ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Students at a Grand Rapids-area high school have raised enough money to help a family acquire a home.
Forest Hills Central in Ada Township raised $21,000, more than double its goal, to help families with gifts at Christmas. The balance will be used by Family Promise of Grand Rapids to help a family with housing, MLive.com reported.
Family Promise Partners in Housing purchases and renovates affordable homes. After a year, a family gets to keep the home, said Kate O’Keefe, director of development.
Housing has been in the headlines in Grand Rapids: The city recently cleared out a homeless camp in a park after opening a shelter.
O'Keefe said her organization didn't know if the students would be successful due to a lack of in-person classes after mid-November and other disruptions because of the coronavirus.
“But we just kept in contact with the school every week and the school was like, ‘We’re going to do this, we want to help families have a wonderful Christmas.’ And that, for us, was really inspiring," she said.
Students turned to family and friends when traditional fundraising events weren't possible, Central Principal Steve Passinault said.
“I think that during the pandemic everyone has had an opportunity to reflect on what is most important to us in our lives,” he said.