Homes for the Holidays

  Habitat for Humanity embraces loss

   By Shelby Pendrowski

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As the crisp lake effect cascades throughout Kent county, the toasty sanctuary  of a home numbs the mind into a place of reflection. A time to reflect on the good and bad times of the past year. A time to remember the sorrow of death and the gift of new life. A time to reconcile all that weight heavy on the heart.


Last year the Grand Rapids community lost many members, but two in particular will forever be embedded in the cracked concrete of the city through the builds of Habitat For Humanity Kent County.


Habitat For Humanity sets to announce two new homes to the community, said member Philip Zoutendam. The homes are “tribute builds from families who lost loved ones and wanted to sponsor houses.”


Although the charity is working on many projects this holiday season, these two homes are the only ones to reach completion for the month of December.


Almost a year since the tragic loss of James D. Kirkwood family, friends and community members unite to unveil the Jim Kirkwood Tribute Build. The celebration for this home, located at 953 Kensington SW in Grand Rapids, commences on Dec. 13 at 1:30 p.m.


Andy Angelo lost his life this past summer, but his 25 years of printed word at The Grand Rapids Press will not be his only legacy. A home in Angelo’s Grandville neighborhood now sits as a reminder of all his work and charity. The family, loved ones and members of Habitat for Humanity turn the key to this holiday gift on Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m.


Habitat for Humanity and the family of the deceased invite everyone to the events not just to remember those who have passed, but also to welcome two new families into their forever homes. Those unable to attend are encouraged to donate or volunteer, for tis the season good tidings.


The charity is just looking for individuals “always happy to help and looking to give back.”