Nonprofit names biannual donation recipient

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Lauren VanKeulen. Courtesy AYA Youth Collective

AYA Youth Collective was named a recipient of 100 Businesses That Care’s (100BTC) fall donation.

100BTC is a consortium of West Michigan companies that agree to annually donate $50,000 to West Michigan charities. Each member of 100BTC donates $1,000 per year, including a $500 donation for the spring charity recipient and $500 for the fall recipient.

AYA Youth Collective serves youth between the ages of 14 and 24 experiencing instability or homelessness by building support groups and providing a safe space. The organization offers drop-in opportunities for those who need to rest and recover and also provides safe and affordable housing alongside peers and mentors who aid in creating a more stable life.

“At AYA, we don’t want youth to be independent, we want them to be interdependent, because we all need circles of support to survive and thrive,” said Lauren VanKeulen, CEO of AYA Youth Collective. “100 Businesses That Care is an amazing example of what it looks like when a community ‘shows up’ for its most vulnerable. We’re so grateful for this amazing gift and to be able to provide even more crisis support and housing for youth in Grand Rapids that need it most.”

The donation to AYA Youth Collective marks a total $150,000 100BTC has donated to West Michigan nonprofits since its inception in 2020, with more than 60 nonprofit nominations being selected by 100BTC’s members since its beginning.

Three nonprofit finalists are presented to 100BTC members who select the donation recipient through a member vote. The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and West Michigan Construction Institute also were named as fall 2021 finalists. Previous donation recipients include New City Kids (spring 2021) and Hand2Hand (fall 2020).

“Youth in crisis have been faced with more challenges during the pandemic than ever before,” said Kelli Olson, tax partner at BDO USA, a 100BTC member organization. “We couldn’t be prouder that our members have chosen to support such a worthy cause for our community.”

All 100BTC donations directly benefit chosen nonprofit organizations and enable members to see tax benefits from their contributions.

More information is at 100businessesthatcare.com.

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