2020 About

It Takes a Village

Who We Are

FROM’s (Flat River Outreach Ministries) mission is to be the Greater Lowell community hub where hope, resources, and gifts are shared.

FROM is focused on bringing together individuals, families, churches, and businesses to respond to the needs of our neighbors. We offer a dozen programs related to healthy food, resource connection, and family support for individuals and families living in the Lowell Area School District.

Working alongside FROM staff is a dedicated team of volunteers that help in programs as well as in Treasures Thrift Shop. The store not only provides financial support for FROM programs but also gives the community a place to donate gently used clothing and household items and shop for great deals while supporting their neighbors in need.

In addition to the support from Treasures Thrift Shop, FROM relies on donations from individuals, businesses, churches and grant funding to help us serve over 600 families in our community.

What We Do

FROM brings the community together to share  hope, resources, and gifts with our Lowell area neighbors. Together we offer the following services

so our neighbors can work on making the improvements they want in their lives. We don’t believe people need to do it alone, so we are there every step of the way to help encourage our neighbors and offer the assistance they need to reach the goals they set.

Why We Serve

FROM is an ecumenical Christian organization that was started by 13 local churches to demonstrate Christ’s love in our community no matter what. We are a blending of many different Christian denominations, but that doesn’t mean you need to share this faith in order to serve, give, or access services. FROM’s vision is to provide equal access and opportunities to meet basic needs with an emphasis on learning and advancement for all.

How You Can Help

In order to serve over 600 families throughout all our programs, FROM relies on the community to

  • Volunteer

    We have the pleasure of working with over 300 volunteers every year in all aspects of our ministry, but are always looking for more people to help. Find out how you can join our team!

  • Give Generously

    We have a very generous community that gives to FROM in so many ways either by donating finances, food, items or more. We even have creative ways to give. Click the link above to learn more ways you can help your neighbors in need.

  • Shop at Treasures Thrift Shop

    Treasures Thrift Shop offers gently used items at low prices with all proceeds supporting our mission. So, every time you shop, you help your neighbors in need put food on the table, access resources and send their children to school equipped and ready to learn. Click on the link above to find out how you can shop with a purpose.

Our History

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.