It was such an honor to be interviewed for The Share Chair Podcast and I am excited to provide an update. Extended Grace has evolved quite a bit since that conversation back in 2016. To begin with we now describe ourselves as a grassroots movement to create a stigma-free community.
Our community conversations are still an important part of our work. We have hosted several Town Hall Meetings on Mental Illness and have been asked by CHIP (Community Health Improvement Plan) to bring that model to other parts of the county. As a result, we are currently planning our first Town Hall Meeting in Holland. We are also in our fourth season of Inspire! events. They take place once a month on a Saturday from 10am to 1pm and focus on topics germane to marginalized populations. The most exciting development was opening the Momentum Center for Social Engagement. It is located at 714 Columbus in Grand Haven, Michigan in the bright blue building behind The Bookman. At the Momentum Center we offer social and recreational opportunities for teens and adults with mental illness, addictions, and disabilities. It costs $1 a year to join and no clinical diagnosis or referral is needed. In addition to activities and classes on site, we have a wheelchair accessible bus with which we take members on outings.
Just Goods Gifts and Café is now located within the Momentum Center. We continue to sell fair trade and social cause merchandise. In the café we sell local baked goods, Aldea coffee and other beverages for just $1 each. Just Goods is open to the public so it offers a place for our members to experience social integration. It provides an opportunity to challenge stereotypes and dismantle stigma.
We are relaunching our Mudita program with some important changes. We are moving to a model where individuals and groups of individuals can apply for a gift between $100 and $1000. We anticipate giving out multiple gifts up to a total of $1500 per round. We will then announce and present these gifts at a community Mudita Celebration Event. Our annual event is Prom With a Purpose and we want to invite everyone to be involved in making it a success. How else can you help?
- Be Involved
- Attend Events
- Become a Member
- Visit Just Goods
- Be a Connector – Introduce Me to One Person
- Lead a class or oversee an activity
- Cover a shift at Just Goods
- Visit with and listen to a member
- Momentum Catalyst
- Mudita Donor
- Event Sponsor: Town Hall, Prom, Inspire!
- Invite Us to Speak or Lead a Workshop
- QPR Training
- Participate in Stigma-Free Community Walk
- Get involved on a Committee or Task Force
This is a community response to a community issue. We invite you to be part of this community solution. Thank you for joining us in extending more grace to one another!