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Thank You Kitson Clan! 

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What do you get when you combine 15 family members a house full of junk and one hot, humid Saturday? A 40 yard dumpster FULL of JUNK!!

That was the scene on a recent Saturday as the Alan and Joan Kitson clan showed up to offer a hand at the recently acquired house on the West side. They came with their adult children and all 9 grandchildren, complete with pretty pink work gloves.

With both a house and garage full old junk, the Kitson’s rolled up their sleeves and filled the dumpster with old furniture, junk, carpeting and more junk. While the house is still not completely empty, some nice hardwood floors were discovered at 814 Seventh Street, where New Development will begin construction once the specifications are approved and bidding is complete.

THANKS, Kitson’s, for making a BIG job seem like FUN!


 Awesome Work St. Alphonsus Youth  


St Al's Youth Mission Team 842 Jennette 7 18 15The St. Alphonsus Parish Youth Mission Team also came to help do a clean out. The teens and their adult chaperons took on our house at 842 Jennette NW, a nice little house across the street from Stocking Elementary School. It also happens to be around the corner from our house on Seventh Street.

They cleaned out the basement, tore up old stinky carpeting plus padding and worked hard to get this house ready for the construction crews. The rehab of this house started just two days later.

Their help to us was a warm up for the Mission Team as they then headed south to Tennessee. Utilizing skills they developed helping us in Grand Rapids enabled them to work on distressed houses in Hancock County, Tennessee.

THANK YOU, St. Alphonsus Youth Mission Team!

 Great Idea, John!



Thanks to the creative action of long time volunteer John LaPorte, a local resident and architect, we managed to get a donation of great plants from 616 Development for re-use at one of our single family homes.

Driving past the site on the corner of Grove Street NE and Plainfield Ave NE, which 616 Development will be turning into mixed-use apartments at some point, John saw any number of plants there that could be salvaged. As part of the Grand Rapids North Kiwanis Club, John has been at many New Development construction sites and knows firsthand how hard we work to develop landscaping at our rehabilitated homes. In fact, he annually donates (and often delivers) ornamental grasses from his own yard. A quick note of inquiry to 616 Development resulted in permission to dig up plants and a small team of folks arrived to do just that.

The resulting pants were re-utilized at the house we are completing at 228 Spencer NE, which is right around the corner from the salvage site. Volunteers, including NDC Board President Tome Deschaine and his wife Jodi, arrived to get the plants back in the ground. The plants have taken off and the lawn is beginning to pop up, despite the summer heat.

Installation was completed just a few days before Pastor Sean Baker of Creston CRC came with members of his congregation to bless the home.

THANKS to all involved for helping to make this project possible!