Construction firm matches employees’ generosity


Aaron Jonker. Courtesy Wolverine Building Group

A construction firm in the area has completed a successful year of giving.

At a companywide meeting in January 2019, Kentwood-based Wolverine Building Group presidents and co-owners Aaron Jonker and Curt Mulder announced over the course of the next 12 months, in honor of the firm’s 80th year in business, Wolverine would have an ongoing internal campaign called 80 for 80.

Through 80 for 80, Wolverine challenged its employees to make a total of 80 donations to nonprofit organizations and Wolverine would match the donations dollar for dollar up to $500 per team member.

“We knew that we wanted to do something for our community and we also wanted to do something for our team. We knew we had a lot of team members who had organizations that they were passionate about, so we thought this would be a great win/win situation for our team members and our community,” said Mulder.

While Wolverine reached its goal by the end of November, the company still is matching gifts made by employees through the end of the year. Throughout the year the company would share stories about team members and the issues that they supported in their monthly internal newsletter.

“It turned out to be a really fun way to learn more about our team, as well,” Jonker said. “I learned that our receptionist is really passionate about animals and chose to make a donation to a local animal shelter, and our safety director loves the arts and supports various organizations in the arts community. All in all, I am blown away by the generosity of our team members and couldn’t be more proud of their commitment to the community.”

The 80 for 80 campaign benefited 59 nonprofit organizations, and more than $42,000 in donations were made. Donations ranged between $25 and $500.

In 2018, Jonker and Mulder established the Wolverine Impact Fund to financially support nonprofit organizations. In 2019, the Wolverine Impact Fund financially supported over 90 nonprofits through donations, mini-grants and employee matches.

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