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Elhart Cares be nice.

Communities and businesses are supporting each other as they journey through the be nice. education program and give back to their communities.

Kevin Rozema, New and Used Sales Professional, talks about ElhartCares/be nice.

You can have an effect on how someone thinks, acts and feels. Take 15 minutes and learn how you can help at the benice.org and TAKE THE PLEDGE!

Jeff Elhart: Connecting with Community to save lives – Holland Sentinel September 27, 2017


August 25, 2017 ElhartCares/be nice. Employee Lunch and Learn was privileged to have Rick Chyme as the guest speaker and how he got involved with the be nice. initiative. You can read Ricks bio HERE. Rick spends a lot of time traveling Michigan with The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan motivating students to be nice.


Jeff Elhart: Support World Suicide Prevention Day. Holland Sentinel on August 23, 2017.

Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention invites faith communities across the nation to pray for those whose lives have been touched by suicide and for those contemplating suicide.

Beyond West Michigan, there is a unique public-private sector coalition called the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention in our nation’s capital working to reduce suicide 20 percent by the year 2025.

My recent appointment to this team’s Executive Committee has broadened the scope of the work being done already in our community. David Litts, a Hope College graduate and resident of Holland was one of the founders of this unique coalition. Litts’ work before his recent retirement included the writing of the suicide prevention program for the U.S. Air Force.

To find out how you can support this worthy cause, click HERE!

Zeeland High School parents speak out Zeeland Students tell their stories

1. Mrs Kroll from Zeeland High School talks about depression and suicide in hopes to help others. 2. Parents speak out and straight talk to other parents about the signs and how to help. 3. Zeeland students tell their stories!

Jeff Elhart/Elhart Automotive Campus Joins Leadership of Innovative National Public-Private Partnership to Combat Suicide at the National Level

Jeff brings expertise, commitment and leadership to national suicide prevention efforts

Holland— The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), the nation’s public-private partnership championing suicide prevention as a national priority, appointed Jeff Elhart, President and Owner of Elhart Automotive Campus, to serve on its Executive Committee (EXCOM). Elhart joins other key national leaders representing the private and public sector to prioritize and advance national level suicide prevention efforts.

Suicide remains one of the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S., causing tremendous pain and loss to communities across the country. While the U.S. lost over 44,000 lives to suicide in 2015 – the problem is even bigger when taken into account the estimated 9.3 million adults who reported having suicidal thoughts that same year.

“To combat this preventable issue and reduce morbidity and mortality in this country requires multi-sector coordination, alignment, engagement, as well as industry leadership from leaders like, Jeff Elhart” said Robert Turner, the Action Alliance’s private sector chair. “His influence and industry expertise will greatly help us to advance this important work.”

With more than 250 partner organizations involved, the Action Alliance aims to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP)—a road map that when implemented, will lead to the vision of a nation free from the tragic experience of suicide. The Action Alliance recently set a bold goal of reducing the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025.

“We know suicide occurs across all ages, genders, races, ethnicity, occupations, and settings,” said Carolyn Clancy, MD, Public Sector Chair of the Action Alliance and Deputy Under Secretary for Health

Organizational Excellence at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “Working collaboratively with diverse public and private organizations, like Elhart Automotive, towards a common goal allows us to unite our efforts to make real progress in suicide prevention and achieve our goal of reducing the annual suicide rate. Elhart’s appointment is an opportunity for us to explore how to garner additional private sector support in workplaces across the county—a critical component of the Action Alliance’s strategy to reduce the suicide rate 20 percent by 2025.”

The addition of Jeff Elhart to the Action Alliance’s EXCOM brings leverage and business leadership from the private sector and auto retailer industry which will support the Action Alliance’s efforts to reach men in the middle years—whom account for 40 percent of suicides in the country.

Jeff Elhart: Mental wellness versus mental illness - Holland Sentinel
Wellness is defined as the state or condition of being in good physical and mental health. Illness is a disease or period of sickness affecting the body or mind. Looking at the spelling of these two words, the letters in common are the ones at the end. Let's replace the "I" in illness and replace it with "We" for wellness! 
Click HERE
for more!

Learn More

Jeff Elhart: Empower yourself to get professional help - Holland Sentinel
Empower means to give (someone) the authority or power to do something. With mental illness, the "be nice" tool uses the "e" in "nice" as empower. 
Click HERE
to learn more

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Jeff Elhart: Challenge the stigma - Holland Sentinel
Over the past few months we have invested time in understanding that there is a disease that is very silent and can be deadly. That disease is mental illness. We also have been learning about a tool call "be nice." to help identify warning signs of depression which are summarized in changes of someone's behavior, invite yourself to having a loving and caring conversation with the person struggling, challenge the stigma attached to mental illness and empower yourself to help the person by getting them to receive professional treatment. 
Click HERE
to learn more!

Learn More!

Jeff Elhart: Invite yourself to have a caring conversation - Holland Sentinel
Depression is a silent disease. Without being properly equipped with the knowledge of how people think, act and feel we offer little or no help to others suffering with depression or any other mental illness. 
Click HERE
to learn more!

Learn More!

Jeff Elhart: Depression: Notice changes in someone's behavior - Holland Sentinel
During the next four months, we're going to learn how to improve someone's life or potentially save a life by utilizing the "stop, drop and roll" of mental illness. That is "be nice." - a tool trademarked by The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. "Nice" is an acronym for notice, invite, challenge and empower. Today we're going to concentrate on "n" for notice.
Click HERE to learn more!

Learn More

Jeff Elhart: Myths versus facts about suicide - Holland Sentinel
You may not think about suicide until a loss happens in your family, friend group or community. A loss of life through suicide produces many questions. Here are some of the most common questions about suicide (Source: Save.org).
Click HERE to learn more!

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"Social media is the worst thing ever to happen to the public schools. When we were kids, if we had something to say to someone, we had to say it in person. Now, you can sit in your room, 10 feet tall and bulletproof, and say whatever you want."
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'be nice.' program expands to more than half of Ottawa County schools 
Click HERE to learn more!

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be nice.

Ben Elhart wrote this song from his heart. In memory of his uncle Wayne J. Elhart.

On March 27, 2015 Ben lost his uncle to suicide after struggling with depression.

In 2015 in respect to Wayne and his love for life, Ben and his family have partnered with the Elhart Automotive Campus, The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan and Hope Bridge movie. Together they initiated an educational opportunity for the community to learn more about this dreadful disease of depression. Moreover, society does not know how to deal with loved ones who suffer with this illness. Their family's goal is to do what Wayne did so well in his life...love on others.

Mental illness conditions are treatable. Suicide is preventable. Hope is real.

be nice.
N = NOTICE signs of depression or other changes in someone's behavior.
I = INVITE yourself to initiate a conversation.
C = CHALLENGE the stigma; communicate important resources.
E = EMPOWER yourself with the knowledge that you can have an effect on how someone thinks, acts and feels

Click HERE

The Elhart family find the note Wayne wrote a year after he succumbed to depression by suicide.

be nice. in the Zeeland School system  Ottawa County Sheriff, Rachael McDuffee
Zeeland High School talks about how be nice. has helped in their school system            There's a lot of stress in all of my life. Reach out and be nice.       


Pastor Jonathan Brownson talks about opportunity in the church with be nice. and how it helps people hurting.

Jeff speaks to some student from Hudsonville Schools. Click HERE or photo below! 

Jeff Elhart talks to students from Hudsonville Schools





N = NOTICE                                    I = INVITE                        C = CHALLENGE                         E = EMPOWER       
Signs of depression or                    Invite yourself to               The stigma; communicate             Yourself with the knowledge           
other changes in                             initiate a conversation.      important resources.                     that you can have an effect   
someone's behavior.                                                                                                                      on how someone thinks, acts
                                                                                                                                                       and feels.                                          

Song written from the heart by Ben Elhart

be nice.

To hear more of Ben's music please click HERE!

WE'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU. If you'd like to leave a testimony in regards to the positive impact of the Elhart Cares be nice. campaign has impacted you please email your story to benice@elhart.com. Click HERE to read our FIRST testimonial. 

Raising $14K in one hour for a good cause.


PENTWATER — The Oceana Women Who Care (WWC) did it again at their one-hour meeting Tuesday, June 7. The Wayne Elhart BE NICE Memorial Fund was selected to receive personal checks from each WWC member totaling $14,000.

“Our mission is to assist in the funding of mental illness awareness and suicide prevention training for K-12 schools, their students and staffs, in Oceana County,” said Barb Davidson of Pentwater. Her son, Wayne Elhart, died after struggling with a mild form of depression and committing suicide in March of 2015. After Wayne’s tragic death, Davidson and her other son, Jeff Elhart, sought out an education program that could make a permanent impact on individuals who struggle with depression.

“BE NICE” is an acronym for Notice, Invite, Challenge and Empower. Notice change in behavior that are symptoms of depression. Invite yourself into other’s lives by showing sincere concern for their change in their lives. Challenge yourself to ask why the person is changing their behavior. Finally, Empower yourself to get professional help for the person struggling with the mental illness.

WWC members who gathered at Gull Landing in Pentwater Tuesday heard about the great work of three area nonprofits, and chose this one. These latest gifts bring the total giving by WWC members to $175,000 since the group’s first meeting in June of 2012.

On the first Tuesday of March, June, September and December, the women meet for an hour, learn about three worthy causes serving county residents, and choose one that everyone agrees to support with $100 personal checks. Socializing follows for those who have the time to stay.

Membership, which currently totals 140, is open to any woman who wants to be involved in this unique, joint effort to support Oceana causes. Students are welcome to join if they pledge to contribute $50 to the chosen cause at each quarterly meeting.

The next meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Gull Landing in Pentwater. For more information, contact Amy LaBarge at 313.268.2086, or visit facebook.com/womenwhocareofoceanacounty

Jeff Elhart talks with Jim Liske (Senior Pastor at CMC) about his personal tragedy and how he found a tool to help others...be nice.

"The other side of faith is fear and anger"

Thank you for your consideration to financially support the Wayne Elhart be nice. Donor Advised Fund held in the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area. We would like to leverage and maximize the impact of your donations through an exciting fundraising competition.

We are excited to announce that the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan and the Wayne Elhart be nice. Memorial Fund is in the Art Van Charity Challenge, an online fundraising competition between 152 charities across four states. This Challenge rewards the top fundraiser with a $100,000 bonus for their cause! Now through June 22, your donation to the Wayne Elhart be nice. Memorial Fund will make an even bigger impact. On top of that, any donation made from May 25 through May 30 counts toward a potential and incremental $15,000 bonus from Art Van.  Please submit your financial contribution online through our fundraising page on the Art Van Charity Challenge website. Your gift will support our education programs for youth and adults and enables us to fulfill our mission and grow our Live Laugh Love, be nice. and Mental Health First Aid education initiatives.


·         Go to website: https://www.crowdrise.com/mental-health-foundation-of-west-michigan-artvan2016

·         Follow prompts for online donation

·         Credit Card Transaction

The work we do is all about saving and changing lives, and without the support of businesses and individuals like you, none of this would be possible. Thank you in advance for your support and online donations!

Click to watch!

Where There Is Hope, There Is Life!

Hello Friends!

Thanks to you, the Wayne Elhart be nice. Memorial Fund was awarded the Community Choice Award in the WOOD TV8 “Connecting with Community 2016 Awards” Friday May 13, 2016 at an awards ceremony celebrating the 8 finalists for this award.  Below is a photo and article written and posted on www.woodtv.com:

New this year we’ve reached back out to the community to find out who was your favorite Connecting with Community Awards Finalist. For the last week we’ve had collected votes in our “Community Choice Award.” Thousands have voted and we are proud to announce the winner of the “Community Choice Award is Elhart Automotive, Hope Bridge, and the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan.

Elhart Automotive, Hope Bridge the movie, and the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan is an partnership that seeks to bring education to youth and adults about mental health and suicide prevention. Their collaboration allows them to reach schools, churches and area businesses in this effort.

The Connecting with Community Awards is supported by our Connecting with Community Partners. Find out more about Huntington Bank, Metro Health, Art Van Furniture, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community Foundation and Amway are helping our West Michigan community and beyond.

The Wayne Elhart be nice. Memorial Fund Enewsletter - Check it out Here!

Jeff Elhart and family, Elhart Automotive Campus, The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan and Hope Bridge movie partnered together and have been nominated as one of the eight finalists for the Woodtv 8 - 2016 Connecting with Community Award! Click to watch video on our Youtube channel. 2016 Connecting with Community Award Finalists

Zeeland High School be nice. Project. Produced by Hannah and Tran   
             Zeeland High School Video                      Walkerville High School Video

Susan Meekhoff speaks at Elhart about what it's like living with a Mental Illness         Elhart Cares be nice 2015 - 2016 small bits and pieces from all the events and marketing
Susan Meekhof joins Elhart Automotive to tell her                Variety of clips from 2015 of Elhart Automotive, be nice.,
story about living with mental illness.                                       and Hope Bridge.                                    

Jeff Elhart invites you to join us in watching the Hope Bridge movie event          
Jeff Elhart invites you to join us for the Hope Bridge             Jeff Elhart with Christy Buck, Executive Director, the
movie event.                                                                                  on the Elhart Automotive Campus.

Interview with Jeff and Cherie Elhart                                                       David & Christi Eaton, Producers of Hope Bridge movie                                                    Interview with Christy Buck, Executive Director of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan

   Interview with                                                                 Interview with                                                                Interview with
Jeff & Cherie Elhart                                             David & Christy Eaton, Producers                                  Christy Buck, Executive Director
                                                                                        Hope Bridge movie                                             The Mental Health Foundation of
                                                                                                                                                                                  West Michigan


Zeeland High School be nice. CHAMPIONS helping with the Hope Bridge movie event.          



Elhart Cares / be nice. / Hope Bridge movie event was a huge success at Zeeland East High School. BooBoo Stewart star of the Hope Bridge movie came to talk about depression and suicide prevention. The event packed the house in their auditorium.


Over 1100 people came to the Elhart Cares / be nice. / Hope Bridge movie event at Christ Memorial Church!

Hello Friends,

 As you are aware, my brother Wayne died from depression illness on March 27, 2015. In Wayne’s case he succumbed by suicide, a terrible outcome to his internal struggle.

In respect to Wayne and his love for life our family is initiating an educational opportunity for our community to learn more about this dreadful disease of depression. Moreover, our society does not know how to deal with loved ones who suffer with this illness. Our family's goal is to do what Wayne did so well in his life...love on others.

Mental illness conditions are treatable. Suicide is preventable. Hope is real.

That’s why we have teamed with the producers of Hope Bridge. Hope Bridge is a movie and so much more. This 90 minute film will give you answers to the “why” if you’re struggling with the reason a friend or family member took their life. It will also provide you visual signs to look for to help loved ones who may be experiencing symptoms of depression. This Hope Bridge Movie Premier Event will help save lives and may save yours or your son, daughter, mother or father.

On behalf of the Elhart Family, thank you for being a part of the Hope Bridge movement by learning about depression and how we can prevent suicide.


Jeff and Cherie Elhart Family


Thank you to everyone that helped with our recent charity, Holland Hospital Breast Care Fund. Along with carnivals, sweet treats, and our awesome vendors that donated prizes for the games and raffles Elhart Automotive Campus was able to donate$5,581.12 to the fund. That's a total of 78 mammogram's for women who don't have the funds to pay for it on their own. We're saving lives! 
We could not do it alone special thanks to our generous vendors: Perks Auto Parts - ALLSTAR Quality Auto Glass ServiceWest Michigan Towing - Holland Towing - Snap On Tools - NAPA - Auto Value - Vesco Oil - Citizens Bank - New Holland Brewery - United Federal Credit Union - Ally Bank - Community West CU - Lake Michigan Credit Union -Community Choice - Americredit - Consumers Credit Union Quality Dent Repair - FinishMaster Automotive & Industrial Paint!

Escape Ministries came into the dealership and the children told their stories. Some said if wasn't for Escape they wouldn't know where their next meal would come from. Elhart employees had the priviledge to be able to buy over 760 TV Dinners and also other foods were donated. Willy was very appreciative and grateful for all we did for the kids!!


Helping The Center for Women in Transition. First a clothing drive for women that need work attire clothing and accessories. Together the Elhart team donated 133 pants - 321 Shires - 124 Jackets - 47 pairs of shoes - 22 purses - 72 dresses and skirts - 4 accessories - 78 necklaces. 
Next we had a food drive to fill their pantry with food. This comes in handy for late night visitors along with their children looking for a safe place to sleep. Elhart donated over 800 food items!

Pennies from Heaven!!  Elhart employees have a penny drive for Hospice of Holland. Thank you, Macatawa Bank for counting our pennies. A total of $6,018.36 in pennies! 



Do you know some of the most needed items, other then food, Community Action House of Ottawa County needs? If you guessed personal care products and cleaning products you're right? There are families in our communtiy that share toothbrushes, combs, hair brushes, etc. That's why Elhart employees voted on donating those items. The donations were a success with over 21,000 items 


Every year our Human Resource Director, Jessica, delivers turkeys the Elhart employees have donated to the Holland Rescue Mission.

This year (2015) she delivered a total of 29 turkeys!!



Elhart Automotive Campus employees and their family and friends along with Pink Heals raise $16,125.00 for the Bluebird Cancer Retreat!


Elhart Automotive Campus employees loading up 2,448 cans to Community Action House of Ottawa County! Thanks everyone for your donations!! 


Elhart Automotive Campus runs in the 5K Hearts in Motions for Compassionate Hearts Ministry and raised over $2500.00

Holland Hospital Breast Care Fund
Community Acton house of Ottawa county
Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes, Inc.
Greater Holland Area Young Life
National MS Society
Holland Historical Trust
Allegan Ottawa Shrine Club
People First of the Lakeshore
Hope college
Children's Hospital
Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland
Zeeland Christian School
Bethany Christian Services
Hyundai Hope on Wheels Pediatric Cancer Research
Hospice of Holland
Compassionate Heart Ministry

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