EPIC Empowerment Program to Celebrate 2018 Participants

Formal ceremony will feature graduation speeches by program participants

Community Action House will hold a graduation ceremony for 2018 participants of the EPIC Empowerment Program at 1pm on Saturday, November 10th. The ceremony will feature Holland Mayor Nancy De Boer as keynote speaker, as well as short speeches from each participant who has completed the intensive program in 2018.

The EPIC (Empowering People In Our Community) Empowerment Program was launched in 2014 as a way to address the challenges of generational poverty. The program curriculum is based on current research in cognitive restructuring and neuroplasticity. Data shows that the program’s graduates have improved over time in many areas crucial for stability, including access to food, housing, self-awareness, and their ability to self-manage through life’s challenges.

This graduation ceremony marks the end of an intensive months-long experience for the 8th and 9th groups to complete the program. Participants have attended weekly classes designed to address mindsets, gaining tools to manage thoughts and emotions, alongside personalized coaching and support from experienced Empowerment Program staff. Career exploration and readiness are a key function of the program’s effectiveness.

The public is invited to celebrate each individual’s accomplishments, especially those interested in learning more about the program. Light refreshments will follow the ceremony, held at Western Theological Seminary (101 East 13th Street, Holland, MI 49423). Contact Felicia Thompson, EPIC Empowerment Program Manager, with questions: (616) 392 2368 x108, fthompson@communityactionhouse.org

About Community Action House

Founded in 1969, Community Action House is a local non-profit serving the greater Holland, Michigan area, whose purpose is to end poverty in our community and help families prosper. By providing local families with individualized empowerment, financial education, hunger relief, and homeless outreach, the agency seeks to increase financial stability and capacity for prosperity for the greater Holland community.  Visit communityactionhouse.org to support and get involved.

Meijer & CAH Partner for Hunger Relief with Simply Give


Update: Double Match Day is Friday, September 7th. For ever $10 gift, Meijer will match with an additional $20 - providing CAH with a $30 donation.

People in our community continue to struggle every day to pay their bills and put food on their tables. Some are even forced to choose between the two, a heartbreaking decision that no one should have to make. We are pleased to announce that Community Action House has joined forces with the Meijer Simply Give hunger relief program this fall to help fill that void for our local families.

Each Simply Give campaign helps more than 240 food pantries in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Wisconsin keep their shelves stocked with food for those in need. But it also fosters a sense of community by encouraging customers to purchase $10 Simply Give donation cards, which are then converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and given to the local food pantry selected by the store.

Community Action House will benefit from donation cards purchased at the North Holland Township Meijer Store now through Sept. 15, located at 3320 West Shore Drive (map it). They support hot meals served every day at the Community Kitchen, food pantry visits throughout the year, our Thanksgiving Baskets in November, and ongoing Monthly Food Distributions which help stabilize food sources for many of the elderly, families with children, and migrant workers.

I want to encourage you to help us fulfill our mission of helping feed the hungry in Holland by purchasing a food donation card during your next shopping trip. Tell your friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers because every dollar makes a difference.

And when we give, Meijer gives. For the seventh consecutive year, Meijer will contribute at least $1 million to the 2018 Simply Give program.

We are very encouraged about this opportunity to serve the hungry in the Holland community. Thank you.


West Michigan’s Inontime Donates Truck to Community Action House

Holland, MI – Community Action House (CAH) is pleased to announce it has received a large truck from Zeeland-based logistics firm Inontime. The truck will provide much needed logistical support for the non-profit organization which provides more than 300,000 meals annually to local families in need, supported by a resale and thrift store. A truck capable of moving large quantities is essential to the function of the organization.

At CAH, 3 vehicles form the backbone for tens of thousands of pounds of donated food and in-kind donations each month – a Ford 15-passenger van, a Ford E-350 box truck, and a much older International large truck. The vehicle donated by Inontime will replace CAH's first truck, a beloved but aging International 4000 which the nonprofit estimates has hauled more than 2 million pounds of donated items on about 2000 trips.

The official transfer of title set the price of the vehicle at $1. CAH’s Resource and Resale Manager, Josh Hauch attended the meeting: “They shook my hand, and said 'you look like you could use a dollar', and handed me a dollar. I then paid them for the truck with that dollar. These are really great, down to earth people that are in love with serving their community,” said Josh.

Inontime continues to care for the community, supporting a variety of community causes chosen by its employees. Jon Lanning, Inontime’s president, was recently recognized as a Michigan business leader by the U.S. Small Business Association for the company’s contributions to community.

Help Us Fill This Truck: Summer Food Drive

Your Support is Needed Right Now. Help Us Fill This Truck With Food!

Summer is a critical time in Holland for our neighbors who are most at risk! We need your help to fill this truck with food for the next 8 weeks to ensure that every person coming through the doors will receive food and resources to live free of emergency, crisis, and poverty.

You can make an immediate difference! Help us fill this new (to us) truck generously donated by our friends at Inontime (they're awesome, read all about their gift here). We're calling on you to fill the truck with food our community needs – your contributions will stock the shelves for walk-in client-choice food pantry visits and monthly food distributions. It’s a literal truck load!

Get the Word Out!

The example email below is one suggestion on how to let your community know. Feel free to use it, change it, or better yet, use your own words! Set a place to collect the donated items, and bring them to our General Store location on Friday July 27th & Saturday July 28th. We'll be there from 10am til 6pm on Friday and 10am til 4pm on Saturday, rain or shine. 

Make Your Mark and Sign the Truck!

While you're there, we invite you to make your mark and sign the interior of the truck - because this is a community resource that serves all of us, and belongs to all of us. This is the first of many amazing acts of goodwill that this truck will be part of in providing hunger relief – powered by you – and your name and the name of who you represent belong here as champions of our community! 

Collect These Items:

  • Canned Tuna – 800
  • Peanut Butter – 400
  • Jam – 300
  • Canned Chicken – 400
  • Breakfast Cereal – 300
  • Whole Grain Crackers – 300
  • Salsa – 300
  • Canned Fruit - 1000

Every single item makes an immediate difference in the lives of those we are committed to serve!

Sample email message to share: (fill in the sections in Bold)

Dear friends [family, colleagues],

Community Action House is calling on us to help provide hunger relief to our community – and they’re asking us to help fill their new truck with food for the next two months. They’re witnessing an increase in the number of families in need of help at their food pantry and monthly food distributions and have one big goal – that everyone who needs help gets what they need to avert crisis and emergency.

You can help bring hope to families that are struggling, including families with kids at home for the summer, migrant families here for the work season, and to the elderly living on fixed incomes. We’ll be collecting items until Friday July 27/Saturday July 28 and bringing everything to their truck. Here are the items they need:

Canned Tuna – 800
Peanut Butter – 400
Jam – 300
Canned Chicken – 400
Breakfast Cereal – 300
Whole Grain Crackers – 300
Salsa – 300
Canned Fruit - 1000

Finally – come with us to donate! CAH is inviting us to sign the inside of the new truck to mark its inaugural food drive! This truck will be delivering hundreds of thousands of meals every year, and we’ll be part of the first literal truckload of food it brings to our community.

Please bring your food donations to [location] by [deadline] – we’ll be dropping off  and signing the truck on [Friday/Saturday] at [time] together!