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With your support, the Foundation can continue to encourage awareness, create conversation, and decrease stigma.

Your contribution means so much

Click the button to use our secure donation form.

Make an impact locally. When you make a donation to our organization, you can be sure that it is making an impact throughout the state of Michigan.

  • $50

    (10) be nice. t-shirts for a school

  • $100

    wristbands for 100 individuals

  • $250

    be nice. Action Plan education for 35 adults in our community

  • $500

    be nice. Action Plan education for school staff at a be nice. school

  • $750

    be nice. Program renewal cost for a school

  • $1000

    workshop for 500 elementary students at a be nice. school

  • $1500

    middle or high school symposium for 300+ students

  • $2500

    be nice. Program launch kit for a school of 750+ students

  • $5000

    be nice. Extension mental health and suicide prevention curriculum for 200 secondary students

  • $10000

    be nice. Program launch district-wide (high, middle, and two elementary be nice. schools)

The Club

When you make a donation of $250+ you become a Foundation Club Member. As a Club Member, you receive:

  • Invitations to private events
  • Correspondence throughout the year
  • be nice. merchandise discounts throughout the year
  • The satisfaction that your donation is working throughout West Michigan to change, improve, and save lives

Other Ways to Support be nice.

MHFWM Endowment Fund

be nice. Memorial Donor Advised Funds

Kent:

38 schools

Oceana:

1 school

Ottawa:

30 schools

Muskegon:

21 schools

K-zoo:

24 schools

Andy Lubbers be nice. Memorial Fund | Kent County

A word Don and Nancy Lubbers -

Our son Andy was a healthy and loving child. By nature, he gave and received friendship. As he moved through years of school and into high school, he was popular amongst his peers. He participated in sports and was an excellent student. In his last year, he was elected senior class president delivering the speech for his class at Commencement. The future looked bright for him. Yet we noticed changes in his behavior, which we attributed to normal adolescence.

We found out later that he carried his use of alcohol and other stimulants beyond the range of normal. We also learned that he was diagnosed as bi-polar, a condition too late diagnosed for him. He never overcame it even though there were a few productive times. His capacity for friendships and his loving relationships continued throughout his life, but his periods of depression overwhelmed him. He saw no future for himself and ended his life.

We support the be nice. initiative in schools and colleges because it provides the opportunity to identify the symptoms in students that lead to suicide and begin addressing them. We wonder if our story might have been different. We want to help other individuals and families avoid a great tragedy.

Because of this fund, 38 schools throughout Kent County have received funding to bring be nice. Programming to their buildings.

David Braganini be nice. Memorial Fund | Kalamazoo & Van Buren County

A word from the Braganini Family -

David Robert Braganini was a remarkable man and a highly-gifted individual. Born with a special aura and generosity beyond words. To his family he was a brother, a father, an uncle and a dear friend. To the world at large, he was a successful businessman, an entrepreneur, and a visionary for an entire industry. His ceaseless promotion of Michigan wine-making and tourism has made a considerable impact and will continue to do so in the years to come. He was a national ambassador for our state and our produce.

Sadly, David’s luminous public persona hid an inner turmoil. Even with a perpetual smile on his handsome face, the ever-present pain he felt from numerous back surgeries was not evident to anyone who met him. Unbeknownst to his dearest and closest loved ones, the depression from which he suffered had begun to take too strong a hold. For all the light that he gave to us, his own light faded on July 5, 2016.

On that day, David took his own life. The pain he felt was emotional as well as physical – his own son, Gene, passed in similar circumstances in 2007. He is gone from us, but his family is determined that he will be remembered, eternally, as we create The David Braganini be nice.Memorial Fund.

Because of this fund, 24 schools throughout Kalamazoo and Van Buren Counties have received funding to bring be nice. Programming to their buildings.

W.E. (Wayne Elhart) be nice. Memorial Fund | Ottawa, Muskegon, and Oceana County

A word from Jeff Elhart -

Jeff and Wayne Elhart: Journey into be nice.

Wayne was a caring comedian, hard-working business owner, proud board member, loving husband and loved others above himself. His marriage of 35 years gave him his foundation and together he and his wife Kathy blessed so many young adults in their quest to be the best that they could be. Wayne was an encourager to me and everyone he touched. He left a mark in this world that made his parents and family very proud.

I found Wayne dead on March 27, 2015. My brother had suffered from depression for a relatively short time before he took his own life. He had been my partner for 32 years in the family business. He had also been my best friend. I could hardly get past the shock of his death. Once I did, I was plagued with an unanswered question: Why?

Survivors of suicide always feel either anger or guilt, sometimes both. I wasn’t angry at my brother, or at God. But I was seriously struggling with guilt. I kept questioning myself. Why didn’t I help him? How did I not notice what was going on? What could I have done to prevent it? Incessantly, relentlessly, these questions kept nagging at me. I felt some solace in knowing I had sensed something was going on in his last months. I had gotten him to his primary care physician and helped him discover faith in God. But that wasn’t enough. Something was missing, and it kept me awake at night.

I’m the kind of guy who takes control of situations when they seem to be out of control, and I felt out of control. I knew I had missed an opportunity with Wayne, and other people like him needed help. What if there was a tool that could equip people to identify mental illness in others and then help them get the help they need? I had noticed signs of Wayne’s depression, but I honestly had not known what to do. What if there was a way for people to know?

Even though it was too late to save Wayne, I could honor a request he left in his suicide note, which we did not discover until months after his death. “God, please use me to help others,” he wrote. This became my mission.

So, I dove into research. I consumed all kinds of books and resources about depression and suicide. I learned a lot, but nothing struck me as something I could use to equip everyday people in a meaningful way. Then I met Christy Buck, executive director of The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. That organization had developed a tool called be nice., forming an acrostic with the word nice. It was easy to learn and easy to teach. It came as a specific answer to one of the biggest prayers of my life.

Because of this fund, 52 schools throughout Ottawa, Muskegon, and Oceana Counties have received funding to bring be nice. Programming to their buildings.

Make a donation to support one of the counties below:

For more information about making a donation or accessing monies from these funds for programming in your area, please call our office at

616-389-8601

Contact the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan

349 Division Ave S Grand Rapids, MI 49503


info@benice.org | 616.389.8601

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