Charity & Grassroots in Redford

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Charis Kirk and Jackie Zimmerman—two young women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—met online after they started chronicling their fight with IBD. They have had 15 surgeries combined and fought through the highs and lows of recovery. Throughout their journeys, the duo supported each other and was inspired to encourage other girls and young women with IBD to be confident and proud, regardless of what's happening with their disease. The Girls With Guts website serves as an online community where women can share their stories about explaining the disease to friends or being pregnant with an ostomy bag, among others.

27509 Long
Livonia,
Michigan
US

Presented by Ameriprise Financial?Jim Thorpe, CFP, Taste of Dearborn returns in 2014 with a full lineup of city eateries. On the menu for the evening are local mainstays such as Tria Restaurant at The Henry, Andiamo, and Matador Restaurant, as well as nationwide favorites including Fuddruckers and Buffalo Wild Wings. But it's not just mouths that have all the fun?tastings take place within the restaurants, making the festival a great way to explore varied parts of Dearborn. Wristband-wearing adventurers may walk from restaurant to restaurant or hop aboard shuttles that escort them to the next destination.

22100 Michigan Ave
Dearborn,
MI
US

Within a private, boutique-style gym exuding a familial vibe, Bodymorph takes its clients back to workout basics. The personal trainers on staff prize simplicity over an abundance of doodads and gimmicks, exclusively leading private sessions and small group boot-camp classes. The elasticity of the programs, however, stretches to accommodate each participant's various goals, from weight loss to enhanced athleticism to improved posture to healing.

During indoor classes, trainers eschew the all the shouting and court-martialing of traditional boot camps. They help sculpt physiques with modern equipment—such as strength machines, stability balls, and free weights—from the cozy confines of a homey studio. Diet plans can supplement exercises on the side, and music and a disco ball lend a festive atmosphere to workouts.

561 Livernois St
Ferndale,
MI
US

South Oakland Shelter partners with more than 60 area religious institutions to provide housing opportunities for displaced people. Its guests receive a place to sleep at the partner congregation, warm meals, and opportunities to plan housing situations with case managers. The shelter also organizes targeted homelessness-prevention efforts including direct financial assistance, career-development and financial-literacy workshops, and support groups. Because of its work with more than 8,000 volunteers annually—who interact with guests and arrange sleeping spaces—SOS was named Outstanding Volunteer Program by the Michigan Governor’s Service Awards in 2009.

18505 W 12 Mile Rd
Lathrup Village,
MI
US

Quiet is the first stop on the road to inner peace, according to Ramona Crabtree-Falkner, owner of Ananda Center for Yoga and Massage, LLC. At her tranquil studio, clients engage in active modes of relaxation such as yoga and passive forms such as massage therapy and reiki. During private and group yoga instruction, students venture inward by pairing deep breathing and meditation with ancient poses that stretch and strengthen the body. One-on-one sessions propel yogis toward specific goals such as weight loss and injury recovery, and group classes build community while releasing recently acquired stress and eye rolls stored up since high school. Bodywork services spotlight therapies from around the world, including the long, gliding strokes of Swedish massage and the stretches and acupressure of Thai foot reflexology.

555 S Old Woodward Ave
Birmingham,
MI
US

In 2000, Ric Geyer bought an abandoned building in the middle of Detroit, but had no plans to raise another hotel or trendy restaurant. His goal was innovation—or rather incubation. In the following years, he transformed the space into an arts incubator called the 4731 Gallery, a place where painters, photographer, and designers could come together to share ideas, hold parties and exhibitions, and work to further their craft.

When Derek Weaver, who managed the gallery, heard that his neighborhood was labeled one of the 15 poorest in the country, he decided to change public perception. Working with the graffiti artist Sintex and fine artist Sydney James, Derek launched the Grand River Creative Corridor project to create more than 100 murals and outdoor gallery exhibits. Today, more than 50 artists and 300 volunteers have contributed their time and talents to ornamenting a half-mile stretch of Grand River Avenue with colorful designs and playful characters. By the time the project is complete, the artists will have painted murals on 15 buildings, designed an outdoor gallery at a bus stop, and cleaned up overgrown weeds and trash. Each mural is painted with the consent of the local business owners, and installations reflect their line of business to increase exposure while revitalizing the neighborhood.

Grand River Avenue
Detroit,
Michigan
US