for safe children, safe families, and safe neighborhoods.

In the late 1990s, Ottawa County received a Weed & Seed Grant from the US Department of Justice. The grant was for a community based strategy to help prevent, control and reduce violent crime, drug abuse and gang activity in designated high crime neighborhoods. This was a joint effort between local law enforcement, nonprofit organizations, churches and community leaders to “weed out” crime in targeted communities and “seed” the community with positive programming.

When the program ended in 2000, a subcommittee decided they still had more work to do. They became the Macatawa Area Residents In Action (MARIA). With support from Holland Charter Township and the Macatawa Resource Center, we were able to begin our own positive programming in targeted neighborhoods. In 2007 we became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and continue to work for safe families, safe children and safe neighborhoods.


Rebecca Verhasselt, Executive Director
(616) 399-5160
Laura Duckworth, Financial Director

Board of Directors

Susan Atwood, President
Raedell Sparks, Treasurer
Christine Dunn, Secretary

Elizabeth Burnett
Adrian Castro      
Sgt. Brent Converse - retired
Renee Woody-Cross
Cheri Ruiz
Katharine Lattimore
 Kristina VanOss
Marla Mc Donald
Eleanor Meacham
Terri Beck