Stories

Longform Katrina Jones and Janay Clark.

Michigan's direct care workers confront shortages of PPE and providers as pandemic rages

For these essential workers, social distancing is impossible – and personal protective equipment (PPE) is both indispensable and alarmingly difficult to obtain.

Feature Story St. Nicholas, known as Sinterklaas, rides a horse in the Netherlands. Papier mache figure made by Susan Brack, Liberty, Indiana, from a German Anton Reiche chocolate mold dated around 1930.

Meet the real St. Nicholas: Holland expert shares her St. Nicholas collection

The real story of St. Nicholas begins in the third century, in what is now Turkey. Carol Myers of Holland's St. Nicholas Center shares some of her favorite pieces from her St. Nicholas collection.  

Feature Story Zeeland Board of Public Works is giving Holiday Power Dollars to customers who decorate the exterior of their home or yard for the holidays.

Zeeland Board of Public Works’ Holiday Power Dollars program goes digital

Zeeland Board of Public Works has been issuing Holiday Power Dollars for 30 years to customers who decorate the exterior of their home or yard. In light of the pandemic and resulting health and safety measures, this year’s certificates — that can be spent at participating local businesses — will be delivered digitally.

Feature Story The Felt Mansion is offering self-guided holiday tours.

Things to do in December: ’Tis the season for lights, gifts, and Santa

After these many months of battling coronavirus, December brings a renewed sense of hope and joy to the Lakeshore. Winter is upon us, and there’s a nip in the air. Whether you want to get outside or stay home, there are enjoyable ways to explore Ottawa and Allegan counties. This list includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.

Feature Story Eva S. Alexander is the new executive director of Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates.

Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates brings on new leadership

LIA’s founder is passing the leadership baton to the nonprofit’s next executive director, Eva S. Alexander. The move is part of the organization’s strategic plan to continue providing legal services, education, and advocacy to the immigrant community in West Michigan.

Feature Story lakeshore-gift-guide

Holiday gift guide: Online ordering and in-store shopping along the Lakeshore

Lakeshore small businesses are bursting with interesting and thoughtful gifts that are available in store and online. This list offers ideas for the beer drinkers, pickleball players, jewelry lovers, and anyone else on your list.

Longform A Joy for All robotic dog.

Michigan agencies distribute robotic pets to help elders combat loneliness during pandemic

One agency has already distributed 80 robotic pets to elders in its service area, and others across Michigan are either considering or actively preparing efforts to hand out hundreds more.

Feature Story The 2020 Census is still going on, although census-takers — known as enumerators — stopped knocking on doors back in mid-October.

Making sure everyone is counted in 2020 Census is no easy task

As an enumerator, Rick Martinez reached out in person, by phone, and through email to West Michigan residents who had not completed their 2020 Census. According to the Census Bureau, his follow-up work — and that of thousands of others — ensured responses from nearly all of those households nationwide.  

Feature Story City officials worked with the crowdsourcing platform Patronicity to purchase and install a 20-foot Christmas tree in a downtown Holland park. (City of Holland)

Downtown Holland creates holiday magic with a little crowdfunding

City officials worked with the crowdsourcing platform Patronicity to purchase and install a 20-foot Christmas tree in a downtown Holland park. Patronicity mixes crowdsourcing with matching grants to finance community improvement projects.

Feature Story Allie Hopkins is the Associate Manager of Herman Miller Cares.

Herman Miller partners with Community Foundation to tackle COVID-19 crisis

Throughout the pandemic, Herman Miller has supported the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area with impactful financial resources. Support from the Zeeland manufacturer has been directed to CFHZ’s Emergency Human Needs Fund and Community Stabilization Fund.

Feature Story Koops Automation Systems team members work together to assemble an automated system.

Employee-owned Holland company on a growth streak

Koops Automation Systems is expanding for the third time in four years. The Holland manufacturer has built a reputation as one of the best employee-owned companies in the state.

Feature Story Joe Matthews is the Vice President of Purchasing and Diversity Officer for Zeeland-based Gentex Corp.

Love of language translates into action

Joe Matthews is having a positive impact on others, from immigrants to other professional Black men. The Gentex executive explains how his grandparents’ example is the root of his love of knowledge and his philanthropic work.

Feature Story Zeeland's Tripelroot brewpub has had to shift gears to stay relavant in the time of COVID.

Brewpub shifts focus during COVID with help from Lakeshore Advantage, MEDC

Tripelroot is known as a Zeeland community gathering place, but COVID-19 forced the brewpub to change course. A pair of grants from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation helped the owners reimagine the establishment as more.

Longform Prescriptions

Here's how Michigan health care experts are reducing risks of medication overload

Those taking five or more prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, or supplements concurrently can be at risk for serious combined side effects.

Feature Story Kids' Food Basket is expanding its meal program to children in Ottawa and Allegan counties with a new site in Holland.

Gentex makes commitment to fight childhood hunger

Zeeland manufacturer will donate $60,000 annually for five years — for a total of $300,000 — to help Kids’ Food Basket combat childhood hunger. A majority of the donation will go toward the nonprofit’s Feeding Our Future campaign to fund projects in Allegan and Ottawa counties.

Feature Story Patty Janes and volunteers of Michigan Cares for Tourism (MC4T).

Founder shares how nonprofit highlights generosity of tourism industry professionals

GVSU Professor Patty Janes used her experience with the hospitality and tourism industries to create a nonprofit initiative that engages Michigan industry professionals in volunteerism. Thousands of volunteers have participated in efforts to rehabilitate state attractions in need through Michigan Cares for Tourism.  

Feature Story The Armistice Day Storm exhibit at the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum shines a spotlight on the deadliest storm in Great Lakes history.

Holland diver breathes life into 80-year-old tragedy on Lake Michigan with new museum exhibit

Valerie van Heest is an experienced diver, a shipwreck aficionado, and a museum display designer. Her fascination with The Armistice Day Storm led to an exhibit at the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum that shines a spotlight on the deadliest storm in Great Lakes history.

Partner Content Produce from the Buckley Community Garden.

Bountiful community garden helps reduce food insecurity in Northwest Michigan

A simple conversation between a Buckley Community Schools principal and Traverse Bay Area ISD officials planted the seeds for a farm to school  initiative that combined nutrition education with a new community garden at the school. 

Longform Eastern Market staff load food boxes that were ordered online.

COVID-19 prompts many Michigan farmers and farmers markets to offer online sales for the first time

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many health challenges, but it's also made it easier than ever for Michiganders to get healthy, local food, as many farmers and farmers markets have started reaching customers online.

Feature Story Haworth received the West Michigan Circular Economy Leadership Award.

Haworth honored for circular design process

Haworth Inc. has long had a strong commitment to the environment. Recent developments to make its manufacturing process 100% circular netted the Holland company the West Michigan Circular Economy Leadership Award.

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