Investing in people and community

September 11, 2015

Don and Marsha Van Singel

Community is important to Don and Marsha Van Singel. They both grew up in the Grant area and still live there today. Even in the years Don worked in Lansing as a state representative, Newaygo County was always home. But to the Van Singels, community is more than just a place. Above all, it’s about people.

“Life is about people and relationships,” said Marsha. “Otherwise it’s a pretty lonely existence.”

That’s why Marsha decorates their home inside and out each December so that even those just driving by can enjoy it. It’s also why the Van Singels have hosted neighborhood Christmas parties to ensure that at least once a year neighbors could reconnect.

And that belief in the importance of investing in people and relationships is why the Van Singels talk about giving back as a natural response to the gift of living in a community you love.

“I think it’s part of our area’s culture to give back,” said Marsha.

“Somebody along the way helped you, and now you can give back,” added Don. “It’s natural. If you’re able to help, you do.”

One of the ways Don and Marsha have chosen to help is by establishing a fund at the Community Foundation. It will allow them to continue caring for their community for generations to come.

“We’ve been blessed, and we wanted to give back to the community,” Don explained. “We just want to be helpful in some way.”