Gifts for the Greater Good: Philanthropy in West Michigan

Today on Gifts for the Greater Good: Philanthropy in West Michigan we take a closer look at the Johnson Amendment.

Earlier this month during the National Prayer Breakfast, President Donald Trump said he'll work to "get rid of and totally destroy" the Johnson Amendment.

What is it and what will it mean to do away with it?

We talk with Kyle Caldwell, executive director of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University.

The holiday season is in full-swing with shoppers flocking for deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but today a reprieve, a day to reflect on the meaning of the season. This is Giving Tuesday, and in the City of Grand Rapids a new Giving Tuesday concept has been launched.

Van Andel Institute and its Purple Community are taping into the state's craft beer industry raising funds for cancer and Parkinson's disease research. Participating Michigan breweries will identify a beer on the menu and for each pint sold will donate one dollar to Hops for Hope.    

Today on Gifts for the Greater Good: Philanthropy in West Michigan WGVU’s Patrick Center takes a trip to Alto where the Kent Special Riding Program offers therapeutic horseback instruction for physically, mentally and emotionally challenged individuals.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is working with schools across the state participating in its Building Healthy Communities program. It says "The program provides students, teachers and administrators with tools and resources to get kids active and help them make healthier food choices." Reinforcing that message to Wyoming's Vista Charter Academy students is Detroit Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford.

The mission of Read Muskegon "is to positively impact the lives of adults through improved literacy." It's website tells readers, "According to the State of Literacy in America, 21% of Muskegon County residents 16 years or older function at the lowest literacy level." Read Muskegon offers a number of adult literacy programs including literacy programs for incarcerated men as a sentencing condition for release.

Today on Gifts for the Greater Good: Philanthropy in West Michigan how area employers are tapping into the veteran workforce for employment. Non-profits West Michigan Veterans Coalition and Goodwill Industries of Greater Grands recently hosted a Veteran/Employer Networking Event. We stopped in for the interviews at the Downtown Market to find out what employment barriers veterans returning to the civilian world face and how employers align veteran skill sets benefiting their workforce. 

A Grand Rapids-based medical devise and service provider enters the non-profit sector making a commitment to deliver the best possible healthcare to military veterans. 

The power of Giving Tuesday. To better understand its genesis and societal value WGVU’s Patrick Center sits down with Diana Sieger, President of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Hilary Farrell

About 700 refugees resettled in west Michigan this past fiscal year - a number that's stayed fairly consistent in recent years, with some expecting an increase coming into 2016.

Inside that number is a diverse group of individuals and families, from at least a dozen different countries and cultures. On this month's Gifts for the Greater Good: Philanthropy in West Michigan, WGVU's Hilary Farrell speaks to a number of non-profit agencies providing initial resettlement as well as longer-term support.