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We're super proud today!  We began the Step it Up Muskegon program back in December when our sponsor Shon Cook said she'd like to do something that could help some of our area non profits out with some much needed funding and we decided that we'd jump in, both feet and see what happened.  Shon began by putting down $500 bucks.  Well, it didn't take very long until the idea caught on and we had another area company want to be part of this, Scherdel of Muskegon got a hold of us and said, "It's our turn to help in Muskegon a little and we'd like people to know a little more about us...what do you have?"  Well, we have a great way for you to, we welcome Scherdel Manufacturing to the fold and throughout the rest of the year, it's at least $1000 bucks a month to an area non profit.  Scherdel will be featured more in depth later this week with a full welcome and introduction, and of course, Shon will be along Saturday with her weekly segment!


For now though, let's get down to the business of this months non profit, The Fresh Coast Alliance in Muskegon.  The Fresh Coast Alliance is an organization of people who work to fight a cyclical problem in society.  It's a problem that can tend to repeat itself over and over unless someone is able to break it and like anyone looking for amazingly big change in life, it doesn't always come easy.  "Recidivism" is a problem where those who have been incarcerated and have served their time are released to only go back to the same life they once new.  So, like most anyone who doesn't get a better chance they fall back into the old habits they knew and they wind up going back to jail again and again.  Repeating all they ever knew might be the only way they can survive on the street when they come out.  Imagine you're gone away for 10 years or more?  Think how much society has changed?  Imagine how disconnected you have become from friends and family?  You're leaving a life of complete structure and back out to chaos in some instances and it can be a remarkably hard thing to deal with.  The cycle repeats.  Yes, there are those who can't see through it, "criminals are criminals" but change is possible and for those who are truly ready, and willing to change, going it alone isn't always the best route.

That's where Fresh Coast Alliance comes in.  Fresh Coast Alliance....they have been there.  Some have spent time incarcerated, some have spent time addicted, some have seen family and friends stuck on repeat and some come with a broad understanding of that monumental change that happens, and how incredible life becomes once it sticks.  Fresh Coast Alliance is a resource for those coming out of jail or prison to finally get it right for the right reasons.  Help with substance abuse, help with understanding responsibility and soft skills, help with finding and understanding the importance of a good job.  If you truly want to break the cycle it takes a village and Fresh Coast Alliance of Muskegon is that village for so many.

We're joined today by Nate Johnson of Fresh Coast Alliance to talk a little about their program, Nate got the ball rolling here in town and he'll explain why.  From Scherdel in Muskegon, please welcome Margaret Eastly and Ken Robison and of course, Shon Cook who's idea has sprung into a little more than we imagined, when it came time to Step it Up.  Take a listen.


As we talked in the video a little, these changes that happen with those who never knew anything else in life other than what got them sent away, when these changes happen and life takes hold, it's like witnessing a miracle.  Better yet, the changes that come from those who are on the receiving end of that miracle, they become unstoppable.  Every one of them goes on to work to give it to others and nothing or no one stands in their way.  It's the work of those who have had it happen, seen it happen for others and want to assure that they keep happening for more that we celebrate today.  

Our many thanks to Shon Cook Law and Scherdel Muskegon.  $1000 bucks goes to support the work of Fresh Coast Alliance today which in turn could very well make that miracle happen for someone.  

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