“...I tried everything
my way. And every
door was shut...”
inside: How god
opened a door when
Michelle chose His way.
Stories of God’s Provision Through You!
2 Learning to live God’s way 4 A pantry filled with hope 8 A new life to die for
2 Journal Spring 2012
Journal Spring 2012
LeaRning to Live Lessons fRom a CHuRCH
My name is Michelle, and I came to Mel Trotter doing good, but I started drinking again. I lost
A pig and a chicken were
walking down the road. They
came upon a church sign
Ministries because I was looking for a program to my job and drank up all the money I had saved. advertising a fellowship breakfast
help me get sober. For a long time, I tried to do If I was awake, I was drinking. And I remember that weekend: “Ham and eggs will
everything my way...and every door was shut. Then, being absolutely miserable. That’s when I cried out be served from 8:00–10:00 a.m.”
God opened the door to Mel Trotter. I believe in my to God, and He led me to Mel Trotter Ministries. The chicken turned to the pig (Psalm 24:1), we can prayerfully Ministries rather than selling it,
heart He was saying, “Now is MY time.” And it was! Healing and Rejoicing and exclaimed, “Well, isn’t that consider giving anything we “own” you receive a charitable deduction
When I cried out and said, “God, I’m not living...,” wonderful...even farm animals back to God to bless our church for the full market value of the
He opened the door to a new life. I think I had to have some distance from my or ministries such as Mel Trotter. property at the time of the transfer.
like us can help the work of
family to have my connection with God. But, for me, For example, it may surprise you You also avoid the capital gains
My problem with alcohol began in my youth. the church!”
it had to come a little bit at a time because I had to know that many assets may be tax if you held the property for
My parents separated when I was 8 years old. hardened my heart. I think He spent an entire year “Yes,” said the pig, “but yours
I rebelled when I was a teenager, cutting class and more “tax-efficient” to give than a period of one year or longer.
just kind of chipping away at me. One of the things is only a contribution. Mine is
going to parties. I was only 15 when my first child cash, such as stock, real estate, For more information on giving any
I love most now is going to church. But the best time a total sacrifice.”
was born, and I married my second child’s father retirement assets, life insurance, asset, request a FREE copy of “More
is worshipping alone in my room with the music That funny little story about the grain, business interests and
at 17. I divorced him when he got into trouble turned up. I can’t sing. But I sing Trust. More Joy.” by simply checking
pig illustrates a serious biblical tangible personal property. That’s
and went to jail. At 19, I moved to anyway and when I do, I’m healing the box on the attached reply form.
California to pursue another bad “I believe in and rejoicing!
truth—that Jesus really does call
His followers to give up everything
because federal tax law makes gifts Or contact Tim Swiney, Director of
that have grown in value more
relationship and my third child was born.
But when that relationship turned violent,
my heart that I never ever thought that I’d be in (Luke 14:33). But how do we live advantageous than giving cash.
Development, at Mel Trotter Ministries
at (616) 454-8249, ext. 268, or
I lost custody of my kids. God was saying, any kind of ministry, but apparently that out?
If you transfer the appreciated firstname.lastname@example.org
Thankfully, I got them starting
‘Now is MY time.’ ” I’m headed thataway. I’mmanager here.
a stipend job as house
One practical way is to realize
that because God owns everything
property directly to a charitable
back and we returned organization such as Mel Trotter
to Michigan, hoping I’m working in the kitchen part time
to start over. I moved and plan to take classes for leadership in ministry.
My kids are grown and doing well, and I have two
back home to be with
my family. I was wonderful grandkids! I’m living proof that what It’s not too late to give...
working and Psalm 145:13 says is true: “The Lord is faithful to all
His promises and loving toward all He has made.”
Thank you for your support of Mel Trotter
Ministries. I can’t think of anything better that you Our annual Hope Tote Campaign is under way, and we need
could do with your money. Because you care, people help in a hurry to give homeless neighbors “hope to hold on to!”
like me have a nice place to stay and we’re taught how We launched our Hope Tote Campaign on March 1 and will continue
to re-live life...God’s way. this worthwhile project until Easter Sunday, which is coming up soon—
Just a reminder that a Hope Tote is a small plastic bag that can be filled with
Michelle never thought she’d be inexpensive, unused, travel-size items such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, tissues and socks and
involved in ministry. “But apparently
distributed to homeless people to help them clean up and feel better about themselves. When they do,
I’m headed that way,” she says.
they’re more likely to make other changes that can transform their lives forever!
Mel Trotter’s Hope Tote Campaign is a meaningful way for you, your family, your church or business group to
get together and make a difference. We supply the Hope Totes. You simply fill and return them by Easter Sunday.
reaD MOre StOrieS OF HOpe Online Soon, those little bags will be in grateful hands, giving our neediest neighbors the hope and encouragement
they need to take a step toward new life. There’s still time to provide Hope Totes, but you must act soon. For
meltrotter.org/storiesofhope.aspx more information, call (616) 454-8249, ext. 223. Or visit us online at meltrotter.org/events.aspx. Thank you!
meltrotter.org MEL TROTTER MINISTRIES MEL TROTTER MINISTRIES meltrotter.org
Help fill our pantry and give...
a CaR foR moniCa
On Easter assistance roles. Approximately at the Mission but through
Monica has already raised four
children who now are grown and
self-sufficient. But when her two
youngest children lost their dad
“It’s just been an unbelievable
blessing,” Monica says.
Sunday, families 300 of those families live right our food pantry distribution to a few years ago, life got very tough
will gather to enjoy here in Grand Rapids. That means families living below the poverty for this seasoned, hardworking
a bountiful meal together as a some 800 children are going to level. We need your help to fill mom. So tough, she has to work
celebration of new life. But for bed hungry at night. our pantry with canned goods, two jobs to pay the bills and put
many Grand Rapidians, their With hunger impacting so many produce, bread, milk—all the food on the table. There’s nothing
Easter meal may be more skimpy of our neighbors, the Mel Trotter nutritious items you need to leftover for expensive car repairs or was the delighted owner of a 1998
than bountiful—if there is any Food Pantry program is more and feed your own family. For more to purchase a car. Monica was using Chevy Prism. She loves her little car,
which has not only been a blessing
got a veHiCLe
food at all on the table. More more crucial to our community information on how you can a borrowed car when a friend told
and more of our neighbors are outreach ministry. We expect to help, call Rebecca Robertson at her about Mel Trotter’s Vehicle to her, but also her teenage
you’d Like to
experiencing hunger after the provide more than 42,000 meals (616) 454-8249, ext. 266. Thank Donation Program and urged her daughter and son. “They can’t
state of Michigan recently took this Easter season, not just on-site you for caring! to apply. believe there is a program out
11,000 families off the public Here’s how the program works:
Friends in the community donate
there like this that is so helpful
and how great these people are!” donate?
their used and unwanted vehicles Monica exclaimed. “And how we
can get to where we need to go— You should know...
and receive a tax-deductible
receipt. Every vehicle is inspected our appointments, the grocery • We accept all vehicles
by a state certified mechanic and store and church. I can get back • You can drop off your vehicle
goes on our lot at Mel Trotter Auto and forth to work and don’t have during business hours
Sales (if you’re looking for a great to count on other people.”
• You can also arrange for
value in a used car, stop by!) But Headlights...or HIS light? a pick up
that’s not all... You may not think of a car • We must receive the title at
Once a month, a name is program as a ministry, but the time of donation
selected from applications we’ve Monica’s story is just one of many
received from people in the we could share about how God • Vehicle sales price determines
community who are in need has used the Mel Trotter Vehicle tax deduction
of a vehicle. People like Monica. Donation Program to “drive home” • All proceeds help us serve
“I got a call from one of the ladies... His message of compassion, our community
and I just started crying,” Monica provision and grace. As Monica
For more information about the
said. “I just couldn’t believe it when says, “That program is sending
Vehicle Donation Program, visit
she told me they picked my God’s light out into the community.
name.” After paying the taxes I just happen to be one of the
or call (616) 301-1415.
(a manageable expense) and people who have been lucky
a $25 document fee, Monica to be blessed by it.”
pLease join us Volunteer Appreciation Open House:
March 18 at Mel Trotter Ministries. You must register
for this event, please call Vince Desmond at
we’Re just a CLiCk away
At Mel Trotter Ministries, we want to stay connected with
Subscribe to our YouTube channel:
Mark your calendars and plan to join us
(616) 454-8249, ext. 226 to make your reservation. friends like you through your favorite online social media
for these special events coming up soon!
View our blog at Tumblr:
Golf Marathon of Hope: sites. Visit us online often at any of the following sites for
Hope Tote Distribution: meltrotterministries.tumblr.com/
June 20 at Railside Golf Club up-to-date information about the work you support.
March 1-April 8, 2012. Drop off your
Hope Totes at Mel Trotter Ministries. Go to meltrotter.org/events.aspx to find the latest
about what’s happening at Mel Trotter Ministries Find us on facebook: Follow us on Twitter: Check out our photos on Flickr:
and how you can get involved! Mel Trotter Ministries @meltrotter www.flickr.com/photos/meltrotterministries/
meltrotter.org MEL TROTTER MINISTRIES MEL TROTTER MINISTRIES meltrotter.org
6 Journal Spring 2012
Journal Spring 2012
Introducing... Are you a...
2011 speCiaL voLunteeRs meaLs-a-montH paRtneR? tHe numBeRs
We have a group of very special even set up an automated
friends—faithful donors who help deduction from your checking JANUARY–DEcEMbER 2011
At Mel Trotter Ministries, we love all our volunteers. They are caring, hardworking friends with hearts to serve, and they
never expect anything in return. That’s why four times a year we recognize a “Volunteer of the Quarter” for service above and change lives month after month account or credit card, and you can
You really and truly made a big
beyond our expectations. Please join us in thanking our 2011 Volunteers of the Quarter. all year long. These friends are our customize your mailing schedule.
difference in 2011! The numbers
Meals-A-Month Partners who To become a Meals-A-Month are in, and here’s what your
support Mel Trotter with
First Quarter: Jim Weaver M EALS Partner, contact Tim Swiney support helped provide:
a monthly gift to provide at email@example.com
Jim is one of our most effective male mentors. vital services such as meals, or (616) 454-8249, ext. 268. Meals served:
He gives hours of his time to mentor five men and clothing and outreach for You can also sign up right 238,179
plays a key role in the recruitment process, meeting people in our community A
MONTH now by checking the box on
with potential mentor candidates before they are who desperately need help. the coupon provided with this
assigned to work with mentees. Your time is an Nights of shelter:
Are you a Meals-A-Month Partner? newsletter. You’ll help provide meals 86,237
investment in changed lives, Jim. Thank you!
If so, we can’t thank you enough! If (and more!) every single month.
not, please consider joining today. Thank you!
It’s easy! Mel Trotter Ministries can Articles of clothing :
Third Quarter: Edie and Dave Andrews
This loyal couple have hearts and spirits of gold! Community ResouRCe CenteR update GEDs :
For the past three years, they’ve been here each
Thursday evening, serving in the kitchen with a In the last newsletter, we shared this Center will help provide:
smile for everyone. They’ve also volunteered at our about our plans to remodel an Refuge for those who would be out Dental visits:
old garage behind the Mission to in the winter snow or summer heat, 594
Christmas Store and Thanksgiving Banquet and have
been interviewed on the Mission’s radio program expand our services to the homeless a pantry for sorting, packing and
with Rev. Bob Evans. Bless you, Edie and Dave! and hurting in the community. distributing food boxes to people Chapel attendance:
Second Quarter: Stacy Willis Many of you opened your hearts in need and a counseling center 19,578
and hands to help. So far, $549,000 for connecting the chronically
Stacy, a dedicated volunteer, has volunteered at
has been raised for this Community homeless with urgently needed Let’s work together to make
our Sparta retail store for more than three years.
Services Center—and the community services. Thank you an even bigger difference in
(We suspect she spends more time there than
renovations have begun! again for your support! 2012. May God bless you for
at home!) Whenever we need Stacy, she’s here
for us—whether she’s scheduled to work or not. We are grateful for your support your compassion!
She does a marvelous job overseeing the drop- and are excited about the blessings
off donations at the back door and the shoe and
purse departments. Stacy, you are a valuable asset
to the Sparta Mel Trotter Store. “...in everything, by prayer...present your requests to god.” —Philippians 4:6, NIV
Prayer requests: Please give praise for:
Fourth Quarter: Mary Wells
▪ For the men and women in our program ▪ Residents who have come to the Lord
Mary has been an outstanding asset to the Food to be reconciled to the Lord and to and are growing in their walk with Christ
Service Department as a volunteer in the kitchen family members
and pantry. “Cookie,” as her friends call her, ▪ Three women who were baptized
has a long history of supervisory experience ▪ For residents who will be at the Mission for this winter
and a passion for our community. These fine Easter, as holidays are hard for many ▪ New staff providing services and care
qualities make her assistance indispensible for ▪ That God will guide us as we develop more for the children at Mel Trotter
our Food Service staff. With a heart for the poor career and education services for residents ▪ 10 Jump Start residents who have
and “no-nonsense” attitude, Cookie is a key
▪ That God will call more long-term mentors found jobs!
volunteer. Hats off to you, Cookie!
for the men and women in our program
meltrotter.org MEL TROTTER MINISTRIES MEL TROTTER MINISTRIES meltrotter.org
a message of tHanks FROM CHICO
In my 18 years of Rescue Mission work, I’ve had the thrill of witnessing the transformation of
many “bums” (broken unsaved men) into saints. A saint, by my definition, is someone who can
say, “I’m saved and I know it!” Many of these hurting souls come here searching for a meal and
a glimmer of hope. Once here, they often find something even better—new life in Christ. But
to receive the new birth and enjoy promising, fruitful lives, people have to die to the old way
of life. Jesus spoke of this when He said, “...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24, RSV). Rev. Chico Daniels
As you know, not everyone who comes to the Mission is President & CEO
“In order to receive ready to make this choice. That’s why I always anticipate
the new birth, people the coming of spring with cautious optimism. You see, “...unless a grain of
have to die to the old I know that a serious test is imminent for our guests who
way of life.” came with the onset of winter, seeking warmth and safety wheat falls into the
from Michigan’s harsh weather. When the sun begins to
shine again, some—those who haven’t reached that desperate place of being “sick and tired earth and dies, it
of being sick and tired”—will be lured back to the streets and the destructive habits that put remains alone; but
them there in the first place.
The good news is that for many others who have bowed humbly to God and sincerely if it dies, it bears
asked for His help, this will be the first authentic Easter of their lives. I recently talked with
some of the men here at the Mission who told me they had been raised to think Easter was
about egg hunts and bunnies. Now that they’ve experienced resurrection in their lives, they —John 12:24, RSV
understand the profound spirituality of this sacred season. Through your support, you have
made this richer, deeper dimension of Easter a reality for these men and many others. What a
gift you have given, and how I thank you! May God bless you for caring and sharing with
those less fortunate through your support of Mel Trotter Ministries. OUR MISSION
To demonstrate the
compassion of Jesus Christ
toward the hungry,
homeless and hurting of
the Grand Rapids area.
Chico Daniels, President & CEO
my new Life gift YES, Chico, I’ll help Mel Trotter Ministries feed and care for homeless
and hungry Grand Rapidians this Easter.
HeRe’s my gift of: m $15 m $35 m $50 m $150 m $________
Please complete this Name
slip and return it to
Mel Trotter Ministries Address
with your generous
Easter gift. Your gift is City State Zip
tax deductible to the
full extent of the law. Email
We will send a receipt Please make your check payable to: Mel Trotter Ministries
for your records. □ Please send me a FREE copy of More Trust. More Joy.
donate online by credit card at easter.meltrotter.org
225 Commerce SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (616) 454-8249