This past month we had the privilege of learning more about an organization just a block away from us! Barbara Lee VanHorssen, the Experi-Mentor and founder of Extended Grace gave us a tour of the Momentum Center and shared their mission.
Extended Grace started 4 years ago with the intention of connecting people who wanted to make a difference with opportunities to do that. They are a grass roots movement to create a stigma free community. They do this primarily through community conversations at town hall meetings focusing on mental illness and topics related to mental illness. They also host Inspire events (Sept.-May) at the Momentum Center that focus on topics to marginalized populations. The goal is that everybody leaves knowing that there’s something they can do to address whatever the topic was. They bring in experts that work in those areas and if nothing else, they’re able to connect people who are interested in those topics with the agencies that are working in those areas. Everything is free and open to the community. They also run a dinner and movie night the last Friday of every month and that typically centers on the same topic that they dealt with during Inspire. However they have movie nights through the summer as well. In August they have the summer series include hour long lectures followed by Q and A. This summer, starting on August 12th, they’re focusing on disabilities.
Those conversations led them to open the Momentum Center for social engagement. It’s social and recreational programing for people with mental illness, addictions, disabilities and for all teenagers and pre-teens (starting at age 11). You don’t need a diagnosis or referral to come, anybody is welcome, if you’re just going through a hard time. It only costs a $1 a year to join – you can participate in all activities, outings and events at no additional costs.
The Momentum Center is bright and the staff is welcoming. Lives are being changed! It’s a place for all to feel safe, welcome and find community!
Here’s how YOU can help this organization:
- Get involved! Attend events, become a member, visit the Just Goods cafe to shop or buy a coffee, participate in the Salmon Run on September 14th
- Become a connector- introduce Extended Grace to one person
- Volunteer- lead a class, take a shift at Just Goods, listen to other’s share their stories
- Donate/Sponsor- monthly giving, legacy giving, matching gift, event sponsor (Inspire!, Salmon Run to eRace Stigma, Cultural Immersion: Across the Bridge, Town Hall, Prom with a Purpose, and more!), sponsor a mental health mailer – https://momentumcentergh.org/donate
- Leadership- get involved on a committee or the Board
Call Barbara anytime to talk about the possibilities! (616) 502-2078 or firstname.lastname@example.org