The benefit of every sale at Exodus Upscale Thrift is twofold: while customers tow home a stash of gently used clothing, furnishings, and accessories, local halfway home Exodus Place inches closer to its goal of sheltering the area’s homeless. As of June 23, 2010, Exodus Upscale Thrift had helped more than 100 men find housing, according to an interview with CEO Robb Munger in a Michigan Live article, and continues to provide educational resources and access to work-service agencies for Exodus Place residents. “It’s great to accomplish things, but…[w]e have to continue working and creating and doing,” said Munger. The store’s ever-expanding collection, which also includes jewelry, toys, and sporting goods, accepts donations and returns the favor with tax-exemption vouchers and warm, fuzzy feelings replicated only by nuzzling a loofah.
Fruit Basket Flowerland’s 20 acres of nursery space contain beautiful hanging baskets, annuals, and perennials. The nursery has seen those perennials bloom dozens of times since it opened back in 1949, and today the business has blossomed out to three locations. Home gardeners can peruse a huge selection of soil, fertilizer, and plants, or sign up for instructive gardening classes, which teach participants to care for their plants and to exterminate weeds without running afoul of weeds-rights activists. Fruit Basket Flowerland also houses a vast selection of patio furniture and three lines of Weber grills.
In Tune Winter Sports Tuning’s skilled technician readies skies and snowboards for the slope-carving season with essential custom sharpening and waxing treatments. Working with small, handheld tools out of his Grand Rapids apartment, Chris Kendro files away small nicks and sharpens edges to enhance the turning, control, and Yeti-battling power of each ski or board. Next, Chris applies a Swix hydrocarbon glide wax to decrease friction, boosting speed and stability. Customers can opt for CH8 or CH7 waxes for reliable base protection or choose the CH10 wax for an easier ride on particularly wet, saturated slopes. Lastly, a Toko natural-cork treatment ensures a smooth finish, leaving athletes fully prepared for a winter of wrangling wild chairlift operators. From drop-off to pickup, In Tune typically sharpens and waxes equipment within 3–4 days.
After Prohibition, many American home brewers had lost the threads connecting them to the nation’s long history of home brewing, opting instead to hang up their brew kettles in favor of the big brand lagers. The knowledgeable staff members roaming the floor of HomeBrew & Hydroponics Hobby Shop are working to ensure that the art of home brewing flourishes again, supplying at-home brewers with the skills and supplies necessary to conjure their own suds. The shelves showcase a variety of easy introductory kits that invite guests to try their hand at brewing beer, making wine, or growing hydroponic vegetables to save valuable soil for dad's morning mud mask. For serious enthusiasts, the shop curates a comprehensive menu of the equipment, soil systems, and supplies needed to set up full-scale brewing endeavors and indoor gardens at home.:
Minister Edgar J. Helms founded Goodwill at the turn of the 20th century to support the unemployed immigrant population of Boston. He gathered unwanted household items and hired the immigrants to refurbish them for resale. Over time, the operation grew into a comprehensive job-skills training and placement program.
In the past 90 years, Goodwill Industries has played an integral role in communities nationwide by placing nearly 90,000 individuals into jobs. Each purchase helps fund programs that help people with barriers to employment find work, and the stores themselves serve as a training site for participants to gain work experience.
The Michigan Brewers Guild wanted something very specific when it turned 15: it asked the state’s breweries to concoct a 15th-anniversary ale for its summer beer fest. Chef and home brewer Amy Sherman, host of Great American Brew Trail, went behind the scenes at the celebration, where she interviewed local breweries’ staff members about their celebratory brews. Reports like these are typical of her show, Great American Brew Trail, for which she travels to microbreweries across the country and unveils the creative and culinary processes behind beer.