Wedgwood honors Van Andels with Nagel Leadership Award

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

wedgewood225Wedgwood Christian Services honored David and Carol Van Andel with its prestigious Doug and Lois Nagel Leadership Award, which was presented at Wedgwood’s 54th Anniversary Celebration Dinner on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

Wedgwood provides a wide range of social services here in West Michigan in areas of abuse and neglect, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, learning difficulties, sexual abuse, school expulsions and other areas involving hurting children, youth and families.

The Van Andels have been involved with Wedgwood for nearly 25 years, serving as honorary co-chairs of Wedgwood’s successful $10 million capital campaign Growing Hope for Children. Carol Van Andel is a long-time member of Wedgwood’s Advisory Council and has served in a number of roles for the non-profit organization.

“Wedgwood Christian Services is a very good steward of their moneys, and they put that money into practice. They do a fantastic job,” said Carol Van Andel.

She cites Wedgwood’s Manasseh Project as a prime example of the fine work going on there. The Manasseh Project is a specialized shelter and trauma recovery center for girls who are victims of sex trafficking and other forms of sexual abuse.

“Another complement to Wedgwood is that they rise to the occasion when they see things happening in the community. They were ahead of the game with the Manasseh Project in seeing that sex trafficking was going on right in our community,” said Van Andel. “For Dave and I, the project was important because these girls needed to get into a home with structure.”

Doug and Lois Nagel, for whom the leadership award is named, have been part of Wedgwood for more than 50 years, both through personal involvement and financial support. For Sam Beals, president and CEO of Wedgwood, naming the Van Andels as the award recipients wasn’t difficult.

“They are tireless supporters of Wedgwood,” he said. “They are very encouraging and have good ideas on both the service side and the operational side of things. The Van Andels are very kind, approachable, and gracious.”

Wedgwood Christian Services serves about 11,000 kids each year through their community based services, residential services, and educational services. Over 90 percent are below the poverty line and over 95 percent have been abused in some way either sexually, physically, or through chronic neglect.

“We want to thank the Van Andels for their soft hearts for hurting kids and families throughout West Michigan,” said Beals. “Their support and influence has been significant in our helping as many hurting kids as possible with the resources we have.”

For David Van Andel, supporting Wedgwood is part of their call to help the sick and take care of the poor. “Wedgwood is one of those organizations that does exactly what it says it will do. They use their resources well and truly help these kids. There are tough stories, and there are wonderful results, too. We feel so comfortable supporting Wedgwood.”

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Author Information
Ann Byle
Ann Byle is a freelance writer and owner of AB Writing Services. She writes for a number of publications including WMCN, Publishers Weekly, CBA Christian Market and Grand Rapids Magazine, and is author or coauthor of several books including The Baker Book House Story, The Call to Care: A Compassionate Response to Caring for Vulnerable Children (2018) and Christian Publishing 101 (2018). She and her husband Ray, a science teacher, have four young adult children.

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