COOPERSVILLE, Mich. — As many people dig deep into their pockets on this Giving Tuesday, a local nonprofit hopes you think of them. Lori's Voice is doing so many things to give west Michigan children the gift of mobility. They've just added 5 more counties to their coverage area, to help even more families who struggle with simple day-to-day tasks.
"Every child should be able to get out and enjoy life and overcome obstacles. I like to say we'd like to make a difference we like to challenge kids to be the best they can be and overcome any obstacles they face. Lori Hastings understands obstacles. She was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age 12. Traveling to different hospitals for care was expensive, and when she married her husband Dave, together, they decided if they ever won the lottery, they would help as many children as they could. They never "technically" won the lottery, but you would never know that. Their daughter, Valerie Hastings-Kelly says, "growing up with my awesome parents you know, they've always had a heart for others and the way my mom always dealt with her disability was looking at her ability. And what can I do to serve others? That's always been her heart."
Twelve years ago, that spirit of giving became Lori's Voice, a non-profit that helps families with children who have neuromuscular, degenerative or mobility issues with everything from orthotics to accessible vans. Lori says it's something so many of us take for granted. Most families can jump into a car whenever they want. So when a family gets a wheelchair van assist, it can be a complete game-changer and improve the lives of these children.
The reason Lori's Voice exists is because this equipment is expensive - a brand new van will run about $80,000. That is why donations are crucial to keep Lori's voice growing across west Michigan. Lori says the donors are so important because, without them, they wouldn't be where they are today. Valerie says it's a trust thing. There is authenticity with this family and you know when you donate to Lori's Voice, the money is going directly to the kids and their families. Lori says she's grateful to be able to make such an impact on so many families and hopes to help so many more.
Lori's Voice also makes significant impacts on our West Michigan communities - by providing accessible playgrounds, beach wheelchairs and more. And like so many other charities, their main fundraiser, the Lori's Voice walk was canceled because of COVID-19.