Community Service

COMMUNITY SERVICE GOAL #1: Assure emergency and continuing compassionate support during disruptive life experiences such as spouse/partner/child abuse, homelessness, joblessness and substance abuse.   

Illustrative grants: Mel Trotter Ministries – Homeless shelter for  LGBTQ youth; 3-11 Youth Housing – Safe & affordable housing for youth ages 18-24 including teen parents; Family Promise – Resources to avoid homelessness; Guiding Light Mission – Shelter for homeless population that includes health screenings, immunizations and employment support; Dwelling Place – Affordable LEED housing using tax credit funding (strong Organizational Sustainability theme alignment); HOAP Inc. – Teen mother and children support program.

COMMUNITY SERVICE GOAL #2: Advance equity of economic opportunities for marginalized individuals, including support for entrepreneurship and businesses led by individuals of color.  

Illustrative grants: Treetops Collective – Services for refugee women & teen girls including ESL & financial classes; Start Garden – Entrepreneurial support for start- up businesses for marginalized communities; MOKA Corporation – Employability skills training for people with disabilities; Ferris State University Foundation – Mentorship entrepreneur program to help Latinos develop successful businesses; Micah Center – Develop leadership skills and relational power building (strong Civic Engagement theme alignment); Next Step of West Michigan – Green product development by recycling scrap from manufacturing division (strong Environmental Sustainability theme alignment); Women’s Resource Center – Resources that remove barriers and build employability skills for women re-entering the workforce; Rende Progress Capital – Alternative financial lending to create economic equity for excluded entrepreneurs; West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – Education & financial training to increase capacity of Latino business owners; Michigan Non-Profit Association – Ensuring marginalized individuals and hard to count communities complete census.

Stories about the Wege Foundation's Commitment to Community Service

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & CLIMATE LEADER MUSTAFA SANTIAGO ALI TO PRESENT AT ANNUAL WEGE SPEAKER SERIES

The Senior Vice President for the Hip Hop Caucus will address environmental justice issues on Thursday, April 11, 2019 Grand Rapids, Michigan – February … More ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & CLIMATE LEADER MUSTAFA SANTIAGO ALI TO PRESENT AT ANNUAL WEGE SPEAKER SERIES »

WMCAT Rhymes with ‘WINcat’—For Good Reasons

West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology, an afterschool program for urban high school stdents, opened in 2005 downtown after three Steelcase leaders flew … More WMCAT Rhymes with ‘WINcat’—For Good Reasons »

GRCC Steps In To Right an Academic Unfairness

In 2011 Grand Rapids Community faced a serious problem. While 15% of all students graduated after two years, only 5% of African- American males … More GRCC Steps In To Right an Academic Unfairness »

The Children’s Assessment Center Beams Light on a Dark, Destructive Secret

Every year an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 children in Kent County are sexually abused. Only 1 in 15 of those cases is ever disclosed. … More The Children’s Assessment Center Beams Light on a Dark, Destructive Secret »

LOCAL FIRST IS GOOD FOR GRAND RAPIDS

Elissa Hillary is thrilled that 900 area businesses are part of Local First, but that’s just the start. The president of Local First is … More LOCAL FIRST IS GOOD FOR GRAND RAPIDS »

What’s In A Name?

Disability Advocates of Kent County identifies an organization that gives people with disabilities access to our county’s opportunities. As its mission states, this non-profit helps “people … More What’s In A Name? »

Wege Foundation Grant Propels West Michigan-Based Student Design Competition Toward Broader Global Impact

$444,000 grant awarded to Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s Wege Center for Sustainable Design to extend Wege Prize competition for … More Wege Foundation Grant Propels West Michigan-Based Student Design Competition Toward Broader Global Impact »

A Fitting Tribute To a Quietly Amazing Leader

Ellen Satterlee leaves the role she has played for 25 years as CEO of The Wege Foundation and now takes a seat as a … More A Fitting Tribute To a Quietly Amazing Leader »

Stepping Up for Next Step

The ongoing news stories on our country’s unemployment numbers identify a serious economic concern. And while there are many reasons people can’t get jobs, those most … More Stepping Up for Next Step »

YWCA Women’s Shelter Redone and Renamed

Eleven times a day someone in Kent County is abused in domestic violence, and almost always the victim is a woman and a mother. … More YWCA Women’s Shelter Redone and Renamed »

Parent Magazine: One of the “Coolest Schools in America”

Five years ago the Grand Rapids Public Schools and Peter M. Wege joined forces to create a sixth-grade program focused on environmental education at … More Parent Magazine: One of the “Coolest Schools in America” »

STEELCASE CEO SPREADS AROUND THE CREDIT

Jim Hackett learned teamwork early on when he played football for the legendary Bo Schembechler at the University of Michigan. Hackett never forgot Bo’s … More STEELCASE CEO SPREADS AROUND THE CREDIT »

The Wege Mission Carries On

Let there be no doubt that Peter M. Wege’s has legacy bearers who continue to do “all the good” they can.  Two of them … More The Wege Mission Carries On »

Camp O’Malley Fighting Juvenile Crime 71 Years Later

In 1938 Grand Rapids Police Department Superintendent Frank O’Malley saw a worrisome statistic. That year 147 young people were arrested for various crimes. Whether … More Camp O’Malley Fighting Juvenile Crime 71 Years Later »

History Behind the Gift to Clark Home

There is family history behind The Wege Foundation’s recent gift to Clark Home. When Peter M. Wege’s widowed mother, Sophia Louise Dubridge Wege, was … More History Behind the Gift to Clark Home »

Aquinata Hall, Peter M. Wege, and a Sacred Scapula

On April 24, The Dominican Sisters of Marywood celebrated the new life of Aquinata Hall as a licensed Home for the Aged.  Built in … More Aquinata Hall, Peter M. Wege, and a Sacred Scapula »

Habitat Owners Earn Their New Homes

In 2006 Peter M. Wege’s environmental vision led to the nation’s first Habitat Home awarded LEED  (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.  That … More Habitat Owners Earn Their New Homes »

FARM FOOD? FAMILY FUN? FIND THE DOWNTOWN MARKET

After years of dreaming, discussing, and designing, a farmer’s market for the inner city is now happening.  Seven abandoned warehouses on a city block … More FARM FOOD? FAMILY FUN? FIND THE DOWNTOWN MARKET »

KROC TOUR WITH JENNIFER AND CAITLIN WEGE

Two of Peter Wege’s granddaughters, Jennifer Wege from North Carolina and Caitlin Wege from California, came to Grand Rapids in March to attend LaughFest, … More KROC TOUR WITH JENNIFER AND CAITLIN WEGE »

May 5 The New and Improved Fulton Street Farmers Market Opens Up

Talk about raising the roof! Grand Rapids’ popular Fulton Street Farmers Market is undergoing a $2.7 million upgrade  converting it into a year-around enterprise.  … More May 5 The New and Improved Fulton Street Farmers Market Opens Up »

Baxter Opens  A New Nest For Sparrows

Baxter Community Center kicked off 2012 by filling a vital need in caring for their youngest clients when they opened a colorful new room … More Baxter Opens  A New Nest For Sparrows »

Letters to Peter Wege from S. African Travelers

After the 1960s race riots, Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church members made a bold decision. They converted nearby Baxter Christian School into a safe … More Letters to Peter Wege from S. African Travelers »

Gilda’s Club Planning LaughFest 2012

The overwhelming success of Gilda Club’s first LaughFest in March 2011 meant for sure the cancer-support group would do it again. With 55,000 people … More Gilda’s Club Planning LaughFest 2012 »

“All Aboard!” Coming to John Ball Zoo

In the fall of 2011, John Ball Park celebrated $12 million of planned upgrades with some of the key donors pictured here manning the … More “All Aboard!” Coming to John Ball Zoo »

GILDA’S CLUB TEN YEARS LATER – on youtube.com.

When Peter M. Wege and The Wege Foundation made the lead gift to found the cancer-support community known as Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, Peter … More GILDA’S CLUB TEN YEARS LATER – on youtube.com. »

ECONOMICOLOGY: THE RAPID’S SILVER LINE

Public transportation in Grand Rapids is not only alive and well, it is also about to run better, faster, and more often. Thanks to … More ECONOMICOLOGY: THE RAPID’S SILVER LINE »

FROM 3 TO 21 COMPUTERS: CATHERINE’S HEALTH CLINIC GROWS

When Susan Broman, Executive Director of the Steelcase Foundation, called Ellen Satterlee, her counterpart at the Wege Foundation, about Catherine’s Health Center, Ellen agreed … More FROM 3 TO 21 COMPUTERS: CATHERINE’S HEALTH CLINIC GROWS »

GILDA’S CLUB BREAKS INTO LAUGHTER MARCH 10, 2011

The first-ever Laugh Fest in the country opens in Grand Rapids March 10 with non-stop funny entertainment happening in 32 locations until March 20. … More GILDA’S CLUB BREAKS INTO LAUGHTER MARCH 10, 2011 »

Former Boy Soldier Speaks at City High’s Graduation

Ishmael Beah, born in Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa, was kidnapped by government troops when he was 12 and forced into … More Former Boy Soldier Speaks at City High’s Graduation »

Generosity In G.R. Makes $62 Million Kroc Happen

When Ray Kroc first started selling McDonald’s hamburgs in Chicago, he was impressed by the dedication of Salvation Army members ringing bells on the … More Generosity In G.R. Makes $62 Million Kroc Happen »

Peter M. Wege Once More Honors His Parents

As the only child of Peter Martin and Sophia Dubridge Wege, Peter M. Wege began honoring their memory half a century ago. Because of … More Peter M. Wege Once More Honors His Parents »

Junior Achievement of West Michigan Honors Peter M. Wege

At a black-time banquet in the Amway Grand Hotel, Junior Achievement of West Michigan named Peter M. Wege the winner of the 2008 Edward … More Junior Achievement of West Michigan Honors Peter M. Wege »

JANUARY AND EPIPHANY: A Time For Renewal

The beginning of a new year is a special opportunity for refreshing hearts, minds, and spirits. For the first time, the Franciscan Sisters of … More JANUARY AND EPIPHANY: A Time For Renewal »

PETER WEGE RECEIVES HONORARY DOCTORATE FROM THE U OF M

The University of Michigan paid its highest tribute to lifelong East Grand Rapids resident Peter M. Wege by awarding him an honorary degree as … More PETER WEGE RECEIVES HONORARY DOCTORATE FROM THE U OF M »

G. R. MAGAZINE NAMES PETER M. WEGE ONE OF CITY’S MOST POWERFUL

The December issue of Grand Rapids Magazine published brief profiles on the 25 people their staff considered the city’s most important. The first person … More G. R. MAGAZINE NAMES PETER M. WEGE ONE OF CITY’S MOST POWERFUL »

GUARDIAN ANGEL HOMES Names Peter M. Wege its first Grand Angel

On November 27, the Guardian Angel Homes of Grand Rapids honored Peter M. Wege by giving him their first Grand Angel Award. Grand Angel … More GUARDIAN ANGEL HOMES Names Peter M. Wege its first Grand Angel »

GRAND RAPIDS’ FIRST HONORARY FIRE CHIEF: PETER M. WEGE

On October 22, 2007, Peter Wege realized every man’s dream. He became the Chief of the Grand Rapids Fire Department, complete with his name … More GRAND RAPIDS’ FIRST HONORARY FIRE CHIEF: PETER M. WEGE »

THE GRAND RAPIDS CHILDREN’S MUSEUM: Ten Years Later

In the early 1990s, four women, mothers and grandmothers, realized Grand Rapids, Michigan, needed a place for children to play in creative and hands-on … More THE GRAND RAPIDS CHILDREN’S MUSEUM: Ten Years Later »

ELIZABETH EDWARDS VISITS GILDA’S CLUB

Elizabeth Edwards met with members of The Wege Foundation, Ellen Satterlee, Executive Director on the left and Terri McCarthy, VP of Programs on the … More ELIZABETH EDWARDS VISITS GILDA’S CLUB »