our story

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Our Story

From Donny Irving, founder of Community Kids:

In 2010, after I bought the cheapest house in Grand Rapids, an elderly man named Pete welcomed me and shared his burden for neighborhood youth, saying, “Something needs to be done for the kids around here.”

Before I had even prayed about getting involved in mentoring youth, three boys trespassed onto my backyard to play basketball. Instead of kicking them out, I began mentoring those boys and out of those relationships the ministry was born.

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Nine years later I started Community Kids to share and expand the ministry God has called me and now many volunteers to. We’re sharing how and why we continue to live out the mission God has given us -- to serve the children and teens on the Southeast side of Grand Rapids. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

We can't afford to forget to respond to these voices. Kids have specific needs and are a huge demographic -- with equally huge potential. Empowered kids can be the greatest asset to their own communities.

When we serve, we do it as if we are serving Jesus. When we listen to the kids, we try pay attention to what God could be saying through them. When a kid trespasses into a backyard, we respond in love. When a kid asks to have another Bible study, we do it. When an elderly blind man and countless others say “something should be done for the kids around here,” we roll up our sleeves and ask for the Spirit’s lead.