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Gerald's Story of Resilience

Gerald's Story of Resilience

Gerald was an angry and frustrated 16-year old who was in trouble. He was performing poorly in school and skipping frequently. He was fighting with his parents constantly, ignoring their requests and staying out late. After a fight with his parents, Gerald ran away from home and connected with The Bridge, Arbor Circle’s shelter for runaway and homeless youth. Our staff helped him work through the issues that were troubling him and repair the relationship with his family.

Gerald’s mother said, “Having The Bridge was helpful as a place for my son to clear his head. The staff is so dedicated!” As a result, the parents’ response to Gerald’s behavior became more unified, their relationship became stronger and the family began spending more quality time together.

One of Gerald’s favorite discoveries while staying at The Bridge was the concept of the family style meal – something he brought back home as a means of family togetherness. Every Sunday Gerald is in charge of a family brunch and they gather around the table for food and conversation.

As you know, a family style meal can provide a relaxing environment to connect, communicate and discover a sense of belonging. These rich and meaningful opportunities are ones that many young people in our community don’t have.

To help other kids discover what Gerald did, we invite you to participate in a unique volunteer experience by sharing a family style dinner at The Bridge. This opportunity is designed for 2-4 people.Volunteer options include creating and preparing your own menu in our fully-equipped kitchen, catering a meal from your favorite restaurant or preparing a preselected meal where we provide everything you need.

If you’re interested in learning more about this exciting opportunity, please contact Janelle Hill at 616-456-7775 ext. 1238or email at