We are seeking an energetic, caring Resident Assistant to provide guidance and support for our community members with unique abilities.  Our Resident Assistants are responsible for being role models, mentors and friends, and creating relationships that are built on trust and respect.

This rewarded position promotes confidence and dignity for our community members located at our Lakeshore Flats property.  If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please email

Click HERE to see the full Job Description



My name is Laurie Mason and I have been volunteering at Gracious Grounds for 4 years, starting in July of 2017.  At that time, I was talking with a woman at Love, Inc. about the possibility of becoming a mentor there.  This woman happened to mention the building down the street, which used to be a part of Love, but was now a residence for high functioning special needs young people called Gracious Grounds.  When I asked who was in charge of it, she said Sandy Baker.  I knew instantly that was where I wanted to be, as I had known Sandy for years, working with, learning from, and subbing for her at Spring Lake High School.  I had recently retired after 5 years of teaching special education and had a passion for working with this population  I had been praying for something meaningful to fill my days.  And the rest, as they say, is history.
My main involvement has been spending a couple of hours each week at the Desplder house, just hanging out with the residents.  We talk, help with dinner, take walks, go on bike rides, and check out how the vegetable garden is doing.  I listen as they share their activities and we just spend time together.  I’ve worked on special projects on my own with the residents, helped them move into new apartments at Lakeshore Flats, participated in many birthdays, holidays, and Friday night pizza parties.
It’s been a joy to watch our residents take part in Special Olympics activities…something with which I would love to become more involved.  The best part about being involved with Gracious Grounds is giving and receiving love from the residents and all of those who are involved.  Everything about Gracious Grounds is steeped in a wonderful sense of love.  It brings me so much joy to see the residents become more independent, growing in their life skills, learning to interact positively with other residents, and appreciating and loving the adults who are now a key part of their lives.

If you love working with people who are energetic, motivated, joyful, giving, and loving…and want to be a part of an amazing community that supports these wonderful people, I would strongly encourage you to look into becoming a volunteer with Gracious Grounds.  I have to believe it will be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have.


Gracious Grounds continues to accept donations to fill our community pantries at each of our 3 locations.  These items are available to our residents as needed and also used during our social gatherings.  Below is an example of items that we are in need of.

Household Supplies:

  • Paper towel
  • Toilet Paper
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Dish soap
  • Dishwasher tabs
  • Laundry Soap
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Trash Bags


Health and Beauty:

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Bar Soap
  • Hand Soap
  • Body Wash
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Bug Spray

Craft Supplies:

  • Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Painting Surfaces- Canvas, Paper, Wood
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Colored Pencils
  • Stickers
  • Construction Paper
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Glue-sticks, bottles, tacky


  • Uno
  • Skip-bo
  • Apples to Apples big picture
  • Apples to Apples
  • Playing cards
  • Sorry
  • Puzzles
  • Spot it
  • Tenzi


  • Play-doh
  • Coloring books
  • Craft kits
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Disposable face masks

Party Supplies:

  • Paper plates
  • Plastic Silverware
  • Plastic Cups

Items can be dropped off at Gracious Grounds Despelder location: 1515 S. Despelder- Grand Haven, MI 49417.