Posts Tagged ‘non-profit’

Non-profit Spotlight: Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids

February 11, 2010

Cancer is one of those words that stirs deep emotions. Nearly every person has been impacted by the disease in some way, either personally or along side someone they know and love.  Gilda Radner felt the emotional and physical impacts of cancer first-hand when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986.  However, a significant difference in her journey was when she became part of a cancer support community.  Knowing the benefits of having the support of others who understand and truly care, Gilda wished that anyone dealing with cancer would be able to receive the same kind of support she did.  After her death three years later in 1989, Gilda’s husband, Gene Wilder, and her cancer therapist, Joanna Bull, began to plan a free cancer support community called Gilda’s Club.  The first club opened in 1995 in New York.

Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids began out of a similar expression of love and compassion.  Twink Frey went through her cancer journey without a community and social and emotional support and knew there had to be more.  She was soon joined by two other cancer survivors, Deb Bailey and Susan Smith to change this.  Together they founded Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and opened their doors in February of 2001.  Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids opened a second Clubhouse in Lowell in September, 2009.  These clubhouses serve the six-county area of Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa. 

“We need Gilda’s Club to fill the gap that exists between the doctors and the patient.  Gilda’s is a great place to get information and support during the entire process.”

~Al Kaczanowski

Gilda’s Club is more than a support group; it is a community of compassion and understanding that travels the cancer journey with everyone impacted by the disease – patient, spouse, children, extended family and friends.  Their entire goal is to make the path that cancer leads you down a little easier.  From the moment you walk through their doors you instantly feel at ease.

“Gilda’s Club has been a tremendous source of support for us as we have adjusted to what this cancer diagnosis means for our family. We feel welcomed, supported and understood here.”

~Kathi, Age 40; Andrew & Megan, Ages 12 & 9

Each month more than 200 support groups, lectures and workshops are offered for free to adults, children and families with program activities also offered in Lowell and Allegan.  Events range from health and fitness classes to formal lectures to casual social gatherings.  Classes and support groups focus on every stage: diagnosis, treatment, grief; for all ages.  The point of each one – you are not alone.  

“Gilda’s Club is a place to come and get support, love and friends. It’s a home away from home that is always open when you need it. The people at Gilda’s Club are there to help you in whatever way they can, and they actually care about every single person who walks into that red door.”

~The Stob Family

It is very easy to get involved with Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids if you would like to help.

  1. Volunteer.  Your help would always be welcome to help with mailings, serve as a program host, assist at events or make phone calls.  Volunteer orientations are available twice a month that will introduce you Gilda’s Club and help you find ways to use your talents.
  2. Financial Support.  Your generous gift will be used to help anyone on a cancer or grief journey.  The non-profit organization exists entirely on donations.  Therefore 100% of every dollar donated stays in the local community.
  3. Share.  Tell everyone you know about the amazing community of support that Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids offers.  This Monday (February 15) Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids will be 9 years old.  To celebrate, they are hosting an Anniversary Open House at the Grand Rapids Clubhouse on Monday, February 15 from 9am – 9pm.  Come out for a slice of cake and a tour!      
  4. Empower others.  Awareness Home Funding is proud to partner with Gilda’s Club.  We donate $250 every time we close a home loan.  This program applies to all our home loan programs, purchase or refinance.  If you don’t need a home loan right now, we can still help.  Please refer us to your family, friends and colleagues and together we can help Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. 

 “Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids is extremely grateful to Awareness Home Funding and its customers for donating funds to help families living with cancer and grief in our community. Every single dollar raised stays right here in West Michigan and makes such a difference to our members who come to Gilda’s Club to learn, share and laugh together on their cancer or grief journey. Cancer happens to the whole family and we believe that the social and emotional support for all ages available at Gilda’s Club is as essential as medical treatment. The need for our free program is currently up by 40%, while donations have decreased by 30%. We offer our heartfelt thanks to Awareness Home Funding for helping us close that gap and for recognizing the important need for a Gilda’s Club support program here in West Michigan.”  

~ Lindsey Rodarmer

Everyone Wins With More

January 13, 2010

The base of support for most non-profit organizations is comprised of two similar, yet very distinct groups.  The first group covers about 15% of your members that fund nearly 85% of your annual budget.  The second group contains 85% of your members providing the remaining 15%, an equally important part of your support.  However, what if you could empower the 85% majority to significantly increase their overall level of giving without increasing their personal donations?

Our Awareness Works 4 U program can do just that.  The only requirement to receiving a $250 donation from us is for a client to mention your name when asked.  The power of a suggestion to a relative, friend or colleague never had more impact.  You have just given anyone associated with your program a painless way to raise more money, without you having to ask for more.  Talk about a win-win-win situation!

You win because your supporters now have another reason to tell others about you. Our clients win with a great home loan experience.  The community wins because we have pooled our resources to make it a better place for everyone.

Let us give your supporters a new reason to share you with others today.  Contact us today!

866-98-AWARE or

What’s in Our Fine Print

January 6, 2010

We have a rather unique approach to helping non-profit organizations in the communities we serve.  While we are not the first mortgage company to help others, we do put a new spin on the topic.   Allow us to tell you exactly how the Awareness Works 4 U program works – the proverbial fine print details.

So let us be perfectly clear.   

  • There are no enrollment, association or fees of any kind.
  • There will be no requests for names of your members or supporters.
  • There are no crazy, complicated requirements or limited time offers.
  • There will be no extra effort required on your part.

You simply need to keep doing what you are doing now because the Awareness Works 4 U program is: 

  • adaptable with your current efforts.
  • timely with your current schedule.
  • seamless with your ongoing connections to your supporters.

The Awareness Works 4 U program offers: 

  • articles for your newsletters.
  • flyers for your mailings.
  • links for your websites.
  • ads for your emails.
  • proven pieces for you to use or something created just for you.

Clearing any doubt, we hope you have found something fine in our print.  Contact us today (866-98-AWARE or  We look forward to partnering with your organization and helping your supporters reach your goals.

A Zest for Life

December 15, 2009

Presentation of $250 Donation

Today Awareness Home Funding had the distinct pleasure of meeting John Mulder, Vice President of Medical Services, and John Norden, Vice President for Development from Faith Hospice.  We were also able to tour their Trillium Woods facility.

Based in West Michigan, Faith Hospice strives to help their patients experience all the joy, hope and fulfillment of life possible while dealing with a life-limiting illness or condition.  The Trillium Woods location is a fully staffed, in-patient facility.  In their primary role they are not so much an organization that focuses on dying, but on living through the last phase of a loved one’s life.  They partner with a patient and their family to increase understanding with compassion.  Having had first-hand experience, Faith Hospice really does embrace an entire family through what can be a very difficult time.

However, they also help patients with serious ailments with treatment options often unavailable in traditional medical settings so that they can return to their lives again.  John Mulder stated his purpose this way, “As long as there is still air in [a patient’s] lungs, they have life yet to live.  I intend to help them to live that to the fullest.” 

It was also a pleasure for us to be able to donate $250 to this non-profit organization to help them continue their work in the community.  To learn more about them and their services click here.

Okay, now what?

December 10, 2009

So you have embarked upon one of the joys of life – purchasing a home.  Now if you have done this before, you are aware of the process.  However, if this is your first home, at this point you may be wondering what on earth you just stepped into.  Between the foreign terminology, the mysterious path of steps to closing your loan, and the bevy of documents you now need to find, confusion is perhaps the least of your concerns.

 As cliché as this may sound, relax and take a deep breath.  This is why you work with someone with experience – both in the industry and in being in your shoes before.  Our staff of professionals are here to help, and to hold you hand along the way – figuratively and literally – if needed. 

Here are some simple steps of the process:

1)     Contact a Home Loan Specialist at Awareness Home Funding to review your financing options and to get the process moving.

2)     With your Real Estate Agent, schedule a home inspection.

3)     Your Home Loan Specialist will order title insurance.

4)     With the inspections complete and acceptable, an appraisal is ordered.

5)     Shop for Home Owner’s insurance.

6)     Receive and review your home loan approval and prepare to close on your new home.

7)     Transfer the utilities into your name.

8)     Celebrate, you are a new home owner!

9)     Tell us about your favorite non-profit organization.

10) Tell others about your engaging experience with Awareness Home Funding.

Our website has more information on these steps, home ownership, and other aspects of home loans. Visit today and let us help you reach your goals.