By: Kalie Date: 11/10/2015

Fall has been busy at AWC! We launched our new theme for the year, “Come Grow With Us,” at our Annual Banquet in October. This theme is so appropriate because it truly represents all of the growth we have been seeing throughout AWC.

Our Volunteer Training was held the last two weeks of September and included 16 women who volunteered as AWC mentors – the largest group of new mentors ever! During our last session of training, we always spend time debriefing new volunteers about their experiences in training and their thoughts on moving forward into their roles. Usually this takes about 15 minutes, but during the morning session, it lasted nearly an hour and a half! New volunteers shared how training had directly impacted their lives – from changing how they viewed our clients, to influencing the way they interacted with family and friends, to encouraging them spiritually during difficult life situations. There were many tears, words of encouragement, and hugs shared. It was beautiful to see our volunteers learning and growing together and exciting to see what an impact AWC has on everyone who gets involved.

We were also thrilled to partner with DVS, a local marketing agency, to create a new client video. You can see clients share their experiences and witness how AWC is changing hearts, changing lives, and changing generations by checking out the video here.

Our Educational Services department has also seen growth. This fall, our English as a Second Language class has tripled not only in student size, but also increased the number of kids in childcare (19) while their moms attend class. We’re thrilled that nine women graduated from our Pregnancy Education Class and received brand new pack ‘n plays with bassinets. One of these women, who is six months pregnant, also graduated from the Parenting Class and is involved in both our Step Up Mentoring Program and Single Moms Support Group! In addition, this week we will be hosting a Job Preparedness Seminar for clients to explore their strengths, build a resume, and practice interviewing.

Finally, we are also growing by the foot – 3,000 square feet to be exact! With the help of several local churches and businesses, we were able to purchase the building right next door to AWC for our new Fatherhood Center, focusing on meeting the needs of fathers in our community. Although this is a huge undertaking, we truly feel it is the next step in providing holistic care to families in the Grand Rapids area. Please pray for the renovations and program development as we begin this journey. And a special thank you to those who have already played a part in the beginning of the Fatherhood Center!

All this growth is helping change the lives of women and families in our community. If you would like to Come Grow With Us, please call us at 616-742-0242 or email us at for more information.