Our network

Health

Bright Beginnings announces first free play date of the year

Bright Beginnings announces first free play date of the year

GRANDVILLE, Mich.—A family support program will hold its first free play group of the year next Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Bright Beginnings is a free parent education and family support program open to children from birth to five years of age.  Participants can request home visits with a certified parent educator who can provide tips for child development.   

Bright Beginnings’ play group schedule is as follows:

  •  Mittens for Me – Jan. 15, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Central Elementary
  • Winter Wonderland*– Jan. 29, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Johnson Park
  • Fun at the Farm- Feb. 19, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Central Elementary

*Bring your own sled.

For more information about the program, or to register for a free hearing/vision screening, call Beth at (616) 293-8623. 

Blood donors treated to a free movie and popcorn

Blood donors treated to a free movie and popcorn

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—They aren’t all on the big screen.

Michigan Blood is getting ready to reward life-saving superheroes right here in the Grand Rapids community. The organization is teaming up with Celebration Cinema to offer a free movie pass and a bag of popcorn to each to person who attempts to donate blood during the holidays.

Michigan Blood needs to collect more than 2,200 units of blood every week to supply patients and hospitals around the state.  Donations traditionally drop around the holidays as people travel.

Days and times for the “Be a Star” donation deal vary around the state.  To find the location near you, visit the Michigan Blood website here.  In Grand Rapids, the following donation drives will take place in Michigan Blood’s Main Donor Center at 1036 Fuller Ave. NE:

Ambulance Consortium to include at least six communities

Ambulance Consortium to include at least six communities

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—   The new Ambulance Consortium in Kent County is growing.

Grand Rapids, Grandville, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Wyoming and Rockford have already voted to form the consortium.  Plainfield Township is also considering joining.

The Ambulance Consortium would establish across-the-board ambulance service standards for all communities involved, through contracts. East Grand Rapids City Manager Brian Donovan says communities that are part of the consortium will create an oversight group which will make sure all ambulance companies are abiding by contractual standards. By consolidating regulation, each community will save staff time and money.

Kent County communities have been working on the partnership since 2010.  

East Grand Rapids to join group setting ambulance standards

East Grand Rapids to join group setting ambulance standards

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The standards for ambulances running in East Grand Rapids may soon change.

During its regular meeting Monday night, the city commission approved joining an ambulance consortium with other Kent County communities.  The consortium would establish across-the-board ambulance service standards for all communities involved, through contracts. East Grand Rapids currently works with AMR Ambulance, but the city does not have a contract with the company. 

City Manager Brian Donovan says communities that are part of the consortium will create an oversight group which will make sure all ambulance companies are abiding by contractual standards. By consolidating regulation, each community will save staff time and money.

Volunteers create new garden area for YMCA children

Volunteers create new garden area for YMCA children

GRANDVILLE, Mich.— There’s a new place to help grow Michigan’s next generation of agricultural experts at Visser Family YMCA.

The YMCA enlisted the help of Lowe’s Heroes to create a new outdoor space complete with education gardens.  Approximately 30 volunteers spent 25 hours spread over three days putting together the space, with the help of Sustainable Outdoor Solutions, which donated some materials.  The gardens include two stream beds fueled by gutter runoff, a seating area and three “Impact Gardens,” which will be planted and maintained and harvested by children in the YMCA’s Impact after school program and summer day camp.  YMCA officials hope the gardens will help children understand life cycles as well as how to eat healthier.

Schedule of American Red Cross blood drives

Schedule of American Red Cross blood drives

 

 

Schedule of American Red Cross blood drives in

Allegan, Kent and Ottawa Counties

 

In Doubt About Giving Blood? You Could Be Eligible.

Some health concerns not an issue when donating

 

Lansing, MI—October 25—Think you’re not a good candidate for blood donation? Think again. Sometimes, people with high blood pressure and diabetes suspect they are not eligible to give blood. Many cancer survivors also believe they will be deferred because of their previous illness.

 

“But that’s not always the case,” said Todd Kulman, Communications Program Manager for the Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross.

American Red Cross is out for blood

American Red Cross is out for blood

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—It’s Halloween time, and the American Red Cross is out for blood. 

This month, the organization is partnering up with the Grand Rapids Ballet to offer donors a buy one, get one free coupon to the company’s performance of “Dracula.”

“Much like Dracula needed blood to stay alive, thousands of hospital patients also need this precious resource to survive,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager with the Great Lakes Blood Services Region. 

This year’s production of Dracula returns with a newly orchestrated score and updated scenery and projections.

The American Red Cross will be holding blood drives at the following locations: