Feature Story Reza Nematy's work with the U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan qualified him and his immediate family to come to the United States as refugees.

Afghan refugee, Haworth employee among honorees at Literacy Center of West Michigan's Spellebration

In Afghanistan Reza Nematy had been a flourishing member of his community. He  was a software designer and entrepreneur, starting more than 10 businesses. His work with the U.S. armed forces allowed him to come to the States. Here, he struggled with English proficiency, but the Literacy Center of West Michigan's Customized Workplace English program  has changed his outlook.

Feature Story  In July, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced its first bill of rights for travelers with disabilities.

How a new DOT bill of rights will make flying better for those with disabilities

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s first bill of rights for travelers with disabilities applies to all flights in the United States, and is designed to be a summary meant to help travelers understand and assert their rights under the Air Carrier Access Act, passed in 1986.

Feature Story A photograph of Judith Heumann. She is sitting in her power chair behind table covered with a white table cloth. There is a microphone and a name placard in the foreground.

How the godmother of the disability rights movement changed my life

Judith Heumann was a mentor I never met. Her life’s work reminds us that our voices and persistence can make a difference.

Feature Story Hope College science students on the steps of van Raalte Hall around the turn of the century.

Holland history: From Pioneer School to seminary to Hope

While some colleges sit on campuses with a degree of detachment from the community, Hope has been implanted in the heart of Holland from the very start. The friction over the years has been minimal, but the mutual benefits bountiful. Some of the most architecturally distinctive buildings in Holland are on the Hope campus.

Feature Story Allegan County youth particpate in a grant selection process. (ACCF)

Allegan County youth award $64K in grants

Allegan County youth have awarded more than $64,000 to 24 organizations. The students are part of the Teens Aiding Growth Team and the Youth Advisory Council of the Allegan County Community Foundation.

Feature Story The Muskegon Rescue Mission recently opened the Bright Futures Daycare & Preschool.

Muskegon Rescue Mission opens affordable day care

Bright Futures Daycare & Preschool is designed to provide low-income families with affordable child care as they continue to work or seek employment opportunities to help them overcome poverty. 

Feature Story Raul Garcia, Homeowner Services Coach with Brittany Rabideau, a future Haven Townhome homeowner.

Lakeshore Habitat awarded $970K for Missing Middle Housing Program

The Missing Middle Housing Program is a housing production program designed to address the general lack of attainable housing and housing challenges underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Feature Story Herrick District Library's main branch near downtown Holland.

Herrick District Library is asking the community for ideas for main branch renovation

Community members will be invited to offer input and share feedback on renovation concepts this spring. Input will be collected through interactive opportunities inside the library building, through social media and website surveys, and through email communications to library cardholders.

Feature Story An approximation of what a new three-story building and passageway project will look like in downtown Zeeland. The developer is in the process of obtaining final state and city approval.

New $3M development coming to Downtown Zeeland

Zeeland city leaders have had their eye on the site since the 2009 Downtown Zeeland Vision Plan. The project will achieve multiple goals, including creating a pedestrian walkway, adding residential apartments to downtown, and the return of popular restaurant Public.

Longform Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, founder of the Women-Inspired Neighborhood Network: Detroit.

Detroit initiatives combat high Black infant mortality rate with dignity and compassion

Black infant mortality rates in Michigan are consistently two and sometimes even three times higher than in white communities.

Feature Story Urban Youth

Community mental health offers BIPOC youth hope through mental health supports

MI Mental Health spoke with Genesee Health System Director of Strategic Initiatives Angela Tyler on the importance of providing resources and services to BIPOC youth in Flint and throughout Genesee County.   

Feature Story Matt Dunsmoore presents during the first session of the Tuesday Forum on Feb. 28. (GHACF)

‘Real conversations’ part of Tuesday Forum series

The Tuesday Forum is providing a unique opportunity for Tri-Cities area businesses, local leaders, and community members to collaboratively learn about and discuss critical issues impacting Northwest Ottawa County and strategically plan for a shared future through a six-part breakfast speaker series, “Envisioning Our Community’s Future.”

Feature Story The board members of the Tri-Cities Puentes Initiative.

GHACF supports strategic growth of Tri-Cities Puentes Initiative

TCPI is one of six organizations benefiting from more than $200,000 in Community Impact Grant awards from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation. Additionally, the funding will support free Friday night concerts and a beginner music education program.

Longform Christine Vanlandingham, Region IV Area Agency on Aging CEO.

New program offers physical and behavioral health care at home for Southwest Michigan's older adults

The Region IV Area Agency on Aging's Integrated Care at Home program aims to reach 100 community residents in 2023 and continue to grow that number in the years ahead. 

Feature Story A vintage postcard shows a little boy in traditional Dutch costume at Veldheer's tulip farm north of Holland.

Holland history: Tulips, wind power, and the Habsburg Empire

However, tulips were first discovered wild in the mountainous area where China, Tibet and Afghanistan converge. They have graced the gardens of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire and become as valuable as currency. Today, they are a stalwart symbol of Holland, Mich., as the "Tulip City."

Feature Story The Holland Symphony Orchestra Classics Discovery: “Dance into Spring” concert will bring Hope College’s H2 Dance Co. to the stage to join HSO for a staged version of Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.”

Dancing into spring with the Holland Symphony Orchestra and 'Rite of Spring'

The concert will include music from Arturo Marquez, Mexico’s most popular living composer, Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz” from “Sleeping Beauty,” two of Johannes Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, and one of Antonin Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances.

Feature Story Carl Dunker works from his home office in Holland, Michigan.

Building relationships is at the heart of great design

Skot Welch, Julia Swenson and Carl Dunker are three designers who live and work in West Michigan. They share the ways they work to create a community where people belong.

Feature Story Barry State Game Area's biologist Randy Hienze

How the White Oak initiative is protecting Michigan forests

Ben Savoie, the District Forester for Barry, Allegan, and Ottawa Conservation Districts, explains the resources available for Lakeshore residents to protect White Oaks. These native trees are an essential part of the forests of Michigan because they provide a bounty of food and shelter for birds, butterflies, and deer.

Feature Story Yah-Hanna Jenkins Leys

How CFHZ is supporting nonprofits providing mental health services

The foundation distributes $150,000 in grants to five nonprofits working to increase access and availability of mental health services.

Feature Story Gordon Burnham has been with Comcast’s Xfinity Store in Muskegon for over 36 years.

8 frontline workers recognized for going above and beyond

Muskegon resident Gordon Burnham is one of eight area frontline workers recognized by West Michigan Works! with Beverly A. Drake Essential Service Awards.