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Hometown Heroes 2015 Profiles: Frederick Bw'Ombongi

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We are continuing a series of posts highlighting the awards recipients for the 2015 Hometown Heroes Celebration put on by the American Red Cross of West Michigan.

Hometown Heroes Celebration

Thursday, April 30 from 6:00PM-10:00PM at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids

For ticket information please visit our Hometown Heroes event page.

Each year the American Red Cross celebrates the community heroes who inspire us through their commitment to service and their recognition of the humanity of their neighbors down the street, across the country, and around the world. The event will be held on Thursday, April 30 from 6:00PM-10:00PM at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. For ticket information please visit our Hometown Heroes event page.

This year for our Hometown Heroes Celebration, we’re incredibly honored to recognize Frederick Bw’Ombongi for his contributions to not only the West Michigan community but also his efforts internationally. When I first met Frederick in his office at Spectrum Health, he was very humbled to be nominated for the Henry Dunant Global Impact Award, which recognizes an individual who has looked beyond their backyard to serve and improve the lives of people from around the globe. Frederick embodies this spirit and truly enjoys his work locally and internationally.

He founded the West Michigan Refugee Education & Cultural Center (WMRECC) and the Opening Villages Doors Foundation to provide financial resources, education, and training to those in need in West Michigan and in sub-Saharan Africa. WMRECC works here in West Michigan to provide resources for refugees in the area, with a focus on educating children; Opening Village Doors works abroad to provide entrepreneurial micro-business solutions for individuals and families to blossom and thrive while overcoming poverty.  Frederick’s efforts have been highly successful and he credits much of this success to his education at Aquinas College, which provided a firm foundation in community service while also providing a global perspective.

To learn more about WMRECC and how you can have an impact right here in West Michigan, please visit To learn more about the Opening Village Doors Foundation and how you can help raise the standard of living in the communities it serves, please visit


Story by Heather Goodale


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