Sunday, December 14, 2014

R.I.P. Roger Neal, 1950 ~ 2014

Roger was a long-time neighbor and friend and knew everyone in the Heartside community. Born in Tennessee, Roger had been a Grand Rapidian for over 40 years. He leaves behind his mother, four brothers, two sisters, his son, many cousins and nieces, and his many friends.
On a personal note, Roger was one of the first people to befriend me when I started to volunteer at Heartside Ministry. His quick laugh and ready smile made everyone he encountered feel that he or she was special.

Roger's brother, Mike, is an artist in the Heartside studio and had these words to say about Roger:  "Roger was a very important person, always willing to give you an opinion that meant so much to me. Roger was a Vietnam vet and had a certificate in social work. Out of us all, Roger was the only one who really knew our Dad."
With his brother, Mike, and long-time friend, Isaac.
So peace out, dear brother. You've left your mark on all of us, and for that we thank you.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014, and to being a Good Friend & Neighbor!

The day began with a visit from a few members of The Community who brought with them 156 top-notch sack lunches and cases of bottled water to distribute to our neighbors, both here at Heartside and throughout the Heartside neighborhood. The lunches were a huge hit as were the extra bananas!
After our wonderful GED Coordinator and official tour guide, Jamie, took the group through our building and explained the programs Heartside offers,

Jamie and Keyth, one of our stellar volunteers known as the Deacon of Heartside, took us on a neighborhood tour that included some of the other non-profit institutions in the area, Degage Ministries and Guiding Light Mission. We stopped for a few photos at Guiding Light in front of the mural that Jamie painted for the Mission.
We skipped visiting Mel Trotter and instead headed back to the Art Studio so members of the group could create some art with Heartside artists. Billy, Pastor at The Community, took that time to interview some people, interviews that will end up sometime soon in a video we will share.

Then they had to head home but left having met new people, having had some good conversations, and knowing they had filled many grateful bellies. And then, this happened :-(
Welcome to winter! But the Halloween and Community Room fun continued.
Staff goofing with staff.
Cheers to good friends and neighbors, and to being both!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

R.I.P. Charla Burkett ~ 6/13/65 - 10/23/14

We lost a dear sister and friend last week and are sharing some photos taken in the Heartside Neighborhood. She was larger than life and always an awesome presence. We can't believe you're gone and will always miss you!
Chaka performing Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" at the Heartside Talent Show. Rock on sweet sister!