Community Services

Students at Our Lady of Consolation school make rosaries to support mission work overseas

February 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

Students at Our Lady of Consolation School are making a big impact not only in their community but across the world. 8th graders spent an hour putting together World Mission Rosaries as part of Catholic Schools Week. The students spent an hour making the rosaries on Thursday, January 22nd. The rosaries are part of a service project that is being completed at schools throughout the Diocese of Grand Rapids. After learning how to make the rosaries, 8th graders will now teach 4th -7th graders how to complete the project. Kids made two rosaries. One for themselves and one which will be sent to the diocesan missions office who will ship them overseas to be used in missions and evangelization around the world. World Mission Rosaries were the idea of venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, former director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In a February 1951 radio address, he asked Catholics to pray for others around the world and came up with the concept of the World Mission Rosary to further this cause. Each rosary has different color beads for each decade representing an area of the world where missionaries continue to share the Good News of Jesus. Each decade of the World Mission Rosary calls to mind an area where the Church continues her evangelizing mission: GREEN for the forests and grasslands of Africa; BLUE for the ocean surrounding the islands of the Pacific; WHITE symbolizing Europe, the seat of the Holy Father, shepherd of the world; RED calling to mind the fire of faith that brought missionaries to the Americas and YELLOW, the morning light of the East, for Asia.

Spring planting is near!

February 4, 2015 // 0 Comments

Join the Arbor Day Foundation in February and receive 10 free blue spruce trees! Joining the Arbor Day Foundation is an ideal way to get in the mood for spring planting. Anyone from Michigan who joins the Foundation in February 2015 will receive 10 free Colorado blue spruce trees to plant when the weather turns warm. The free trees are part of the nonprofit Foundation’s Trees for America campaign. “The blue-green hue and distinctive shape of Colorado blue spruce trees will help beautify Michigan for many years to come,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The trees will also add to the proud heritage of Michigan’s existing Tree City USA communities.” The Tree City USA program has supported community forestry throughout the country for more than 35 years. The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between March 1 and May 31, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow, or they will be replaced free of charge. Members also receive a subscription to the Foundation’s colorful bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and The Tree Book, which contains information about planting and care. To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to TEN FREE COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE TREES, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by February 28, 2015, or visit  

Rockford knitters contribute to Big Heart, Little Hats campaign

January 30, 2015 // 0 Comments

J.T. Stitchery drop off site for hundreds of hats To celebrate American Heart Month, Mended Little Hearts of West Michigan and the American Heart Association will be providing red hats for all babies born in February at participating Michigan hospitals. In just one week, Rockford’s own J.T. Stitchery and Frame Shop received 171 red hats and 32 multi-colored hats. Store owner Karen Rasmussen offered a great big thank you to the generous volunteers who knitted and crocheted so many hats in such a short period of time.   The organization is raising awareness about heart disease, the number one killer of Americans, and congenital heart defects, the most common birth defect in the U.S.   Volunteers have knitted or crocheted over 6,000 newborn-sized baby hats using soft, red, cotton or acrylic yarn. The hats have been washed with dye-free, scent-free soap and are individually packaged in plastic bags with a note about Heart Month and contact information for the American Heart Association and Mended Little Hearts of West Michigan. “The response have been so great,” said Cindy Bouma,  Communications Director, American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate. “We are thinking we have over 8,000 hats and these will now be distributed within Michigan.  The Michigan Department of Community Health is helping us reach out to Michigan hospitals.  What a generous community!”      

YMCA Auction to Support Health and Wellness in West Michigan

January 30, 2015 // 0 Comments

On Friday, January 30 the Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA will host their annual auction at the Wolverine Worldwide Headquarters, from 6:30 – 9:00 pm. Tickets to the auction are $25, which includes beverages and hor d’oeuvres. As part of the event, more than 100 unique live and silent auction items have been donated by various community businesses and individuals, including gift cards from Wolverine Worldwide and area restaurants. In addition, iPads, spa packages, adult Y membership, and more will be available for bidding. The raffle item this year is a family trip four 4 to Disney World plus air fare, a $5,000 value, donated by Choice One Bank and Turfs-R-Us. Raffle tickets are available for purchase at the Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA and there is no need to be present to win. The public can purchase tickets to the event at the Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA or at, where they can also view a list of the more than 100 auction items. All proceeds benefit the annual campaign with an option to designate to the Y’s Send a Kid to Summer Day Camp program. “Businesses and individuals have been so supportive,” says Dave Powers, long time YMCA supporter and Auction Chair. “From tickets to major sporting events, condo’s in Florida, spa days, golf outings, entertainment packages, restaurants, and more than 50 gift baskets, this is by far our largest auction to date.” While the Y will always be a great place to work out, it does so much more. The auction will raise money to help give scholarships and financial assistance to those who need it most. “The YMCA is a cause like no other. It is a vital part of the West Michigan community — a welcoming place to learn new skills, connect with others, and access support in times of need.” Says Lisa Boyd YMCA Board member and Rockford Branch Manager for Community West Credit Union, the Presenting Partner for the YMCA Auction.” The Y does so much for so many in our community.” By attending the Y’s Auction, guests will support kids and help them discover who they are and what they can achieve, as well as helping families build and maintain healthy habits. Particularly, each year the gifts the Y […]

Rhythm Dance Center celebrates the season at Bishop Hills

January 22, 2015 // 0 Comments

Student volunteers from Rhythm Dance Center (RDC), located in Belmont Michigan, celebrated the winter holiday season with residents at Bishop Hills Elder Care Community for the second year in a row. The group of dancers, ages 9 – 16, spent weeks preparing an evening of dance numbers, songs and musical performances to provide seasonal entertainment to residents in late December. “Music and dance are gifts to share with others – especially during the holiday season and I am so proud of these young dancers for giving of themselves, their talent and their time to brighten the evening for the folks at Bishop Hills,” said studio owner, Jen Hanes. “It’s our way of giving back to our community, to share our blessings.” Rachel Kooiman, Director of Life Enrichment at Bishop Hills, helped coordinate the event and reported that the residents really appreciated the kids for taking time out of busy schedules to make a visit and put on a very uplifting show. “Our residents really enjoy it when visitors come in from the community and the sing-along at the end of the show was a crowd favorite.” The dancers that participated are all members of the RDC Competitive team and they regularly travel to perform. Volunteering and community service are important elements of the team spirit inspired at the studio and this visit is an expansion of that effort which was started last year under the guidance of RDC instructor Sarah Maxim-Gerard. “Considering others and looking beyond our own immediate circle is part of our philosophy at RDC,” Maxim-Gerard added. “We strive to encourage students to consider ways to contribute to the well-being of others and that touches back to our goal of helping develop healthy, well-rounded individuals who just happen to share the love of dance.” RDC is committed to excellence in offering contemporary dance styles and the principal mission is to create a fun, healthy educational and creative environment for dancers of all ages and skills.

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