Growing and strengthening west Michigan's middle class
GRAND RAPIDS March 13, 2015– When Kent-Ionia Labor Council leadership got word in February that South End Community Outreach Ministries (SECOM) in Grand Rapids was in need of diapers, they sprung into action. At February’s KICLC board meeting, the executive team decided to put out notice to the labor community about SECOM’s need and coordinate a diaper drive.
Almost immediately, packages of diapers and cash donations began rolling into the KICLC office, and several work site leaders began organizing their own diaper drives with co-workers.
This morning, three weeks after the drive began, 5,647 diapers were delivered to SECOM, with a few more cash donations expected to come in next week.
“When it’s all said and done, we’ll have delivered more than 6,000 diapers,” said KICLC field engagement coordinator Steve Veldheer. “I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m blown away by the generosity of the west Michigan labor community.”
In addition to local unions donating money to the cause, individual members and retirees were also actively giving, as well as community and school groups.
For many struggling moms, buying diapers often means sacrificing elsewhere. Diapers cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits (food stamps), so it becomes critical that ministries like SECOM have diapers readily available for their clients.
SECOM, located at 1545 Buchanan Ave SW in Grand Rapids, began in 1971 as an outreach ministry of four area churches to meet the needs of the surrounding neighborhood, particularly in the area of hunger and food insecurity.
Today, SECOM is a key resource center that gives help today and builds hope for tomorrow through connecting families with community resources, improving health, and providing educational and empowerment programs for low income children and families. SECOM provides more than 20,000 services to more than 10,000 neighbors each year. In addition to the food pantry, they operate a pre-school, community garden and offer healthy cooking classes through the Michigan State extension office.
For more information on SECOM, or to learn about ways to give, click here.