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Sunday, August 21, 2022

Showers and Laundry for the Homeless of Muskegon - Cindy Nichols Begins Her Quest


 We search for those in Muskegon who make their mind up that if it's going to be, it's up to me.  Well, it's the grit and determination that we're built on....we sustain on and the challenge we all live for.  We have a great system of reliance on each other and we also can innovate ways of getting things off the ground that others won't even try.  It's fair to say however that other ideas pop up in towns and we'll "borrow" them if need be.





Cindy Nichols splits her time between Muskegon and Lansing.  While in Lansing, she's seen a project in action that she really wants to get moving in Muskegon because she sees a need and wants to fill it.  

There's a grass roots program in Lansing going on between organizations that focuses on helping homeless get showers, laundry, clean clothes, a little fellowship and even a crack of joy out of the day.  The Cardboard Prophets the All Washed Up Laundromat and other community organizations collaborate to provide services to those in need in an almost festival atmosphere.  Clean clothes, new clothes provided by area pantries and shelters as well as ways to clean up, food, information and more.  Cindy is currently working with local donors and small pantries to provide DIY laundry kits.  It really requires no more than a plastic tub and a detergent pod for a portable laundry kit, but she really wants to see this idea bloom for a couple of reasons.

One, awareness.  Let those in need of a hand connect with those who can help in a relaxed atmosphere.  Two, inclusion.  Should those who need assistance have to feel like they are less?  Probably not huh?  Three, let others come and be a part to either engage or support.  Who can't spare a roll of quarters to help with some laundry?  Got clothes you don't wear or don't fit anymore?  Here's your spot.  Are you an agency that serves?  What a great new contact to make to pull this all together!

Cindy and I met up at the Coffee Factory to talk about the project and her passion to get it going.  You might remember her friend Mark Poletti who joins us.  Mark was the guy out making pancakes for anyone who was in need at the 7th and Monroe Mini Pantry in the pandemic, in the dead of winter.  It seems that those who like to do good seem to find one another.  Take a listen. 

  


It's really not that far out of our reach if you think about it.  Cindy's idea will only take a little cooperation and coordination and if there's some buy in from the area clothing pantries and providers that might be able to do hair cuts, quick exams as an outreach, maybe some resource places that could help people seek housing or employment....they are all here....bringing them together for the common good is the next step.  EMAIL CINDY if you'd like to get involved.  Like so many before, it's that spark that begins an idea and those ideas can become things we never knew we couldn't live without.  Good luck Cindy!!  

Friday, August 19, 2022

The Grief Club of West Michigan

 

In Muskegon we get it done.  We are remarkably self sufficient on a lot of things and one of our best attributes is that we are able to do them without the copious amounts of funding that some other areas seem to have.  Hey, sometimes being the "scrappy" one pays off in the sense that we have to find ways to support one another where we can.  This applies to all kinds of areas and not more so than supporting one another.








I have long made no secret about my belief in groups.  It was a group that brought me to be who I am today once I was able to put down a bottle of booze and without AA, I wouldn't be here.  In the group setting, it's pretty simple, you see that you are not alone in what you're dealing with and you see too that us humans, for as complicated as we all see.....we're all really not wired too much differently and that we really can make things better if we just rely on one another.  That relying thing....we still need to do that. 
Grief Club on Facebook


We're grieving still.  What we've been through as a people and as a society has been borderline unthinkable.  A politicized pandemic.  Immeasurable loss of life world wide.  2 quick examples and we'll leave it at that because, who wants to hear it all over again?  Healing from the last couple of years isn't going to happen overnight.  

The Grief Club of West Michigan wants you to know you are not alone.  Grief comes in many forms and The Grief Club of West Michigan was formed to help parents, spouses or others grieving over a situation a non judgmental place to share experience and support.  The groups meet not in place of counselling, but they are facilitated by professionals with nearly 30 years combined experience.  There are events and gatherings to enjoy some fellowship along the way as well as working to build a network of those who also share the experiences you do.  More shoulders make a lighter load to bear. 

Laura Ecker and Beth Bolthouse are the founders of this group and invited me downtown to talk a little more about their work and passion for helping others, take a listen.
  

There's no shame in admitting something has you beat.  In Fact, if you want to know a secret...admitting something have your beat is the first step to healing.  Grief...the loss of a spouse, child or something so precious to you is a life altering change.  Why would there be any issue in saying that cut ya?  Rely on the web of humanity to heal, it works and it's powerful.  Begin by listening, maintain by sharing and when you do, your turn to become the anchor will happen before you know it....and you will have turned a tragedy into a triumph.  Learn more about The Grief Club of West Michigan here.