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Tabano Law
Family Law

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Muskegon's YEP Program - Spring Break College Visits in New York City

In Muskegon, the amount of good that goes on is huge.  At Community enCompass they work to transform neighborhoods from the inside out and housed inside Community enCompass is a program we've featured before here on Positively Muskegon called YEP.  YEP is an acronym for Youth Empowerment Program and at the front of that program is Charlotte Johnson.  Charlotte was the 2014 recipient of the citizen of the year in the City of Muskegon and you'll see why soon.

Let's start with the mission statement of the YEP Program.  "Empowering Youth to become leaders now, while forever changing their futures as they become pillars of society."  That's a tall order.  It's a real mission and it's where Charlotte works to shape the lives of young people.  It's that work that led to her award.  Young people 15-20 are challenged to volunteer,  develop life skills, set goals, develop character, learn the importance of community service and most of all, the importance of mentor-ship to those coming along behind them.  They work to build a human safety net and develop young people and community.
Learn More about the Soul Food Dinner on FB

A large part of empowering youth, yes..it's life experience, some of which has to come from beyond our immediate area here in Muskegon.  Charlotte takes the kids on college tours.  They get the chance to see the world beyond our walls here in town and they are heading to the biggest spot there is, New York City.  Spring break week will be spent with some learning experiences for our young people.  They will be seeing some famous schools, some sincerely historic points and see just how big this world is compared to what we know here at home. 

It's going to take some money for this adventure, and there are a variety of ways you can help.  You can sponsor a trip.  There will also be a delicious soul food dinner Friday March 30th at Bethany Church on Terrace and if you have a garage full of returnable cans, they will be more than happy to take them off your hands, get them recycled and put the money to good use to help fund the trip. 

I was able to catch up with Charlotte at Community enCompass to talk a little about the program and the trip, take a listen.

We're so proud of our relationship with Community enCompass and the YEP Program.  Charlotte puts her heart and soul into these wonderful young people and in turn, they put their hear and soul back into Muskegon.  These are the kind of future people we believe in and want to see succeed and we'll keep telling their story as long as it takes.  Believe in the good that is coming out of our young people right here in Muskegon.  It's ample and it's real.  Believe in Charlotte who won't give up on them and helps them see past the noise in life to know that their future is limitless.  If you'd like to help the trip out, you'll find a link by clicking on the image below. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Welcome to Sponsor Shon Cook and a Free Community Consultation Coming Up

We welcomed a new sponsor to Positively Muskegon and The Muskegon Channel a month of so ago, in fact, we welcomed a new title sponsor for both in the Shon Cook Law Firm in Whitehall.  Shon calls herself "The Good Witch of the Law".  She understands that when people are in need of a lawyer, they are usually at a spot in their lives where things are a little sticky...that's where Shon and her team comes in.

Follow Shon Cook Law on Facebook
The legal world is tough.  There are a lot of hoops to jump through and a lot of things that the average person just doesn't know, and is intimidated by.  Add in the idea that if you're with a lawyer, you've probably already got enough on your plate.  Who needs to add more to what you're dealing with already?  You need a practical and committed people who care about you.  That's Shon Cook and the people of her firm.

Shon is also very committed to community.  She offers Community Consultations around the area.  They are free of charge and she and her team bring their knowledge out of the office and into the community to help with a variety of issues, particularly family law.  The Community Consultations are not to take the place of legal advice, but you'll find family law issues...possible outcomes things that people need to think about should they find the need for an attorney.  They will be hosting their next Community Consultation at Bridge Bible Church at 5035 Henry Street.  The event is on March 21st Beginning at 7pm. 

I had a chance to sit and officially welcome Shon and learn a little more about the Community Consultation....take a listen.

We are thankful for the support of the work, and we're thnakful for Shon's commitment to our area.  Be it White Lake where her practice is or here in town, her commitment is to the people of the Muskegon Area.  She calls herself the "Good Witch of the Law" and having her on your side is really a great idea if you are ever in need of legal help.  Make sure you join her March 21st at Bridge Bible Church for the free event and don't be afraid to let her know you appreciate her support of Positively Muskegon.  To visit her site, click on the logo below.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Help Habitat For Humanity Raise the Roof in Muskegon March 16th at the Frauenthal Center

We've spent about a year following the work of Habitat for Humanity in Muskegon.  We followed Adam Bayne and Stephanie Anderson as they broke ground on their new Habitat Home last spring and just a week of so ago, we were there for the dedication of the new place and gave you a tour of their beautiful new three bedroom home in a nice neighborhood in Muskegon where their daughter can grow and be safe.  It was an incredible journey.

Tickets for Raise the Roof

Habitat for Humanity will break ground on home number 106 soon, and it will begin again for another family.  A new home, new hope and renewal of a community.  We'll fight blight, we'll fight the hopelessness some feel and we'll fight the notion that somehow, Muskegon is not a thriving, growing and revitalized community with opportunity for everyone.  Habitat for Humanity works this way in communities all over the country and the world.  Truly, an organization that means so much more than the structures they build.  They build lives...they build hope....they build community and they build stability.  We're proud to support their work anyway we can.

On March 16th, all of Muskegon has their chance to help in the work as well as Habitat for Humanity is presenting a first of it's kind fundraiser here in town.  Raise the Roof for Habitat for Humanity will be happening at the Frauenthal Center Ballroom from 6p-10p.  You'll find delicious food from The Hearthstone, a cash bar, a raffle, and some great entertainment from River City Improv who will be performing the next night at Laughfest over in Grand Rapids.  Hey, Habitat is even saving you the drive to G.R. for a nice night out.

I was joined by Haley Knight of Habitat for Humanity earlier today for a quick chat about what to expect and tickets for this awesome night of fun with a purpose, take a listen.

For everyone who sits on the sidelines and says "Nothing ever happens in Muskegon", here's your proof.  This is community in action and these are real changes being made by people who believe in better for everyone.  Our story with Adam and Stephanie was a great up close examination of how it all works, and if you like that kind of thing, supporting Habitat for Humanity is a great way to give back.  Time, treasure or talent...no matter how you choose...this is how change happens and this is how we make it happen.  To learn more about Habitat for Humanity, click on their logo below.

Friday, March 2, 2018

A New Home for Adam and Stephanie - Habitat for Humanity Finishes Up

It was June of last year when we first introduced you to Adam Bayne and Stephanie Anderson.  They are a young couple who had been living up in Whitehall in a manufactured home that was getting to the point of needing some repairs that made it pretty questionable and with their growing family, it was time to begin to think about finding a way to put down some roots and build a forever home.

Our First Visit With Adam and Stephanie
Like so many others, they needed a hand when it came to things like establishing credit, knowing where to turn for advice, how to get this that or the other thing done...hey...there is a lot that goes into home ownership.  It can be a very difficult and intimidating process.  But, Adam and Stephanie were determined that no hill was too big to climb so they began their journey with Habitat for Humanity in Muskegon to see if they were qualified to work in their program and work toward home ownership.  They were.

Through the process, there were plenty of classes on things like proper money management and home ownership.  There's also the sweat equity that goes into every Habitat home by those who will live there. 400 hours of sweat equity to be exact. There is some time dedicated to helping Habitat at their locations in town as well and it's all centered around building a home, but more so...building a community.

Adam and Stephanie's New Home
Well, March 1st of 2018 was a banner day for Adam and Stephanie.  A banner day for all of us actually because what was a bare patch of land in Muskegon, well, now...it's a brand new three bedroom home and we were invited back to visit with Adam and Stephanie to talk about the experience, take a tour of the place and show you first hand just what happens when great people, who truly deserve a good thing happening in their lives get one.  Like any party, they all seem to gravitate to the kitchen and that's where we ended up to take you on a tour of their brand new home.  Take a look.

I did ok...up until I left.  I got there early to do what I had to do, but as the friends and family poured in I drove off and to be honest..it all caught up with me.  Ya, big old tough Andy was reaching for the tissues.  I was a little misty eyed at watching this miracle unfold.  All in all, over 50 people came to celebrate the dedication of this beautiful new home and a great new start for Adam and Stephanie.  I have known these guys for a long time and I am so proud of all they have done to get here.  It's not been easy but they did it with the help of Habitat for Humanity of Muskegon.  Good things happen to good people.  Our humble thanks to Adam and Stephanie for sharing their experience with all of us.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Muskegon, click on the logo below.

Here's a video time line of our stories too, in case you missed our first stories.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Grenell Family of Twin Lake Dealing With SDS - Learn More About Life for Their Son Nathan

You pull up, and tucked in back off the road is a quiet and humble home where you'd find everything a young family would enjoy.  Plenty of room for the kids to play, nice garage off to the side for dad to get some stuff done...nice hammock hanging near the woods out front...just what some people want when it comes to country life in Twin Lake.  Peaceful and serene, even a few cats running around keeping an eye on everything.

Visit Nathan's Page on Be The Match and Order
a Swab Kit

So, as you pull up you're a few minutes early so you're just kind of waiting till your time to arrive is there, and all of the sudden....the door fly's open and out comes this miniature fireball of a kid in a pair of shorts and some rain boots....he runs up to the car and immediately tries to open the back door....because "his friends are here".   This is how we met Nathan Grenell.  But, let's take you back to how we met his mom quick first.

Michelle Grenell got a hold of me to tell me about Nathan and a rare battle he faces in his life called Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome.  (SDS).  SDS is a rare congenital disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic deficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, skeletal abnormalities and short stature.  It's a lot for any family to deal with, and in talking to Michelle and her husband Justin you realize that there are probably times due to the rarity of this disorder that they feel pretty alone in the fight.  There are no big named celebrities pushing for action, there isn't really any big government programs, there are just friends, family and neighbors who pitch in when they can and doctors and researchers who do what they can to try and help.  Like many genetic disorders there are not a ton of answers and talking to those immersed in the fight...well, they speak another language because they are forced into a world they never imagined and have to learn all the terminology that accompanies what they are dealing with.  With the magic of communication...I am going to boil it right down for ya.  Watch this.

Want to Help Nathan at the Jacks Games?
Click here to Contact Michelle Thru FB for
Nathan needs our help and he needs it pretty bad.  What's being asked of you?  The willingness to learn a little something and have your mouth swabbed out to see if you might be a match for the bone marrow transplant he needs.  There's no cost to you to be "swabbed" and to know that your simple act of willingness to be kind can help this kid, or maybe someone else who could use a hand well, that should bring some satisfaction to you too.

We stopped out the Grenell house on Wednesday which just happened to be "Rare Disease Day" and talked to Justin and Michelle about this complicated and scary disorder and invite you to learn a little more about what's going on and see if you can help.  We talk about some of the upcoming events where you can get "swabbed" to see if you're a match for Nathan or anyone else that's in need of a bone marrow transplant.  We get jumped on by cats...we have a tiny face pop up...we were truly invited in to the Grenell home...and that's what were in business for!  Take a listen.

If you could grab a kid from in front of oncoming traffic, you would.  If you could stop a kid from choking on something, you wouldn't bat an eye.  If you could protect a little person from danger in any way, my gut tells me you would in a second because that is how life works.  We look out for the more vulnerable among us.  At least we should.  If you'd like to know more about SDS you can click on the image below.  If you'd like to help the family out a little and come to the Lumberjacks games they are selling tickets to, click on Nathans picture above to contact Michelle.  If you can help Nathan by something as having a cotton swab in your mouth for a few minutes...chances are.....you would.  That's why you are here and why we work the way we do at Positively Muskegon.