United Way of Southwest Michigan awards community volunteer leaders

“We are here to celebrate some of the individuals in our community who selflessly give their time to others to make Southwest Michigan a great place to live,” said Anna Murphy, president of United Way of Southwest Michigan. “Volunteers are at the very core of the work we do at United Way, but we know that United Way’s volunteers are just a small subset of the tens of thousands of people who lend their time, talent, and muscle to hundreds of nonprofit organizations across our region. Those being honored here tonight are a prime example of the breadth of volunteerism in our community.” 

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Jennifer TomshackComment
“Rake A Difference” volunteers to help seniors with fall yard work

On November 7&8, hundreds of area volunteers, working as teams, will help seniors in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties rake and bag leaves and clean gutters as part of United Way’s 9th annual Day of Action for Seniors. The service is FREE of charge and serves seniors, age 60 and older, who are unable to perform yard work and can't afford to pay for services. Seniors are helped on a first-come, first-served basis, dependent on the number of volunteers available.

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Jennifer TomshackComment
The Pokagon Fund provides $5,000 grant for United Way of Southwest Michigan to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Harbor Country

There are currently 195 children enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in The Pokagon Fund service area, which includes Harbert, Lakeside, New Buffalo, Sawyer, Three Oaks, and Union Pier. There is a total of 354 eligible children in that area. This promotional push seeks to enroll the remaining children via a campaign that targets kids 0-5 years old in the next two years beginning in the third quarter of 2019.

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Jennifer TomshackComment
Get ready to ROCK THE BOAT 2019!

“This event has continued to grow every year, and that means more money to the community,” said Dave Cichocki, Vice President of U.S. Sales for Whirlpool Corporation and Chair of Whirlpool’s United Way campaign. “We started with five boats in 2016, then 30 in 2017 and last year we had 64. This year, we capped it at 75 boats, and registration was full by early June.”

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Ryan CheeversComment
United Way “Christmas in June” food drive raises 20,000 items for 32 area pantries

Every year, food pantries across Southwest Michigan are fully stocked in the winter months thanks to generous holiday donations—but when summer comes, donations drop dramatically and pantry shelves become sparse. This can leave low-income, hard-working families with limited options during this time of year. So, for the third year in a row, United Way of Southwest Michigan asked local businesses and community members to participate in its Christmas in June event to stock local food pantries with items to get them through the warmer months. 

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Ryan CheeversComment
Three health nonprofits picked to compete in United Way’s next Pop Up Giving

Three local HEALTH nonprofits—Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Michigan, Girls on the Run Southwest Michigan, and Be Healthy Berrien—have been chosen as the contestants in United Way of Southwest Michigan’s THIRD “Pop Up Giving” event on Thursday, May 9 from 5-7 p.m. at Lehman's Orchard Brewery & Farmhouse in Buchanan. This event gives the community the chance to decide where funds go.

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Ryan CheeversComment
United Way’s Pop Up Giving is back! YOU pick the nonprofit with the winning pitch to get the donation pot. Fast. Fun. Instant impact.

Three local HEALTH nonprofits—to be announced prior to the event—have three minutes to pitch a project that will impact the community, followed by two minutes of Q&A with the audience. (The audience has five minutes to complete their ballots to determine the winner.) Proceeds from ticket sales are combined to create a “donation pot.” Second and third place finishers each receive consolation cash prizes of $250, while the organization with the most votes WINS THE REST!

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Ryan CheeversComment
Dowagiac’s Wolverine Mutual Insurance and McLoughlin Family Foundation provide remaining funding for United Way reading program

“Books! Books! Books!  There is no better way to give your child a head start than to expose them to the world of learning through books.  Open their minds to the possibilities around them and they will grow.  We [Wolverine Mutual Insurance] are pleased to be able to participate in this meaningful initiative.  We all can do nothing better for the next generations than to educate them,” said Jim Laing from Wolverine Mutual Insurance Company.

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Ryan CheeversComment