J: A Great Friend from the Start

J (they/them) was initially an intern with Friends, and still volunteers with our team today!

J heard about Friends’ internship program just after moving to Grand Rapids from Chicago and thought it would be a great way to give back to the city that was so welcoming. Above all, J loves nature and people and says that Friends does an incredible job of serving both in the city of Grand Rapids.

When asked about their favorite event with Friends, J says they LOVED the Mayor’s Greening Initiative (MGI) 2020. Hands down. “I love the Garfield Park area and the Friends team had put in so much hard work and planning into MGI in late 2019 and early 2020 before the pandemic. When we were finally able to safely get people together outdoors to put trees in the ground in October, it was such a great feeling of completion.”

J also loves seeing the pride on people’s faces when they step back and look at the tree that they just helped to plant in their neighborhood. It helps people realize that their impact will continue long after they are gone.

Besides volunteering with Friends, J enjoys hiking, gardening, drinking Grand Rapids beer, and watching the sunset. We couldn’t be happier to have them on board! Thanks, J!

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