Zeeland’s Community Youth Center

January 27, 2011
Here is a little information about one of our new clients:
 
The Bridge Youth Ministry Center is a youth center in Zeeland, Michigan committed to serving our youth through recreational, educational, mentoring and serving programs. Our mission is to make sure that every student who walks through our doors is safe, loved and valued. We do all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, striving to share his love to other people!

For the past 10 years we have operated with a cement floor in our gym. While we have managed just fine, our programming has grown and placed new demands on our gym space. We are seeking flooring that will allow for safer general gym usage, as well and more competitive basketball and volleyball usage. Currently, we average over 200 students each week in our programming, so the flooring gets a lot of use. A new floor is not an exciting thing to donate to but investing in the lives of the kids who wear it out is.

The Bridge Youth Ministry Center is a shelter for our community students after school. We help to keep kids out of trouble and provide a kind of home away from home for many. As activities in our gym continue to grow, it is vital that we make this upgrade to our gym floor soon. Find us @ www.catchblue.com  project # 1354.

New Years Quote by William Arthur Ward

December 31, 2010

“Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”

Giving is Good for Business

August 30, 2010

Charity drives  in the workplace can be a wonderful thing. Handled well (as in: with no pressure on anyone), they can be fun and rewarding.

I get excited about the good things can happen inside and outside of an office when members of a staff have a desire to make a difference outside cubicle walls. When all employees are invited to participate ( and it is no big deal if some choose not to) workplace giving can be a lot of fun.

  • A financial planner learned that a client’s son, stationed in Iraq, was in a unit that received few letters and care packages. Some of the staff of the office saw that as a call to action and prepared care packages and letters to ship off to this soldier and his unit.
  • A human resources manager loosened the office dress code a bit once a week, with a catch. For a fee of $2, employees may wear jeans in the office on Friday. The money is being sent to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
  • A health insurance customer service rep learned that a coworker’s long-term illness made it difficult for her to grocery shop and feed her teenage boys. Those who wished pitched in some cash, others volunteered to do the shopping and deliver the groceries.

Giving feels good, and I don’t know about you, I do better work when I’m feeling good. If you are a bean counter or the boss, that’s the kind of stuff you like to hear.

This next one is really nifty stuff…

  • A big box store manager gave the presentation at the annual holiday party. Did he smile when he reported excellent annual sales numbers? Yes. And he grinned bigger than his face when he told how employees of that store had given their time and money to make a difference in the community.

Isn’t it interesting how this one location of this big box store has one of the best financial performances in the region and has an active culture of fun and no-pressure giving among its employees?

Was it a coincidence? Maybe. Are no-pressure giving projects in the workplace good for business? Try it and see.

My name is CJ. I write for Catch Blue.

August on It Feels Good To Give  This month, It Feels Good To Give features posts from earlier in the year that we’d like to share with you again. This one first appeared on this blog in April 2010.

Make a Difference Think of a way you might team up with co-workers to volunteer together, have a food or clothing drive, or raise money for those in need.

CatchBlue CatchBlue’s website features options for giving to interesting and important projects. Click here to learn more.

We’re a lot alike.

August 23, 2010

This post was written and first appeared on this blog in February 2010.

As a kid, I was often around people who were different from me.  I spent time with people who had entirely different economic situations from our family—in both directions.  Because of my parents’ work and values, holidays at our house always included an international student or two, or recent arrival from another country. Some spoke English, some did not. 

It was my normal, and I really didn’t think much about it at the time. Without even paying attention, I learned that when it comes to people–our fellow humans–it isn’t about comparing apples to oranges, pears to bananas. It is about the big, delicious bowl of fresh produce that makes up humanity.  We’re more the same than we are different. Regardless of language, culture or creed, we like to laugh, we get annoyed, we have silly little treasured possessions, favorite foods, favorite songs, and true loves. 

I had lunch with a friend recently. She is American, her husband is Haitian and they live here in the states. Haiti’s Port au Prince post-earthquake situation isn’t the media’s biggest concern lately, so one could easily start to think that things are getting better. I was curious, so I asked about his family. Yes, things are a little bit better. There is water; there is a way to wire money to his family so food can be purchased. 

Yet, since the earthquake, only one house, among many in a large extended family, remains standing. Now, 36 people are living in the back yard of that one house. For me, the situation went from photos on TV of strangers who speak another language to a vivid visualization of life for people who are a lot like me.  Yes, tents have been purchased so there is some shelter from the weather, but that’s it. Food, water and sanitation aside, can you imagine living with 35 of your relatives, in a small space, indefinitely? Never having a moment for yourself? No privacy for you and your spouse to talk about family concerns? No worries about getting your turn in the shower because there isn’t a shower?? 

Whether we give to the urgent needs of post-earthquake Haiti or another important project, when we give, we are giving to folks who are a lot like us.  We’re all more alike than different. And maybe, just maybe, that’s one reason why it feels good to give. 

Make a Difference Next time you notice someone who seems different, stop for a minute and identify something you have in common with that person.

Like what you are reading here? Please tell a friend about It Feels Good to Give, the official blog of CatchBlue.

August on It Feels Good To Give  This month, It Feels Good To Give will feature posts from earlier in the year that we’d like to share with you again.