Organized in 1998 by 13 local churches, FROM began as a food pantry in the basement of the First United Methodist Church in Lowell with the purpose of addressing hunger in the Lowell area. In 1999 founding members received grant funds from the Lowell Area Community Fund of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation to purchase a building (519 Main Street- pictured at right) to house a Thrift Store and offer financial services along with the food pantry and Christmas gift and food distribution that were already offered. FROM utilized community volunteers to get the building ready for the new endeavors and it was clear, based on volunteer support and donations for the Thrift Shop, that the community was in support of this growing ministry.
It didn’t take long before FROM realized it was outgrowing its current location and a committee of the Board of Directors looked at many possible options during a three year period, but it wasn’t until 2007 that all the pieces would fall into place for FROM to move into its current building (11535 Fulton Street East); former home of Cumberland Manor.
Since its inception, FROM had operated with a volunteer-run model but in 2009 was realizing the need to add employees to help meet the day-to-day needs of the agency so a Bookkeeper and Executive Director were hired (part-time) and the organization’s most ambitious fundraising campaign, River of Hope, began with a goal to raise $1.4 million to renovate the 11535 Fulton Street building. Thanks to generous donations the campaign raised enough funds and the renovations were all completed by 2013 with the remodel of the Thrift Store which was then named Treasures Thrift Shop (a name chosen by the community).
The organization continued to grow, adding employees to help serve additional neighbors in need.
We now offer nearly a dozen programs and serve over 600 families in the Lowell Area School District each year.
FROM has come a long way in its 20 year history, but continues to remain committed to walking alongside our neighbors in need.