Community Impact Project: Parian Children’s Drop-In Center

By Devon Higgins

Written by Ezra, AM Shift Manager at PhotoUp

I’m pretty sure that all of us is familiar with the saying “To give is better than to receive”. We have all heard it from parents, teachers and almost all grandparents at some point in our lives. Growing up, I always believed that I had a good life. I ate three or more times a day, I had clothes on my back, a roof over my head and a family who loved me.

So when our Operations Manager, Ossie, told me that he’d be doing some outreach work for a certain drop-in center, without hesitation, I signed myself, my wife and my kids up. I told myself that after a great year it would be nice to give back to others.

We met up at the office, got the stuff we needed and headed for the Pari-an Drop In Center. It was a hot day but we didn’t care. We started the day with a prayer, we introduced ourselves and we told them the reason why we were there. Ossie had pre-packed hygiene kits for the kids. In each kit were a towel, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, and toothpaste.

After the distribution of the hygiene kits, we separated them into smaller groups according to gender and age so that we could teach them proper hygiene and to get to know them a little better. We also gave them previously loved clothes for the older kids and preloved toys for the kiddos. We also served them lunch. As a thank you, they showed us their talents in singing and dancing.

As the day came to a close, I can’t help but feel good that my family and I were able to spend time with the kids. It does feel great every time we help those in need. But we need to remind ourselves that when we want to help others it is not to make us feel good or to look good on paper. It is not about us. But it is about them. For them to be inspired to do well for themselves, for them to learn to help others in need and to remind them that they are never forgotten.

Let me end this write up with a quote by Anne Frank, “No one has ever become poor by giving.”



Devon came to PhotoUp with a background in digital marketing and communications. With a BA in Marketing from Michigan State University and previous experience working with both big business and non-profits, Devon brings a well-rounded perspective to the team. Outside of PhotoUp, you can find Devon coaching and playing soccer, socializing in downtown Grand Rapids, or going on adventures throughout the great state of Michigan.

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