Under construction – one page with all causes here

Pandas, tigers and whales are all popular endangered and threatened animals that people love. For some reason, I have a fondness for butterflies. And hummingbirds. And Trillium and Columbine. Their ephemeral quality is what I like about them.

Karner Blue Butterflies

Image Credit: Wikipedia
Karner Blue Butterflies are native to Michigan and many states, and they are endangered. According to the Michigan DNR, their numbers have diminished greatly and they can be found in the following Michigan counties: Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana.

Formally known as Lycaeides melissa samuelis, Karner Blue Butterflies have a short adult life. Just a couple of weeks. As adults, they feed on the nectar of many flowers. But as catepillars, they only feed on lupines. Lupines are tricky to cultivate in lawn landscapes because they tend to get top-heavy and fall over. My hope one day is to plant a huge wild lupine garden for the Karner Butterflies.

Resources for Homelessness

In the Grand Rapids area, there are resources to help people faced with homelessness.

Degage Ministries offers $1-$2 breakfast daily. Doors open at 7:00 a.m., breakfast served at 8:30 a.m.
Degage Ministries offers $1-$2 dinner daily. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., dinner served at 6:00 p.m.
StreetLight Ministires offers free dinner ‘Burger Night’ on the 2nd & 4th Saturday of the week.

Degage Ministries (located at 144 S. Division Ave) – warmth, food, charging outlets, non-licensed advisors, showers, laundry, women’s shelter. People who want to help those who are homeless can purchase meal vouchers to give away.

People have a variety of motivations for giving to good causes. For me it is about helping to improve the quality of life for people who are often under-served and/or oppressed, contributing to causes with which I have a personal experience, and my values for fostering a more fair, equitable, and empowering community.

Alleviating Poverty
UCOMGR – is a food bank (and other services) that respects the dignity of people.
WellHouseGR – practical approach to solving homelessness with the radical idea of providing people with affordable places to live.

Autism Awareness – I may be a little bit autistic myself, friends have suggested this though I’ve never been officially diagnosed as such.

Literacy – is essential to an empowered life. I have volunteered and worked in settings where I have had the opportunity to help others be empowered through literacy.
Olivet College – is where I received a Journalism/Mass Communication B.A. The Olivet College experience for me was more than getting a diploma, it was life changing where I discovered the path to overcoming challenges begins by identifying and utilizing our strengths.

Environmental Concerns
Karner Blue Butterflies
Monarch Butterflies

Empowering Foster Kids – in my work with helping youth identified as at-risk, I became aware of the challenges foster kids face, especially with how they do not have support systems readily available when they age out of the system.

Journalism & Free Speech – are essential to a free and democratic society.

LGBTQ Rights – I identify as a gay cis male, so obviously LGBTQ rights are important to me personally. It is also important to me that wherever I work, that it is an environment where diversity is valued and affirmed.