More than 20 Kettering University students came together to give back to the community during the co-op at General Motors earlier this year.
A total of 22 students volunteered at Grace Centers of Hope in downtown Pontiac. They helped sort and organize a storage room, prepare and serve lunch to those in need, read to kids and offered any other help the center needed. Together, the Kettering students volunteered a combined total of 66 hours.
“We are very grateful to the 22 Kettering University and General Motors co-op employees who generously volunteered more than 60 hours of combined time to read to our children at the Hands of Hope Childcare Center, and prepared and served meals to the men and women enrolled in our Men’s and Women’s Programs,” said Grace Centers of Hope CEO Pastor Kent W. Clark. “Each year, our volunteers serve more than 10,000 hours, generously giving of their time and talents to support our many life-saving programs. Volunteers, like those from Kettering University and GM, are a critical part of the success of our nonprofit organization.”
Grace Centers of Hope, a faith-based organization in Southeast Michigan, confronts issues of homelessness, addiction, poverty, abuse and spiritual emptiness. On any given night, Grace Centers of Hope provides transitional and emergency shelter to 150 to 200 men, women and children, in addition to serving more than 100,000 meals each year.
For the students, volunteering at the centers was a chance to give back to the community surrounding their co-op job at GM, while also getting to know fellow co-workers and Kettering students.
“I think volunteering is a great way to give back or help other people. I try to offer my time to almost any volunteering event I can attend. It's not only a great thing to do for the specific community, but it's also a great way to meet other people,” said Sarth Patel ‘20. “Knowing that GM offers so many volunteering events really makes it enjoyable. There are tons of events for GM specific people/events and then even more outside of GM, such as the Grace Centers of Hope.”
Working for General Motors was a goal for Alexa Bartold ‘22 and having outreach and volunteer opportunities makes it that much better, she said.
The students got a tour of the Grace Centers of Hope, met staff and learned more about the programs there and how they helped the community.
“I volunteer once or twice a term. It’s great getting to talk to people outside of the work environment and volunteer together,” Bartold said. “My favorite part was meeting new people, either from work or at the center. It was an opportunity to see different walks of life and see everything the staff does for the community. Seeing how different people live and the struggles they face was a good learning opportunity for us. It felt good to be able to give back.”
For more information about Grace Centers of Hope, visit www.gracecentersofhope.org.