Our network

Families

My Town: Goodwill Industries of Greater G.R. offers 'Annie' donation deal

My Town: Goodwill Industries of Greater G.R. offers 'Annie' donation deal

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Clean out your closets, help people find jobs and get a deal on tickets for Broadway Grand Rapids with the new deal by Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids.

The nonprofit organization is offering $20 off tickets to “Annie” to people who donate gently used clothing or household items to any Goodwill store. You can find the list of locations here. The coupon is good for select seats during the Jan. 13 performance at DeVos Performance Hall.  Goodwill will also be accepting gently used coats at DeVos Hall on opening night.

“Annie” runs through Jan. 13-18.  The musical is centered on a determined orphan who journeys through New York looking for her parents.  Her adventure includes foiling the plots of Miss Hannigan, who runs the orphanage; meeting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and finding a new home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks.

My Town: KDL Gives Back nets thousands of donations and dollars

My Town: KDL Gives Back nets thousands of donations and dollars

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Bookworms across West Michigan banded together this holiday season to help local charities.

Kent District Libraries says patrons and staff collected nearly 16,000 items for the 18-month KDL Gives Back initiative.  The donations are going to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, Kent Intermediate School District, Humane Society of West Michigan, Family Promise of Grand Rapids, the Post-Partum Clinic at Pine Rest, School Supply Santa and Kid’s Food Basket.  KDL recently delivered approximately 750 hygiene products, snacks and other goodies to the veterans’ home.  The delivery also included 500 letters to vets written by adults and children and $457 raised through library staff jean days.

My Town: No school, no problem! Four tips to keep your student learning over the holidays

My Town: No school, no problem!  Four tips to keep your student learning over the holidays

During the winter break from school, many students will pack away their books and turn their attention away from learning. 

To help ensure your students are still learning, statewide virtual learning school, Michigan Connections Academy, is sharing activities you can do as a family to keep your young students busy and their brains active over the break.

1.       Practice math while baking holiday cookies. Students struggle with fractions and always want to know when they will “use math in real life.” The perfect time to practice fractions is while you are baking cookies. Two-thirds of a cup plus 1/3 of a cup equals one whole cup, which your child will see as you work on making those cookies, helping develop a real life connection to what they are learning in school.

My Town: Meijer shoppers receive checkout surprise

WALKER, Mich.—Christmas came early to 213 Meijer shoppers, who received a checkout surprise.

 

On Dec. 13, the Walker-based retailer paid for all of the gifts and groceries filling each shopper’s cart, ranging from $350 to $1,200 each.  The company posted video of the event on YouTube, which you can find here.

 

“The holidays are a time for kindness and joy, and the Very Merry Meijer event was a perfect opportunity for us to share the spirit of the season with those we hold dear: our customers,” Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Our family has always believed that our customers don’t need us, but that we need them. That philosophy still guides us today. We are very thankful for our customers, and wanted to find a special way to wish them a very Merry Christmas.”

 

My Town: A dozen children to 'Shop with a Hero' for the holidays

My Town: A dozen children to 'Shop with a Hero' for the holidays

CASCADE, Mich. – A group of Grand Rapids area children is getting some help with filling the space under their Christmas trees.

Tuesday, a dozen children from Coit and East Leonard elementary schools will meet up with Grand Rapids police officers and firefighters to “Shop with a Hero.”  Each child will be given a $100 Meijer gift card to purchase holiday gifts for family and friends at the Meijer store at 1997 E. Beltline Ave. NE. Community Officer Neil Gomez says the children chosen to participate work hard in school while facing financial hardships at home.

This is the third year Grand Rapids police and firefighters have teamed up with Meijer for the event.  Including this year, Meijer has donated $4,000 to the event, helping 40 children.

My Town: Businesses hold holiday drives to feed families in need

My Town: Businesses hold holiday drives to feed families in need

CASCADE, Mich.—If you’re looking to give more than gifts to loved ones this holiday season, several businesses are accepting cash and canned food donations for families in need.

The food and funds will be shipped to Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. 

  • Nov. 24 - Dec. 19: Goldfish Swim School, 2845 Thornhills Avenue, Suite S, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
  • Nov. 24 - Dec. 22: KoKo FitClub 2845 Thornhills Ave. SE, Cascade, MI 49546
  • Dec. 1- Dec. 31: Hampton Inn and SpringHill Suites (5200 28th Street SE and 5250 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512)

For a list of most-needed food items, visit Feeding America West Michigan’s website.

In the Kitchen with Kal: Pastry Cream - the versatile dessert

In the Kitchen with Kal: Pastry Cream - the versatile dessert

If you are looking for something unique for a dessert during the holidays, here is a versatile dish. I had a basic recipe for this pastry cream, but tweaked it to my liking. I think it is a fairly easy recipe. I certainly recommend using a double boiler when making a filling like this.

This cream would really look nice in a pretty stemware glass with fresh berries on it along with the other suggestions I have at the bottom of this recipe.

PASTRY CREAM                        Makes enough for a deep dish pie crust