In response to the low income article about Michael Watts (not his real name) and the struggles he faces as a high school student with low funds, questions arose about what the community can do and what kids can do to help other people and help themselves have a better quality of life. This would include access to better clothes, nutritious food and sports equipment.
Many people don’t know that help is available all around them in school and in the West Michigan community. Help is available for kids and anyone in need of clothes, a place to stay, food, dental resources, mental health resources, and employment assistance.
Need help with sports participation?
Help is available in our very own school. Playing sports can be very expensive. There are funds available to help pay for participation in sports. The panther fund pays for the entry fee to play the sport and can help to purchase necessary equipment. The athletic director at our school can help with this process of applying for the panther fund. For further information and the essential forms, check out this site: http://www.thepantherfund.org/
Need help with food?
There is also a pantry at our school that students and their parents can access. There is food in the pantry available to take home for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. The food pantry is located across from the resource room. Some people may be embarrassed to go into the pantry, please see or email to a security guard or staff member, and they will discreetly get you what you need.
Need housing or clothes?
Our community has many resources at our disposal. Many agencies like Love Inc, Good Samaritan, and the Salvation Army offers food, clothing, and housing assistance. Contact information and a full list of available resources can be found here. There are many food pantries in our community such as Community Action House, Bethany CRC, Harvest Bible Chapel Food pantry and many more.
In The Image Clothing Center in Kent County, offers free clothing to anyone. They serve over 1,000 families every two weeks. When shopping, bring an ID and your own shopping bags if available. Shopping times are Monday through Friday at 10 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 3 pm. There is clothing for men, women, and children. Household appliances and other items are also available. They are located in Grand Rapids at 1823 Division Ave South.
What you can do
These resources would not be able to help so many without the help of all of us. If you have items that are no longer in use, please consider donating to any of these agencies.
Hopefully knowing more about these resources in our school or in the community will help those who need it.