2021, what a year! The year started with hope of a world with fewer big, nasty, “in-your-face-all-the-time -and-won’t-leave-you-alone-for-one second”, problems. There was hope in the air and it felt good – the spring and summer (when we could be outside and in each other’s company) was wonderful and fulfilling in so many ways! As the warmth left and cold set in, our emotions began to change. The joy of seeing our loved ones during the holidays, mixed with sickness at every turn, can add weight to any situation and bring us down in the moment. As this Winter Solstice passes and days become longer, I am hopeful for the coming months and the ability to enjoy another summertime in Michigan.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to help so many of our Clients grow and succeed by their own terms. Each of our Clients are a strategic business partner; we exist to make you stronger and even more successful! Our collective success becomes the communities’ success when we help each other grow and succeed. Right now, we support over 3,000 people that live and work within West Michigan – we feel so blessed to have this kind of positive impact on the community!
Last year, we made two large donations on behalf of our Clients and Partners. The idea was to share the love and success we created together with those who were in need. The feedback we received from our Clients was an overwhelming, positive response to the gesture. I am excited to announce that we will commit to this annual donation as a tradition, moving forward. A rising tide will raise all ships!
This year, we are focusing on the most basic needs of survival: food and shelter. Our belief is that we cannot advance as a community until we improve access to affordable housing and healthy food for all. Two organizations we work with that assist in these basic needs are: LINC UP and Access of West Michigan.
SJA Solutions has donated to LINC UP’s “Affordable Housing Partner” program. Our donation will help ensure LINC’s ability to create 14 new homeowners in 2022 and develop 70 additional rental units at various levels of affordability. LINC UP prides itself on creating economic advancement opportunities by developing affordable housing. They work to ensure that residents of Grand Rapids and neighboring communities can live in high-quality, affordable rental housing and purchase affordable homes. Programs like this create lasting change and stability in people’s lives and can have a positive effect, which is felt for generations. Because of LINC’s hard work, there will be many more people in West Michigan with access to housing in a range they can afford.
Access of West Michigan helps the community by strengthening and developing holistic solutions to poverty by cultivating equitable systems through education and collaboration. One of our favorite programs they provide is their “Good Food Systems”. They define Good Food as fair, green, healthy, and affordable. Here is a link to learn a lot more about this program, Good Food Systems. A component of this program involves creating Fresh Markets where people can buy fresh fruit and vegetables. The Fresh Markets offer affordable access to healthy, local produce from small farms in an equitable, non-charity setting whilst supporting the Michigan agricultural economy. The Fresh Markets create availability in neighborhoods with limited “Good Food” access, ensuring that all residents have choice and can contribute to a vibrant and diverse local food economy. Their belief is that having access to fresh fruit and vegetables will result in people living healthier lives.
Thank you so much for being one of our Partners and helping to make this donation possible! We love working with you. We hope you all stay safe and healthy this holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Enjoy The Holidays,
The SJA Solutions Team