2017-04-20 / News

‘God’s assets’ discussed

BY LANIA ROCHA
810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com


Phil Shaltz, founder of The Blueberry Ambassadors, addresses the crowd at the Maundy Thursday prayer breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Swartz Creek. 
Photo by Lania Rocha Phil Shaltz, founder of The Blueberry Ambassadors, addresses the crowd at the Maundy Thursday prayer breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Swartz Creek. Photo by Lania Rocha SWARTZ CREEK – Phil Shaltz knows the value of a good investment; but, more importantly, he knows that some of the best returns are not recorded in a cell on a spreadsheet.

“We are changing the ‘DNA’ of some of the kids in this community,” said the Flint businessman known for nurturing the regeneration of downtown Flint, and for launching the Blueberry Ambassadors program.

Shaltz was the guest speaker at the annual Maundy Thursday prayer breakfast sponsored by the Swartz Creek Kiwanis Club on April 13 at the United Methodist Church.

He spoke of the unquantifiable returns from investments in people, particularly youth, and how that fits into God’s plan.

“Aren’t we all God’s stock, God’s assets?” Shaltz asked. “What’s the return on his investment?”

Shaltz launched the Blueberry Ambassadors in October 2013 with a cryptic billboard simply stating, “I’m Concerned About The Blueberries,” on Interstate 69 east of Interstate 75.

With help from local media, Shaltz revealed the meaning of the message two weeks later.

“Blueberries,” he said, are the things that may seem unimportant to some, but hold great weight to they who face challenges.

Blueberry Ambassadors perform random acts of kindness to help ease the burdens of others.

Shaltz said he initially reached out to adults to launch the Ambassadors project, but the grown-ups “couldn’t pull it off.”

He then turned to children, and the results were “unbelievable.”

“I was not prepared for the impact it made on these kids,” he said. “I now tell kids, ‘don’t grow up; adults are over-rated.’”

This year, the Blueberry Ambassadors number 1,400 – 1,400 children performing random acts of kindness, making a difference, throughout the Flint area.

Shaltz said he hopes their work will inspire others to put down their cell phones and look out into their communities and find the blueberries, because “God put us here for a return on his investment.”

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