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Men serving at a thrift store
Jana Hoglund

While we each attend to the many responsibilities of our busy lives and daily routines, hundreds of parents and grandparents quietly attend to ensuring the success and vitality of New 2 You, Grand Rapids Christian Schools' upscale thrift store located at 2929 29th Street. The success of the store and the dedication of these volunteers is nothing short of amazing and, as a result of their tireless efforts and dedication, 2016 sales are setting records!

In April alone, sales surpassed $94,000, the best sales month in the store’s history. Sales have grown by nearly 19% in the past 10 months. Why is this important? Because, at 11 years of age, New 2 You will likely surpass the $1 million mark in annual sales this year – all accomplished by a volunteer sales force who serve out of genuine love for Grand Rapids Christian Schools and a desire to reduce the cost of tuition for all.

Because of New 2 You, parents will be able to reduce their tuition by $280 per child in 2016- 17! Needless to say, the store truly is an unbelievable success story – a story that deserves telling. In order for the store to continue its success, however, it needs the support of our parents to volunteer a minimum of three hours per year. What a great opportunity to show our appreciation as well as model an important act of service for our children.

BLESSING BAGS – Making an impact

Caden Bolt is a 4th grader at the Iroquois Campus with a big heart. His story starts with people on street corners asking for money. Seeing people apparently in need of food and help bothered him greatly and he wondered what he might be able to do to make a difference in their lives.

His idea will amaze you. Caden decided to, rather than simply ignoring them, create Blessing Bags and distribute them to the people on street corners who are seeking help. In partnership with Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Caden’s Blessing Bags have really taken off.

How does it all work:? It’s as easy as 1-2-3. 

Step 1: Church members bring water, toothpaste, toothbrushes, granola bars, body wash, shampoo, and other nonperishable items to church. 

Step 2: Caden and his family pick the supplies up, bring them home, fill large Ziploc bags with the supplies, and include a note inside each bag stating that the Blessing Bags are given in love by Eastern Avenue Church. Also included in the bag is contact information for several agencies that the person receiving the bag might find helpful. 

Step 3: Caden returns the filled bags to church for the members to pick up on Sunday and place in their cars to distribute through the coming week.

We are very proud of Caden! He models what it means that we are “blessed to be a blessing”. Our Christian schools work hard in partnership with parents and churches to train students to be God's servants in today's world. Caden is but one of many examples of how our students are visible evidence that this partnership is yielding great dividends. Praise God for Caden and give thanks for the gift of Christian schools!


Grand Rapids Christian Middle School was recently designated as a School of Excellence in Service and Leadership. This award, given by the Lead2Feed Student Leadership Program, was earned due to the efforts of our 7th Grade Global Diversity Class. Being designated in this way is a true honor, one that is reflective of the distinct nature of Christian education – developing a service heart in service of the Kingdom.

So what does having received this award mean for GRCMS and our student

  • Lead2Feed will donate $10,000 to the Haiti Foundation for Poverty on behalf of Grand Rapids Christian Middle School
  • Lead2Feed will donate $5,000 to GRCMS for the purchase of Apple technology for students and staff
  • In light of our students’ efforts, service, and leadership to make a difference in God’s world, GRCMS and our students will soon be featured in various national news and media outlets

Join us in praising God for and thanking staff leaders Tammy Baker and Connie VanderWell for their personal investment of time and talents throughout the experience. And join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our 7th and 8th grade Global Diversity students and their “heart to be hands and feet for Christ”.