The Heart of Lansing


One of the main reasons I started this project was to share with residents and others the many great things going on in Lansing. Today I didn’t actually walk anywhere but I wanted to share my experience. Today is Thursday and here in Lansing we have a fantastic group of people who don’t eat lunch on Thursdays. Instead they meet up at predetermined locations to do an act of charity for a predetermined group. This project is called Lunch With a Purpose and it is one of the many ingenious ideas that flows from Justin Caine. Justin is a wonder to behold. At a very young age he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor and had surgery to remove the tumor. The surgery left him with a physical and cognitive disability that impaired his ability to find jobs and respect in his field of experience. He was able to achieve both by starting his own business, Good Fruit, which has an amazing presence in the Lansing area. Lunch With a Purpose has been in existence for just over a year now with their first lunch hour spent making lunches for Ronald McDonald House of Mid Michigan. Today’s lunch hour was spent at Duckett Brothers Distributing formerly known as Tico Duckett Distributing. The Duckett brothers are not shy about volunteering either, as both are active in another one of Justin’s volunteer extravaganzas; Battlefield Brawl. Today they hosted Tiffany Kennon and her nonprofit Shining Light. For those of us willing to volunteer an hour at lunch time our job was to tag sandals. These sandals, piled high on the table and wrapped in plastic, were hand created by women in Tanzania. Tiffany’s sister, Jennifer, is living in Tanzania and helping the women there learn this craft so they can improve their standard of living and care for their children. Today I was humbled to be part of a group of extraordinary volunteers putting the final touches on these gorgeous sandals.

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2 responses to “The Heart of Lansing

  1. Robin Miner-Swartz

    Great post, Ariniko! I am inspired every time I spend a Thursday with Lunch With a Purpose. It’s introduced me to several nonprofit groups around Lansing … and to a great group of people. Glad you came for this one — it was one of the best we’ve done so far!

    • I check it out every Thursday but my twins were always coming home from kindergarten. Now that Pat is working from home more I hope to get to more of these! It was really nice seeing you there.

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