Category Volunteers

Taniah Ingram is no stranger to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids. She worked at the Club starting in 2017 while in school studying psychology. Now a practicing behavioral health technician and volunteer at the Clubs, she wanted to give back in a unique way – and the Better Beings Creative Mentorship Program was born.

The objective of the Better Beings Creative Mentorship Program is to foster a safe and enriching environment for students to explore their creative niche. It pairs kids with creative mentors to work on art projects while building an understanding of love and belonging, while improving self-esteem and self-actualization.

“The idea for mentorship came about while there was a lot of uncertainty in the world,” explained Taniah. “As a result, I wanted to provide an outlet for expression as well as an enriching environment to do so for the youth in my community. The Boys & Girls Club seemed like the perfect place to begin this journey.”

Club members worked with their mentors to create paintings, drawings and even businesses– all of which were presented at a special showcase event in January.

“I am thrilled to share that our outcome was a success,” said Taniah. “My favorite part of working alongside the children was having the opportunity to witness the overwhelming pride on their faces as they stood next to their completed projects at the showcase.”

Taniah is planning on continuing the Better Beings Creative Mentorship Program again soon and looking forward to welcoming more Club members to participate. Thank you, Taniah, for being an outstanding volunteer!

You can keep up with the Better Beings Creative Mentorship Program on Instagram at @betterbeingsproject.

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Our organization would not thrive without the support of our community – including our valued corporate partners. This year, Farmers Insurance has gone above and beyond with their willingness to step in and help us create great futures for our Club Members.

In addition to their financial support for our Power Hour Program – a program that helps our members achieve academic success by providing homework support, tutoring and technology engaged activities – Farmers Insurance has been ultra-engaged by sending over 240 employees and volunteering over 660 hours of their time!

Volunteering at Camp O’Malley is a hit when it comes to the Farmers Insurance employees. In the spring the hard-working volunteers helped greatly with setting up equipment and preparing the camp grounds for the upcoming camp season, with extra time being spent on readying the Farmers Insurance Garden. Then in the late fall, they helped shut down and winterize camp, and of course, their favorite, raking ALL the leaves that covered the grounds.

Their volunteer help extends into our Clubs. We are fortunate to have had multiple groups visit our spaces and donate their time and talents to help out with our daily programming. Our members received help with homework and art projects, tough competition in dodgeball and basketball, and taught the volunteers how to play carpet ball – the most popular game in our clubs.

Farmers also put us in the holiday spirit by helping our members get decorative with their holiday cookies. However, it is not all fun and games. Some groups spent their time cleaning and sanitizing the club spaces or helped with the set up for our Be Great Tailgate event. But, there is one thing for sure, every volunteer left with a smile on their face and an impact on Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids.

We love and appreciate each and every one of our corporate partners that support our mission through a variety of ways such as event and program sponsorship, volunteering, workplace giving and/or cause marketing. Our organization would not have the impact that we have without the large role of our corporate partners. If you would like to know more about how you and/or your company can help support our great mission, please visit our Corporate Partner page or contact Angie Stumpo at 616-233-9370 x111 or

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Our programming team is continuously developing new, creative ways to recruit teens from the community. We know that our programs and mentorship provide crucial support, and the more teens we can draw to our clubs, the deeper the impact we can have. So Friday, October 11th, Seidman Center hosted its much anticipated Teen Party event.

In addition to aiding recruitment efforts, regular celebrations for teens support one of our core beliefs – to give youth opportunities to lead, share ideas, and be recognized. For each teen party, we empower our Keystone Clubs, an association of teen members working to develop leadership skills through community service, to plan and organize the event. From the food we provide to the activities we facilitate, the decision making and organization are all done by our teen leaders.

Responding to the requests of our Keystone Club, staff and teens worked together to provide our teen members with activities tailored to kids of diverse interests. Music and dancing, the headline event, drew the largest crowd, but henna and face paint provided by our art team gave our more artistically inclined members time to express themselves and build relationships with each other. Meanwhile, in the gym, Seidman Gym Coordinator Gene McCully facilitated a 3-on-3 basketball tournament that brought in 8 teams. After two hours of intense, hard-nosed play, first, second, and third place teams left the club with sore legs, pride, and bags full of candy. Staff from our Steil and Paul I. Phillips Clubs transported their teen members to the event at Seidman, helping to build ties between teens from different parts of the community.

We were grateful for the support from key community partners. Dre Inspires, a company run by a former staff member at Seidman, deejayed the event, creating a light show and dance floor that kept the kids on their feet for the duration of the party. Officer Mike Harris, whose connections to the community are the stuff of lore, reached deep into his address book to find Ms. Josie, a local caterer who graciously made tacos for over 100 people at a discounted price, to rave reviews.

Altogether, the celebration at Seidman Center brought in over 30 new memberships, a wildly successful turnout. But this is when the real work begins. Fun parties and celebrations bring the community in, but it’s the relationships, the mentorship, and the interest-based programming that help us fulfill our mission.

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Forty-eight combined employees from SpartanNash and The C2 Group volunteered a whopping 225 hours at our Paul I. Phillips and Seidman Clubs over the summer focusing on “beautifying” our Club spaces.

Volunteers from The C2 Group spent time at Paul I. Phillips reorganizing materials and storage closets, erasing fingerprints from windows and mirrors, but most importantly, helping clear space in our storage room by transporting any broken/unused furniture or materials to the dumpster. We now have extra space to properly store our gym equipment and a clear basement ready to be utilized.

SpartanNash definitely lived up to the “work before play” mantra at our Seidman Club. They helped spread 30 yards of mulch onto the playground and gaga ball pit. Other work included trimming trees and bushes, and reorganizing rooms and storage closets – making the areas look renewed. Once the work was finished, the volunteers enjoyed the rest of their time helping out with the daily programming. They assisted with art projects, gym activities, serving lunch, and friendly competitions of gaga ball. Some even received new hairdos from our members!

If you’d like your team to volunteer with us at Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Kyle Connelly, at to start planning a project!

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