The Helpful Charity Initiative

What is The Helpful Charity Initiative?
Helpful Charity is an initiative of the Heartside Neighborhood Collaboration Project (HNCP). This initiative includes collaboration from the following agencies: Catholic Charities West Michigan, Degage Ministries, Dwelling Place, Family Promise of Grand Rapids, Guiding Light Mission, Heartside Ministry, HNCP and Mel Trotter Ministries. The goal of the Helpful Charity Initiative is to educate volunteers about the Heartside neighborhood in order to make a greater impact!

Where do we start?
We often see and hear of well-intended individuals bringing items such as blankets, hats and hotdogs and handing them out on the street. Although these items may be needed there have been instances when good intentions have led to unintended consequences. This is not always the case, but coming unannounced to pass out items can be tough. Before volunteering, one can call or email any of the contacts in this packet to find out current Heartside needs! Each agency can provide information on opportunities in the neighborhood or needs of that day/week!

One can also contact HNCP ( to facilitate a discussion around Helpful Charity. This can be done with a small group, youth group, business etc.

Working together we can:
Create greater communication between stakeholder groups, reduce unnecessary duplication and facilitate greater organization of resources! Individuals served benefit when the community works from a holistic approach, which helps move them forward. Organizations benefit when volunteers are meeting unmet needs in the organization and community. Volunteers benefit when they give in a way that is meaningful and fills actual needs. Faith communities & businesses benefit when they know they are doing needed and meaningful charitable work. Our work can create greater impact when community works together!

*The Helpful Charity Initiative is a practical community response to the book, Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton.


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