2019 is a Historic Year for Project Grace

Students Raise Record Amount: More than $18,000!

It all began with a giving heart almost 20 years ago. A WMC teacher learned of a family in need at Christmas time. He decided that he and his students would come together in a personal way to bless them.

Principal Samuel Greer tells the story of how Project Grace began.

That teacher, Pastor Samuel Greer, is now the principal of Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School and, by the grace of God, the spirit of giving that he and his class started back in 2000, has grown into a Project Grace, an annual WMC tradition that is a student-led outreach ministry that aims to bless local families all over the lakeshore region at Christmastime.

Reciprocally, Project Grace greatly blesses the workers. The team is comprised of 350 7th-12 grade students and 40 staff members at WMC.

Project Grace as explained by WMC seniors (left to right) Abby Sweetman, Emma Visker, Jenna Houskamp, Grace VanBeek, and Chloe Mitchell.
“Go! Authentic Biblical Community!”

Greer fondly reflects on year #19 of Project Grace, “Every year I get an opportunity to see God’s hand at work in the lives of students and staff at WMC. One of the greatest expressions of God’s presence at our school is Project Grace. Each year we have seen God’s faithfulness in that He has enabled us to reach families in His name.”

Every year I get an opportunity to see God’s hand at work in the lives of students and staff at Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School. One of the greatest expressions of God’s presence at our school is Project Grace.

WMC students have raised a total of more than $100,000 in 19 years. The funds are used to provide food, clothing, and gifts to local families in need.

Student-Led Fundraising Efforts

This year, thanks to so many generous donations, WMC was able to deliver food, clothing, and gifts to 17 families in the area.

How was the money raised?

Students earned money in various ways. Some worked for friends and family and some chose to do special projects like selling baked goods at their churches and/or collecting returnable cans.

Mrs. Tyink’s class hit the streets of Grand Haven going door to door visiting private homes and local businesses alike! Mr. Garland’s 2nd-hour class hosted an “Elf” Breakfast of Champions eating contest and also sold rootbeer floats.

Individual classes competed in daily competitions with daily winners earning prizes such as Buffalo Wild Wings, donuts, and more.

Raising $18k was a collaborative, all-hands-on-deck effort!

In fact, the total was about $80.00 short of the $18k mark, so the students, teachers, and staff at WMC had one last love offering at school on Thursday. Students gave what they had; change, small bills, and lunch money. Then a WMC staff member wrote a personal check allowing Project Grace to hit the $18k mark! To Him be the GLORY!

Top Five Classrooms

The top five fundraising classes are pictured below:

This year’s winning class, Robin Tyink’s AP Literature class raised more than $6,000, including an anonymous gift of $1000.

FIRST PLACE CLASS:
Robin Tyink’s AP Literature class raised more than $6,000, including an anonymous gift of $1000. Left to right back row: Robin Tyink, Alyssa Eekhoff, Chloe Mitchell, Jenna Houskamp, David Clausing, Emma Visker, Luke Moorhead, Evan Kenny, Nathan VanderWeide, Ben Waldo.
Front row: Grace VanBeek, Carly Betten, Abby Sweetman, Trinity Nelson, and Ella Buursma.
SECOND PLACE:
Mr. Aardema’s 2nd-hour Algebra II class
THIRD PLACE:
Mr. Smith’s 2nd hour Bible 12 class
FOURTH PLACE:
Audrey Markel’s 8th Grade Math Class
FIFTH PLACE:
Miss VanWhye’s 2nd hour Spanish 3 class

Choosing Families

Every year, WMC reaches out to local churches and schools to connect with families in need. Families in Norton Shores, Muskegon, Grand Haven, and Spring Lake are blessed by the efforts of Project Grace. If you want to be considered or know a family who might need some extra help next year, please contact us for more information. Pastor Samuel Greer and Matt Smith together determine the families that will be served.

Shopping Sprees

Students shopped for items Tuesday, December 17.  Kevin Aardema, a high school AP Calculus and Algebra II teacher, challenged his students to “give ’til it hurt”, “It has to mean something.” His class challenged Robin Tyink’s class for the overall highest total collected. “I am proud of my students for pushing hard and putting it over the top. This is great for our school to come together, get motivated and give to others.”

Joyful Special Delivery

The Warrior vans rolled out of the WMC parking lot packed with Mrs. Tyink and her eager students.

A trailer, pulled by one of the Warrior vans, was strategically loaded up with itemized/numbered/labeled bags of gifts, clothing, and groceries making for smooth and organized deliveries to each recipient’s home.

Students made an assembly line at the back of the van and brought the bags of food and wrapped gifts (that were on wish lists!) into each home, where they visited with each family and prayed with them. God’s love was visible and tangible in the joyful tears, laughter, and hugs.

Warrior Van #1

Mrs. Tyink’s van was driven by her husband Scott carrying students (left to right back row) Jenna Houskamp, Zach Foreman, (middle row) Chloe Mitchell, Carly Betten, Alyssa Eekhoff, and (front row) Grave VanBeek and Claudia Kingma.

Warrior Van #2

Dr. Taylor drove van #1 with (left to right) David Clausing, Luke Moorhead, Ben Waldo, Emma Visker, Ella Buursma, and Abby Sweetman.

“It is a blessing to see God at work in our school and in our community. This year we delivered to a family that we prayed with last year because the father had just lost his job. When we visited this year we learned that he now has a job. We were able to pray with them again and thank God for His work in their lives,” shared Robin Tyink.

The theme at WMC this year was living in an Authentic Biblical Community. Giving with a heart of love that builds community within both the school and with our neighbors and the community at large.

Matt Smith, Spiritual Development coordinator, was pleased with the student effort, “I am always amazed at the way our community of students, staff, and families come together to reflect God’s love for us and give to others. That is what Christmas is about.”

Building Relationships in the Community

This year we delivered to a family that we prayed with last year because the father had just lost his job. When we visited this year we learned that he now has a job. We were able to pray with them again and thank God for His work in their lives.

Project Grace is always a highlight of the year for Pastor Greer, “It has been a blessing to see our students work to benefit others and to see God work through WMC students and have them see first hand the power of giving to others. This project aligns with our mission to educate with excellence, integrate faith with knowledge, equip students to work and serve Christ in their communities.”

Krystle Wagner from The Grand Haven Tribune reported:

(Chloe) Mitchell (WMC senior) thanked (Robin) Tyink for her giving heart and showing students what it means to be selfless. “WMC helped instill the spirit of giving into all of us,” Mitchell said.

WMC helped instill the spirit of giving into all of us

As students returned from stores and wrapped gifts, Greer said it was a “moving day” at the school. By participating in Project Grace, Greer said he hopes students learn that everyone is created in God’s image regardless of their socioeconomics and race.

Read the FULL STORY on Project Grace in The Grand Haven Tribune.

To learn more about Project Grace or to inquire about submitting your family for consideration for Christmas 2020 click here.

Western Michigan Christian (WMC) High School and Middle School (7-12th) is located at 455 East Ellis Rd. Muskegon, including 355 students from 5 countries, 30 cities, and 75 churches. WMC is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools(WMCS), a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian (PK-6) and New Era Christian (PK-8). The WMCS system works under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality PK-12 Christian Education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs.

Please >> click here to contact WMCS.