Grand Rapids, Mich. (September 13, 2023) – Mel Trotter Ministries, the largest provider
of services to people experiencing homelessness in West Michigan, will host its Annual
Season of Hope Gala on October 5, 2023 at 6:30 PM. The event will include a keynote
address from Grand Rapids business leader, Ashley Ward, who will share her remarkable
story of overcoming adversity and her passion for supporting her community.
“The need for human compassion and community engagement to address the
homelessness crisis has never been greater,” said Dennis Van Kampen, president and
CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries. “Community issues such as hunger and homelessness are
present in every city, township and village in West Michigan. We all have an important
role to play, and I know hearing Ashley’s journey will provide attendees with
encouragement and inspiration to make a positive difference.”
Ashley Ward, the founder and CEO of W Talent Solutions, will deliver the keynote
address at this year’s gala, held at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids. She’s an
award-winning talent strategist, entrepreneur, and C-suite advisor. She will address the
importance of turning hope into action, including why supporting community nonprofits is
vital to the health and wellbeing of individuals and the greater community.
“I’m honored to speak at this year’s Mel Trotter gala and share more of my personal
story,” said Ward. “Hope was my theme word that really helped get me through past
adversity, domestic violence, and trauma. That’s a big reason why I formed my company
in 2017 with the intent of starting a philanthropic business that gives ten percent of its
profit to nonprofits that empower women and children in the communities we serve.”
For 123 years, Mel Trotter Ministries has worked to fulfill its mission of demonstrating the
compassion of Jesus Christ by providing physical, emotional and spiritual support toanyone experiencing hunger and homelessness. The nonprofit organization does this by
providing shelter, food and personal items to individuals and families in need of shelter.
Additionally, Mel Trotter provides substance abuse treatment, mental health evaluations,
medical clinic services, workforce training, transitional housing and an array of other
prevention and diversion services. Last year, Mel Trotter Ministries helped 298 individuals
find stable housing, 396 individuals secure employment, and 417 individuals dedicate or
rededicate their faith.
Tickets for the 2023 Season of Hope gala are free, but space is limited. Register today at