Tom Tenbrink is the ‘Retired’ Superintendent of Jenison Public Schools where Hand2Hand first began. In 2008, we said ‘Yes’ to feeding 19 kids at a Jenison school. Today, as we are saying ‘Yes’ to more than 8,000 students in 249 schools, Tom continues to bless and serve kids by packing and delivering Hand2Hand food.
Words from a superintendent
Poverty and food scarcity in West Michigan are very real issues. During my 34-year tenure in Jenison Public Schools, I had the opportunity to visit the homes of my students. I was shocked to observe bare cupboards and empty refrigerators. Knowing students learn best when they are fed and clothed, I was burdened with what could be done to ensure all our students’ needs were being met. My prayers were answered with the rise of the Hand2Hand organization. It has been an incredible blessing to watch God use this ministry to feed children facing hunger on the weekends.
What started as one church in partnership with one elementary school has grown into an organization that is now meeting the physical needs of thousands of West Michigan children. Hand2Hand, under the passionate, visionary, and prayerful leadership of Cheri Honderd, is currently reaching 8,200 children through the efforts of 5,880 volunteers and 131 churches. Students in 249 schools throughout West Michigan are being provided weekend food because of the efforts of the Hand2Hand organization.
Hand2Hand epitomizes what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the children He loves. During His earthly ministry, Jesus made children a priority. He told His followers to “let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these (Luke 18:16).” Hand2Hand is demonstrating God’s love and care for His children by ensuring no child will go hungry on their watch. The leadership of Hand2Hand understands and is responsive to the admonition of “to whom much is given, much is required (I Corinthians 4:2).”
Giving of our abundance to those in need is what Jesus expects of us. I would highly encourage anyone who is looking for a way to make a significant impact in the lives of children to consider investing your time, energy, and financial resources in the work of Hand2Hand. Your investment will pay huge dividends!
– Tom TenBrink