Monday, January 19, 2015

Feeding the Hungry

Did you know that about 842 million people in the world do not eat enough to be healthy? That means that one in every eight people on Earth goes to bed hungry each night (World Food Programme).

To help with this, today some volunteers from the Birmingham Rotary Club went to the Gleaners Community Food Bank Pontiac location and packed boxes of food for local people in need. 

Gleaners Community Food Bank, with broad community support, fights hunger in southeastern Michigan. In collaboration with our member agencies, the Feeding America network, and our program partners, we provide millions of pounds of donated and purchased food to people in need. In so doing, Gleaners is committed to distributing nutritional, high quality food. Through education and advocacy, we will reduce reliance on the emergency food system. Gleaners adopts best practices and cost effective systems and procedures to achieve the highest possible return on its human and financial resources. Gleaners fulfills its role with a sense of compassion and urgency while nourishing, sustaining and advancing hope in our community (Gleaners Community Food Bank).

Monday, January 5, 2015

What’s it worth? Appraiser Darlene Hines knows

Darlene Hines, Board Member
Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber
Like to watch Antiques Road Show on TV?
Darlene Hines lives it.
The Bloomfield Township businesswoman operates Nostalgia Antique Appraisal Services out of an office at Square Lake Road and Woodward.
But she spends a lot of time appraising collections of furniture, vintage clothing, jewelry, paintings, porcelain, china, African-American art and whatever. “My specialty is antiques and residential contents,” she said.
“Clients call our office for appraisals for insurance, divorces, estates, charitable donations and for value confirmation. I get calls from residents, corporations, attorneys and regular clients.”
What they get is a detailed evaluation of their items that is not quite like what you see on the Antiques Roadshow, although Hines has no quarrel with the show, and even has served as an off-camera appraiser for it.
But for an official appraisal, one that can stand the scrutiny of the courts or – shudder – the IRS, a thorough evaluation is needed. That can result in a 70-page report.
“Every appraisal is like a research paper,” she said. “It’s time consuming.”
And it’s not a job for amateurs. Hines is a certified appraiser with the International Society of Appraisers and served two terms on the ISA board of directors. She is past president and vice president of the Great Lakes Chapter of the ISA.
Along with the Antiques Roadshow she has appeared on the PAX TV show What’s It Worth and published an article in the Journal of Advanced Appraisal Studies, in the ISA newsletter and on its blog and was a guest speaker at the National Auctioneers Conference in Grand Rapids.
She didn’t start out as an appraiser. She and her husband opened an antique store in Brighton in 1995. That led her to become involved with the ISA and gain certification as a professional appraiser.
Gradually, she spent less time at the store and more doing appraisals. “My business grew out of that,” she said.
Professional appraising is a highly specialized field requiring a rigorous training to get certification and continuing education afterward. ISA also has strict ethical standards appraisers must adhere to.
Appraisers must have a thorough understanding of the item and know who to turn to for assistance with items that are not in their specialty. “We piggyback on each others’ skills,” she said.
There are fewer than 200 certified appraisers in ISA in the country, she said. Appraisers produce evaluations that can stand up in court or be accepted by the IRS for charitable tax deductions or used for insurance claims to recover losses.
“I do appraisals all over the country,” Hines said. But the Birmingham-Bloomfield area is particularly fruitful and Hines has worked for many local residents and businesses. She also serves on the board of directors of the Birmingham-Bloomfield Chamber.
Her most memorable object was also the most emotion stirring one. “A church burned down – except for a crucifix,” she said. “That was the only thing to survive. They called me in. That was touching.”
She can be reached at (248) 454-1062 or (248) 431-4552. Go to
Hometown Life -Greg Kowalski, correspondent12:05 a.m. EST January 4, 2015