DHHS in Ottawa County. “The impact that their support has on children in our county over the past three decades is immeasurable.”


Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.