by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

Shiawassee Hope hosted the 7th Annual Back-to-School Party at the Pleasant Valley Mobile Home Park on M-52 in Owosso on Saturday, Aug. 18. Over 100 individuals, including children, attended this special event, organized to bring neighborly hope into the park. As most area people know, the mobile home park has been on M-52, south of downtown, for decades and some residents have lived there for many years. However, a number of people residing in the park do fall into the low-income bracket, even when hard-working family members are trying to be financially supportive. It’s at this juncture that Shiawassee Hope, along with other community supporters, volunteers and nonprofits, step-in every year to make sure the Pleasant Valley Mobile Home Park community is not forgotten when school season begins.

The Saturday afternoon event included free toothbrushes and oral hygiene education provided by Adiska Dental along with healthy snacks, games and health education offered by Memorial FIT Kids. Homeless Angels brought in a food truck and was giving out walking tacos and juice pouches, which were very popular. The Child Advocacy Center had fun activities for kids while DJs Christopher and Chloe Paytas entertained with music and dancing. A new ministry group from GracePointe Wesleyan, called The Sprinkle Project, brought in “birthday bags” with a number of items to help celebrate a child’s birthday including a cola cake mix (created by combining a cake mix with a cola), a birthday banner, balloons, candles and even a small present. Give All I Can Give, the brainchild of local teenager Alana Rosser, assisted by her mother, Alisha Kersjes, was unable to be on-hand but donated school supplies to park children. Local kids were even able to meet their school bus driver; Nathan Struble from Owosso Public Schools, who attended the event to welcome kids into a positive new school-year. Also, the Greater Lansing Food Bank provided special “back packs,” which were actually bags with a large number of practical food items inside.

Shiawassee Hope programming director, Samantha Ardelean, was extremely pleased with the positive outcome of the fun afternoon. The nonprofit organization was actually founded in 2012, and the first project they tackled was to create a community center in the mobile home park.

A community clean-up event is currently being planned for Pleasant Valley Mobile Home Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29. Various projects will include winterizing some of the older homes. Volunteers are needed. If you or your friends are interested, please email Ardelean at

The Shiawassee Hope office is located at 502 E. Main St., Owosso.

Shiawassee Hope – Keeping it Pleasant in Pleasant Valley was last modified: August 27th, 2018 by Karen Elford