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My Town: Mel Trotter Hope Totes accepted through April 20

My Town: Mel Trotter Hope Totes accepted through April 20

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--- Individuals, families, churches, youth groups and schools can order Mel Trotter purple “Hope Tote” bags which then can be filled with new personal hygiene items for those in need in the community.

To order a tote, visit the Mel Trotter website. Suggested personal care items (standard or travel size) are:

  • Shampoo/conditioner (including ethnic hair products)
  • Deodorant
  • Soap/body wash
  • Bath sponges/Washcloths
  • Toothpaste
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Lotion
  • Tissues

Filled Hope Totes can be dropped off through April 20 at Mel Trotter's Downtown Mission at 225 Commerce Ave. SW in Grand Rapids or the Mel Trotter Thrift Stores, at 555 28th Street SE in Grand Rapids, 538 S. State Street in Sparta, 363 E. State Street in Belding and 7500 Cottonwood Dr. Suite D in Jenison.

My Town Grandville: Todd Waite Legacy Foundation Auction on March 15

My Town Grandville: Todd Waite Legacy Foundation Auction on March 15

GRANDVILLE, Mich.-- After losing 19-year-old Todd Waite to suicide in July 2010, his loved ones began holding an annual auction to help raise awareness about the issue of suicide, as well as ways to prevention this type of tragedy.

Ivanrest Christian Reformed Church,  located at 3777 Ivanrest Avenue SW in Grandville will host this year's benefit on March 15. The silent auction and dinner begin at 5 p.m. A number of vacation packages are available to bid on.

For more information and to see some of the auction items, visit www.twlf4suicideawareness.com.

My Town Walker: IHOP to serve up free pancakes March 4

My Town Walker: IHOP to serve up free pancakes March 4

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—Skip firing up your skillet Tuesday, March 4 and head to your closest IHOP for free pancakes.

Participating IHOP restaurants will be serving up a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes in honor of National Pancake Day.   The deal will be good from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

In exchange for free pancakes, customers are encouraged to donate to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Shriners Hospitals for Children and other local charities.

"Our guests, our franchisees, their team members, and all of us at IHOP- look forward to National Pancake Day every year. Knowing that every free stack of buttermilk pancakes has the potential to improve the lives of the children in their own community makes serving them and eating them even more enjoyable than usual,” said Julia Stewart, Interim President, International House of Pancakes, LLC and CEO of the parent company, DineEquity, Inc.

New Health Department office too small for drug disposal

New Health Department office too small for drug disposal

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—Grand Haven residents looking for a place to safely dispose of unwanted medication will have to travel a little farther.

Because of space limitations at its new office on South Beechtree Street in Grand Haven, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health no longer offers medication disposal services at that office.  Residents are encouraged to visit any of the alternative locations in Holland, Hudsonville, Zeeland, West Olive, Grand Haven Township, Coopersville, Allendale and Georgetown Township.  For exact locations, visit the Ottawa County Health Department website here.

According to the Partnership at Drugfree.org, each year, more than 71,000 children in the U.S. are taken to emergency rooms for accidental overdoses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

American Red Cross in need of blood after donation drop

American Red Cross in need of blood after donation drop

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The American Red Cross is trying to rebound after a devastating drop in donations caused by severe winter weather.

From Jan. 2 through Feb. 10, the organization says more than 1,000 of its blood drives nationwide were canceled, leading to a loss of about 35,000 blood and platelet donations.  The Red Cross says the impact is equivalent to the organization shutting down its national operations for more than two full days. 

“On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 units of blood every day to help patients nationwide,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager of the Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region.  “Regardless of the weather, patients are counting on blood products to be there when needed.”

Kent County turns to community to set health priorities

Kent County turns to community to set health priorities

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Healthy Kent and the Kent County Health Department will begin tapping the community for ideas to make the county healthier Tuesday, Feb. 11.

From more health food stores to more mental health services, all ideas are welcome as both groups collect information for the 2014 Community Health Needs Assessment.

"The best way to ensure success of our health programs is to focus on what we can address and what we can improve, said Adam London, Kent County health officer who has dedicated staff working with Healthy Kent. "The data and information gathered in this step will help us develop top priorities to improve health outcomes in Kent County."

Local health departments are required to update their Community Health Needs Assessment every five years for state accreditation.  Hospitals must update their CHNA every three years.

The meeting schedule is as follows:

  • Feb.

Extreme winter conditions cut into blood donations

Extreme winter conditions cut into blood donations

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The recent winter storms and extremely cold temperatures are taking a toll on donations to the American Red Cross.

The organization says more than 7070 blood drives were cancelled last month because of the weather—leading to a loss of more than 25,000 blood and platelet donations. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood each day to supply medical centers. 

“While thousands of people from across the country responded to the call for blood and platelet donations issued by the Red Cross in January, there continues to be an urgent need for blood donors with type O, especially type O negative,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region.

Kulman says the recent uptick in cold and flu cases is also taking a toll on blood donations.   Community members are encouraged to donate blood at one of the following drives:

  • Feb. 4, 12 p.m.