While Adell Walker was homeless, he ate at Catholic Charities West Michigan's God's Kitchen. Now, after a chance encounter with a Grand Rapids bigwig and 15 years of food, fellowship, and devoted service, Mr. Walker is a friend to many and fondly known as the "Mayor of Division Avenue."
Denise Nichols retired in 2002, but she has been a volunteer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program far longer. “As long as the VITA program has been in existence, I’ve been a part of it,” she says. “It’s the highlight of my year.”
Laurie Atkari, of Farmers Insurance, is a longtime Schools of Hope volunteer reading tutor.“It just means so much to them. You don’t get the hugs or the same kind of positive feedback at work,” says volunteer reading tutor, Laurie Atkari. “No matter what I’m doing -- I could be crazy busy -- but when I go, I’m so glad I do."
Lauri Atkinson is a volunteer tutor with United Way's Schools of Hope Reading Program. “It’s the highlight of my week,” she says. “It’s a reminder that we are part of the bigger community, and we should be giving back.”