Life with the Van: Mike Vanderkooi

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Updated: 8/23/2013 3:01 am
“Absolutely wonderful. It’s probably changed my life. It’s about twenty times easier to get in and out of than my old blazer. The hardest thing is trying to find a parking spot where I can put the ramp down.”
That’s mike Vanderkooi. He’s talking about how life has been since he received his new van. Let’s rewind, we first met mike when he was part of our volunteer spotlight back in March. Since that point, throughout the spring there have been fundraisers and other efforts, spear-headed by Merriann Forrest to get mike that Van, so that it doesn’t take six minutes for him to get in and out of his vehicle. Merriann thinks back to that day when her efforts to help Mike get his van came to fruition.
She explained that, “I was kind of numb until I watched it on the news that night and that’s when I lost it. I got to be a part of something that day that really changed my life. It didn’t just change his it changed mine.”
Merriann said that the opportunity that she has had to help Mike and others has boosted her faith and made her more optimistic for the future. She explained what her ministry does for those in need.
“We are here to give people their dignity back. We will mentor them, we will coach them we will be their number one cheerleaders to lead them to success. Now that is powerful, and that’s what we’re looking forward to happening,” Forrest said.
Mike added that getting involved in the lives of others all starts with one small step.
He said that, “You don’t have to take a big step out of the box, stick your toe an inch out of the box. It’s going to make a difference to somebody. It’s as simple as that.”

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