Michigan united – Blissfield http://blissfield.net/ Mon, 04 Apr 2022 21:42:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://blissfield.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-3-120x120.png Michigan united – Blissfield http://blissfield.net/ 32 32 Michigan United Methodist Churches Prepare for In-Person Services | https://blissfield.net/michigan-united-methodist-churches-prepare-for-in-person-services/ Mon, 04 Apr 2022 15:40:00 +0000 https://blissfield.net/michigan-united-methodist-churches-prepare-for-in-person-services/ LANSING — For the first time in two years, The United Methodist Church of Michigan (MUMC) expects nearly all of its local churches to offer in-person and online Holy Week celebrations for congregations across the country. State. “Two years ago, we had no idea the pandemic would still impact our congregations,” said Mark Doyal, communications […]]]>

LANSING — For the first time in two years, The United Methodist Church of Michigan (MUMC) expects nearly all of its local churches to offer in-person and online Holy Week celebrations for congregations across the country. State.

“Two years ago, we had no idea the pandemic would still impact our congregations,” said Mark Doyal, communications director for The United Methodist Church of Michigan.

“Now that public health officials have deemed it safe to gather for worship services, MUMC will continue to do its part by embracing new ways of serving communities and offering worship in ways that ensure everyone’s safety and health,” Doyal said.

MUMC offers an online directory of churches across the state that offer a range of virtual and in-person services. In addition to the repertoire, MUMC will also be promoting Holy Week celebrations on Facebook and Instagram from April 8-17.

Congregants can find the electronic directory of United Methodist churches offering virtual or in-person services this Easter at https://michiganumc.org/online-church-by-city/.

For those attending in person, The United Methodist Church of Michigan continues to follow safety guidelines and protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. More information on individual church COVID-19 guidelines can be found in the Online Church Directory by City.

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3 Michigan United Ways regions will merge https://blissfield.net/3-michigan-united-ways-regions-will-merge/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 00:34:59 +0000 https://blissfield.net/3-michigan-united-ways-regions-will-merge/ KALAMAZOO, Michigan — A nonprofit organization is working to merge three of its chapters in southern and central Michigan. In just two weeks, they will be known as the United Way of South Central Michigan. United Way of South Central Michigan will span six counties and bring new opportunities to each region while strengthening their […]]]>

KALAMAZOO, Michigan — A nonprofit organization is working to merge three of its chapters in southern and central Michigan.

In just two weeks, they will be known as the United Way of South Central Michigan.

United Way of South Central Michigan will span six counties and bring new opportunities to each region while strengthening their local impact.

“We see this as our opportunity to generate new and additional resources to be more efficient and effective as a single operation coming together to truly impact the local communities we care about,” United Way said. of the Battle Creek & Kalamazoo Region. President and CEO Chris Sargent.

Capital Area United Way, United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region and United Way of Jackson County merge.

The boards of directors approved it at the end of January.

“United Way is an organization that does what no organization can do alone. We bring together donors, businesses, organizations and individuals. We partner with dozens of community nonprofits and organizations. other local funders to really solve the complex social issues affecting the children and families who need us,” Sargent said.

Together, the three chapters said they would be even stronger. They are already working together on common issues like financial instability and hunger.

Although they may have similar disparities in each of their communities, the goals may seem different.

“Each of our local United Ways will offer unique programs and services. In the Capital Region, we are home to the Capital Region College Access Network and volunteer work to help income, and we hope to be able to support our local communities as well as support our new communities in some of this work as we seek to grow the impact that we do,” said Capital Area President and CEO United Way, Teresa Kmetz.

Working together, they will also combine teams to become one.

“We have amazing teams, but there are slightly different strengths in each of our teams. Combining them, we all get the best in every position we have,” said Ken Toll, president and CEO of United Way of Jackson County.

With it however, the local presence and impact will remain. They plan to keep local donations in the communities they come from as well as offices in each of the current locations.

“This has been one of the key commitments and principles since the beginning of this merger conversation. How can we ensure that donor dollars that are meant to stay in local communities will stay that way? In fact, United Way has been doing it for decades so just to be a continuation of what we already do for donors,” Sargent said.

The merger will now make this section of United Way the second largest in the state.

A new Board of Directors will also be formed with equal representation of current members.

This board will decide on overall governance, leadership and other related responsibilities.

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The Michigan United Way merger reflects the national trend; more likely to come https://blissfield.net/the-michigan-united-way-merger-reflects-the-national-trend-more-likely-to-come/ Sun, 13 Mar 2022 21:55:47 +0000 https://blissfield.net/the-michigan-united-way-merger-reflects-the-national-trend-more-likely-to-come/ VSChris Sargent likens the merger of three Michigan-based United Way affiliates to a regional business with local outlets. “We’re not doing this to cut a certain percentage (of the staff), if you will,” explained Sargent, who is president and CEO of the United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Area. “We do it, really, to […]]]>

VSChris Sargent likens the merger of three Michigan-based United Way affiliates to a regional business with local outlets.

“We’re not doing this to cut a certain percentage (of the staff), if you will,” explained Sargent, who is president and CEO of the United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Area. “We do it, really, to keep the talented team that we have and the capacity that we have in the local communities. Each of our locations in the four communities we serve will have these outlets and we will have a regional business entity.

Sargent’s United Way officially joins long-time partners in the United Way of the Capital Region and the United Way of Jackson County. The trio of organizations, which have worked together as partners for about a decade, will become the United Way of South Central Michigan.

First, the new organization will establish a single board of directors with equal representation from the three United Ways. The board will then create a management team and maintain other governance functions. The leaders of each chapter plan to officially roll out the new organization in five or six months.

stay local

While the United Ways of South-Central Michigan could centralize administration of the three organizations, leaders from each of the United Ways stressed that they plan to maintain a prominent presence in their total six-county territory.

“The basic needs issues we focus on — education, financial stability and health — are similar in each of the communities, but how we can invest or partner may be different,” Sargent said. “(The merger) allows us to do things together in the greater region, while at the same time there are things that we’re going to do on a community-by-community basis that might be very specific to what that community needs.”

The structure of the new organization will also ensure that donations made locally are leveraged within the community and not distributed elsewhere. At the same time, Sargent said the merger opens the organization up to new partnerships — perhaps with larger companies that aren’t limited to one county or one community, but instead want to create cost savings. of scale with resources.

“We wanted to keep our local staff that people are used to working with,” Sargent said. “Sometimes people want to give locally where they live and work. If I live in Kalamazoo and work in the community, I might want to make sure that my annual donation to the United Way stays in that community, and that’s sort of a fundamental principle that we’ve operated by from the beginning.

The consolidation within the century-old network of 1,300 locally-run United Ways has precedent, and the momentum continues to play out within the nation’s largest nonprofit.

In fact, merging isn’t even new for two of the three organizations getting into United Ways of South Central Michigan. The Greater Kalamazoo United Way and the United Way of Battle Creek merged in 2012 to form the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region. Sargent was part of the Kalamazoo organization during the merger.

Capital Area United Way and Eaton County United Way also merged in 2016.

“Ten years ago I was part of the merger with Battle Creek and Kalamazoo…so there are examples, even in our current area, where we did that and what that led to,” Sargent said. . “It’s something we share transparently with our United Way colleagues across the state and country.”

“Nationally, United Way has merged around 10% – I think that will be more of a trend going forward,” he added.

Come together

Mike Larson served as CEO of the former Greater Kalamazoo United Way in its previous merger and is now President and CEO of the United Way Michigan Association. United Way organizations should succeed through partnerships and mergers.

“It’s about how we create greater impact in our communities by creating efficiencies and bringing expertise that we may not have individually as an organization, but collectively we can increase our ability to do more work in our local communities,” Larson said. “We all have to have the administrative overhead that requires us to run a nonprofit, but it brings the ability and skills that really allow us to do more work in the community.”

Larson also hinted at further consolidation here in Michigan.

“I foresee more things like this happening, no doubt,” he said. “I can’t name any names, but there are already conversations with United Way. It’s a big step for organizations to consider doing this. It’s not just the organization, but also the community supporting the organization that has to say, “Yes, we support that. It can be scary.

In addition, consolidation within the Centraide network has taken place across the country. Last summer, six United Way affiliates in a six-county region of New York merged into one. Similar activity has been reported in states like Texas, Maine and Indiana.

Although Sargent and Larson agreed that consolidation was not necessarily driven by the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a factor. This is especially true since United Way is leveraging workplace giving campaigns, which were hit hard during the mass exodus of office workers. Some offices have not reverted to a typical in-person setting, prompting some United Way organizations to rethink their approach to fundraising.

It’s not a problem unique to United Way either, according to Larson, who pointed out that nonprofits of all kinds face similar challenges.

“People are reassessing the way they do their jobs and run the operations of their organizations, wondering if this is the most effective way to move forward and serve the community,” Larson said.

“I think you’ll see more (merge) down the road,” he added. “Some might start with partnerships first and do some things together before looking at a merger, but I think you’ll see United Ways make the transition, and a variety of other nonprofits will also start looking. ”

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Michigan United Ways to merge https://blissfield.net/michigan-united-ways-to-merge/ Wed, 02 Feb 2022 14:30:55 +0000 https://blissfield.net/michigan-united-ways-to-merge/ Three Michigan United Ways have voted to merge their formerly separate entities into a single organization. United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region (UWBCKR), Capital Area United Way (CAUW) and United Way of Jackson County (UWJC) announced plans last week to form a combined nonprofit to provide new opportunities for the region while maintaining […]]]>

Three Michigan United Ways have voted to merge their formerly separate entities into a single organization.

United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region (UWBCKR), Capital Area United Way (CAUW) and United Way of Jackson County (UWJC) announced plans last week to form a combined nonprofit to provide new opportunities for the region while maintaining a local presence.

United Ways of South Central Michigan (UWSCM) will retain its formerly separate staff, offices, partnerships and investments serving Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham and Jackson counties.

The UWSCM will be governed by a newly formed Board of Directors with equal representation from each of the three sites. The new board hopes to launch the new organization within the next six months. Local Steering Committees will report to the new UWSCM Board and advise each local site.

“People trust their local United Way to use the dollars they donate to change lives locally. We are committed to keeping this in place,” said Ken Toll, President and CEO of UWJC.

The once separate United Ways have worked together on common needs for more than a decade, and the “merger of equals” seeks to bring together unique strengths, shared authority and a continued focus on local needs.

“Each of our communities is unique, with needs that our individual United Ways address every day. At the same time, many of these needs are interconnected. We believe we can better address these issues together, both locally and regionally,” said CAUT President and CEO Teresa Kmetz.

Toll said the financial instability among Michigan’s ALICE (limited assets, limited income, and employed) population is an example of the common issues the merger will be better able to address. According to United Way, 40% of Michigan households are ALICE households.

“The ALICE report shows how the challenges faced by people living in poverty or just above poverty are similar across communities – depressed wages, access to key services like childcare, inequalities systemic, economic effects of the pandemic and much more,” Toll said. “The combination of our expertise means we can bring more resources, capabilities and ideas that will benefit all of our communities.

UWBCKR President and CEO Chris Sargent said people who rely on United Way can count on local systems to be maintained. Donations made locally will be invested locally and not sent elsewhere. Local United Way names will remain the same for fundraisers and other community purposes.

“The strength and benefits of a merger like this is in its scale,” Sargent said. “The combined organization will be able to tap into new sources of funding, create new partnerships, more effectively advocate for racial and economic equity, and play a greater role in impacting vulnerable families than ours. Individual Centraide cannot do it alone. ”

Kmetz said discussions about the potential merger began in 2020 with board members and stakeholders from each of the three organizations involved in the conversation.

“We spoke with key donors, partner agencies, businesses, unions, former board members and others, discussing how a merger would allow us to do more for those we serve,” said said Kmetz. “Everyone who watched this merger up close, everyone who helped us study it from all angles, was very supportive of the idea.”

More information at unitedforscmi.org.

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Donate school supplies at Heart of West Michigan United Way’s School Spirit Day event this weekend! https://blissfield.net/donate-school-supplies-at-heart-of-west-michigan-united-ways-school-spirit-day-event-this-weekend/ https://blissfield.net/donate-school-supplies-at-heart-of-west-michigan-united-ways-school-spirit-day-event-this-weekend/#respond Thu, 19 Aug 2021 16:15:26 +0000 https://blissfield.net/donate-school-supplies-at-heart-of-west-michigan-united-ways-school-spirit-day-event-this-weekend/ GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (WOOD) – It’s back to school! For some families and teachers, the money to buy supplies just isn’t there and that’s where Centraide comes in! Their annual Stuff the Bus School Spirit Day takes place this Saturday at Woodland Mall in Kentwood from noon to 2 p.m. Community Affairs Director Casey Jones […]]]>


GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (WOOD) – It’s back to school! For some families and teachers, the money to buy supplies just isn’t there and that’s where Centraide comes in!

Their annual Stuff the Bus School Spirit Day takes place this Saturday at Woodland Mall in Kentwood from noon to 2 p.m. Community Affairs Director Casey Jones tells us about this special event!

>>> Take a look!

There will be marching bands, music, gifts, a school spirit contest and the organizers will accept public donations of school supplies. You can find a list of needs for this year here.

For more information visit HWMUW.org/trucs-le-bus.

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Michigan United Credit Union and Unity Credit Union merger, $ 340 million in assets https://blissfield.net/michigan-united-credit-union-and-unity-credit-union-merger-340-million-in-assets/ https://blissfield.net/michigan-united-credit-union-and-unity-credit-union-merger-340-million-in-assets/#respond Thu, 29 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://blissfield.net/michigan-united-credit-union-and-unity-credit-union-merger-340-million-in-assets/ The Birmingham branch of MUCU, which announced its merger with Warren-based Unity Credit Union. // Courtesy of MUCU Michigan United Credit Union in Birmingham and Unity Credit Union in Warren announced an effective August 1 merger, after a membership vote made it official on July 24. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. MUCU […]]]>


The Birmingham branch of MUCU, which announced its merger with Warren-based Unity Credit Union. // Courtesy of MUCU

Michigan United Credit Union in Birmingham and Unity Credit Union in Warren announced an effective August 1 merger, after a membership vote made it official on July 24. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

MUCU was formed when Birmingham Bloomfield Credit Union Lakes Community Credit Union and Metro North Credit Union merged between 2019 and 2020. The most recent merger will bring MUCU’s membership to 25,000 account holders and bring its assets to around 340 millions of dollars.

“We are delighted with the direction the credit union is taking. This expansion provides additional resources to serve members not only in more vibrant communities, but also throughout the state of Michigan, ”said Andrew Staley, President and CEO of Michigan United Credit Union.

All Unity Credit Union branches will remain and all employees will retain their current jobs. Both credit unions are committed to meeting the changing needs of members, and the merger provides access to more resources to continue to grow.

“We are delighted to have found a partner such as Michigan United Credit Union whose core values ​​and shared culture will continue to meet the financial needs of members today and into the future,” said Dennis Moriarity, President and Chief Executive Officer. from the management of Unity Credit Union.


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For Michigan United, raising awareness of public health resources is a local effort https://blissfield.net/for-michigan-united-raising-awareness-of-public-health-resources-is-a-local-effort/ https://blissfield.net/for-michigan-united-raising-awareness-of-public-health-resources-is-a-local-effort/#respond Mon, 26 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://blissfield.net/for-michigan-united-raising-awareness-of-public-health-resources-is-a-local-effort/ FLINT, Michigan – Health is local. To bring about effective change in health, work begins at the neighborhood level. Michigan United, a non-profit organization that fights for justice and equality, has partnered with the Genesee County Health Department to bring health, vaccine and education navigators to several neighborhoods in Flint to remove barriers and access […]]]>


FLINT, Michigan – Health is local. To bring about effective change in health, work begins at the neighborhood level. Michigan United, a non-profit organization that fights for justice and equality, has partnered with the Genesee County Health Department to bring health, vaccine and education navigators to several neighborhoods in Flint to remove barriers and access problems for residents.

Michigan United’s work at Flint has been supported by local funders and has grown significantly over the past year. Originally, the program had 11 health navigators in Flint and a coordinator. Today Michigan United has 15 sailors in Flint, 15 sailors in Detroit and two coordinators. Program management believes that reaching out to the community and asking them what their needs are, without assuming what the community needs, will bring about effective change in health care.
Michigan United employees came together to support the Eastside Franklin Park Craft Fair by providing health education, vaccine information and COVID-19 vaccines.Latressa Gordon DNP, began volunteering as a Public Health Navigator for Michigan United and the role has evolved into the Nurse Coordinator over the past year.

“We are working with the health department to help release vaccines, organize mobile vaccination clinics, home vaccines and vaccine education,” she said. “We also connect people with other resources. As much if they need information on tax information, notaries, food resources, and all kinds of things … We put you in touch with other resources besides the vaccine.

Gordon, like many people across the country, lost a family member to the coronavirus this year, before vaccines were widely available.

“If I could do my part to get the vaccine out, to help spread information, to prevent another death, that’s my goal,” she said. “Everyone here is like my family. We don’t push the vaccine on people, what we do is if you don’t want the vaccine, okay, we’re going to give you action to help keep you safe. We’ll get you a mask, let you know the 6-foot distance, get you some hand sanitizer, and if you want the vaccine, we’ll give you directions and bring it to your home. However you want the vaccine, we’ll put you in touch with other partners. We want to build community trust because we are part of the community. The communities in which we go, we are part of them.

Gordon strongly believes that even if a vaccine is not distributed to anyone at a specific event, at least the community will recognize that they are supported with the presence of Michigan United.

“The value of community nursing is education and prevention,” she said. “Our goal is simply to disseminate information. They show that 99.5% of people hospitalized or recently deceased were not vaccinated. And, you know, I saw on the news that patients were asking, “Will you give me the vaccine?” when they’re about to have a bi-pap or a respirator and it’s too late, you know? “

Joyce Ellis-McNeal, Michigan United’s Public Health Navigation Coordinator, is a firm believer in the work she does with Michigan United, but also believes that a vital part of community unification is missing.
Joyce Ellis McNeal, Michigan United’s Public Health Navigation Coordinator, sits in the Eastside Franklin Park Neighborhood Pocket Park pavilion at the annual Craft Fair.“The value of the community is to serve and protect themselves when all else fails,” said Ellis-McNeal. “That’s when the community comes in. If we start talking about teaching critical racial theory, that will be one way to bridge that gap. You have to give the community what they want. I hear CRT a lot in the community so this is the conversation we should be having. I am the only one who can teach you about black culture and only you can teach me more about yourself. The community gives a voice.

McNeal mentioned that many black residents have lost faith in “doctors, pastors and engineers” due to various public health crises, and what we have left is the community to uplift one another. . It is his passion to bring health, healing and education to those around him.

“We are human,” she said. “I am kind to you because I have a contract with God and this contract states that I must love you because you are human, not by income and not by right.”

Aurora Sauceda is another Michigan United employee who has been instrumental in helping the Hispanic community and the residents of Flint. Sauceda is the manager who oversees Michigan United’s work at Flint and Detroit. She also understands the value of culture in recognizing and helping communities.

“The value of community is much greater than any monetary system,” Sauceda said. “Our community has so much to offer. And culture, to me, means unity. It means caring for others, respecting each other, regardless of your economic status or religion. Culture should simply be humans loving other humans because we all have the same basic needs, food, shelter and health care. Culture is life, it is being able to live with one another in harmony. We all share what we have with each other.

Sauceda hopes Michigan United’s work grows in Flint and brings communities together simply by being present and available. His role as manager carries an incredible responsibility, but work does not scare Sauceda.

“I’m up for the challenge just because I want to see the program grow,” she said. “I want people in our community to have jobs that matter to them. The passion is great. I see all my browsers working with such commitment.


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Heart of West Michigan United Way Receives Rent Assistance Grant https://blissfield.net/heart-of-west-michigan-united-way-receives-rent-assistance-grant/ https://blissfield.net/heart-of-west-michigan-united-way-receives-rent-assistance-grant/#respond Tue, 15 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://blissfield.net/heart-of-west-michigan-united-way-receives-rent-assistance-grant/ Michelle Van Dyke. Courtesy Heart of West Michigan United Way The Grand Rapids Community Foundation has awarded Heart of West Michigan United Way a recoverable grant of $ 100,000 to help tenants in Kent County stay in their homes. “We are very grateful to the Community Foundation and eager to provide relief to tenants who […]]]>


Michelle Van Dyke. Courtesy Heart of West Michigan United Way

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation has awarded Heart of West Michigan United Way a recoverable grant of $ 100,000 to help tenants in Kent County stay in their homes.

“We are very grateful to the Community Foundation and eager to provide relief to tenants who have struggled to afford stable housing during the pandemic,” said Michelle Van Dyke, President and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.

Through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program provides rent, utility, and internet assistance to Michigan residents who fell behind in their payments during the pandemic .

The program is a statewide allocation of the Emergency Relief Bill passed by the US Congress in December. Kent County will receive approximately $ 39 million to support low to moderate income households.

The MSHDA awarded a CERA grant to Heart of West Michigan United Way to bring the program to Kent County. As the grant administrator, United Way was responsible for both the effort and expense associated with developing the program framework before MSHDA reimbursement funds became available.

Recognizing the growing need for rent assistance during the pandemic, the Community Foundation quickly stepped in to offer a recoupable grant to help ease the financial burden.

“By working together, we were able to provide immediate access to funds to ensure as many people as possible could avoid eviction while the partners waited for reimbursement from CERA,” said Kate Luckert Schmid, vice-president. program chair at the Community Foundation.

This partnership allowed United Way to launch the CERA program, including hiring social workers to process requests and allowing local partner agencies to begin facilitating meetings with case managers, tenants and landlords.

Those who fell behind on rent or utilities during the pandemic can review eligibility requirements and apply online at KentRentHelp.org or by calling 877-ERA-Kent.


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Michigan United Way Chapters Launch Summer Food Drive https://blissfield.net/michigan-united-way-chapters-launch-summer-food-drive/ https://blissfield.net/michigan-united-way-chapters-launch-summer-food-drive/#respond Tue, 01 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://blissfield.net/michigan-united-way-chapters-launch-summer-food-drive/ The Michigan Association of United Ways and Kellogg Company are hosting a “Summer Stock Up” food drive in partnership with 24 United Way chapters across the state. Organizations said last week that the effort, which runs throughout June, is aimed at restocking local pantries with items to get them through the warmer months. Every year, […]]]>


The Michigan Association of United Ways and Kellogg Company are hosting a “Summer Stock Up” food drive in partnership with 24 United Way chapters across the state.

Organizations said last week that the effort, which runs throughout June, is aimed at restocking local pantries with items to get them through the warmer months.

Every year, pantries are fully stocked during the winter months with holiday donations, but when summer arrives, donations dwindle and pantry shelves become scarce. This can leave low-income families with limited options during the summer, the Michigan United Way Association said.

The statewide Summer Stock Up event grew out of the popular “Christmas in June” food drive held annually by the United Way of Southwest Michigan (UWSM). In 2020, due to the pandemic, UWSM went from an in-person food drop-off event to a virtual event offering safe shopping options for donors to “shop for impact” by giving online.

“I congratulate United Way of Southwest Michigan and Kellogg for their leadership in expanding this important campaign to create statewide impact,” said Mike Larson, President and CEO of Michigan Association of United Ways. “We know there is important work to be done to better support the many Michigan residents who are struggling to make ends meet. Centraide continues to rise to the challenge and to do so.

The success of “Christmas in June” caught Kellogg’s attention, and the company and its charity fund reached out to help reconceptualize it as “summer stock” statewide. . As the primary sponsor, Kellogg invited 24 United Ways from Michigan to participate in the event. Additional support was provided by American Electric Power Foundation and Dash Digital Services. In-person and virtual versions of the event will be available depending on the needs and situations of each United Way.

Tackling food insecurity is linked to the work of the Michigan Association United Ways’ ALICE project, which identified that in 2019, 38% of Michigan households were working but struggling to make ends meet. These households – whose incomes are above the federal poverty line but below the basic cost of living – are called ALICE, which stands for Limited Assets, Limited Income, Employees.

Over the past decade, conditions have deteriorated for thousands of families across Michigan, paving the way for the dual health and economic crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Statewide Summer Stock Up events are one of the ways United Way chapters work to support ALICE families.

People can go to the Summer Stock Up event page to find their participating chapter and get involved.


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Kenneth Whittaker to take over Michigan United, vows to fight white supremacy https://blissfield.net/kenneth-whittaker-to-take-over-michigan-united-vows-to-fight-white-supremacy/ https://blissfield.net/kenneth-whittaker-to-take-over-michigan-united-vows-to-fight-white-supremacy/#respond Fri, 26 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://blissfield.net/kenneth-whittaker-to-take-over-michigan-united-vows-to-fight-white-supremacy/ Click to enlarge Michigan United Kenneth whittaker Michigan United, a coalition of union, business, social services and civil rights members, has a new leader who pledges to fight white supremacy. Ken Whittaker, from Detroit, will take the helm as executive director on April 5, replacing longtime leader and founder of the group, Ryan Bates, who […]]]>


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  • Michigan United
  • Kenneth whittaker

Michigan United, a coalition of union, business, social services and civil rights members, has a new leader who pledges to fight white supremacy.

Ken Whittaker, from Detroit, will take the helm as executive director on April 5, replacing longtime leader and founder of the group, Ryan Bates, who will transition to an advisory and advisory role. Whittaker will also lead the group’s sister organization, Michigan People’s Campaign, a group advocating for economic and racial justice.

“I am so proud of Ken’s leadership and know he is ready to take Michigan United to the next phase of our growth,” Bates said at a press conference Thursday. “His compassion, his heart, his experience and his personal resilience are traits that will serve him well. He is greatly appreciated by the staff and the community, and I know he will work tirelessly to serve both of them.

Whittaker joined Michigan United as a volunteer in 2017, helping to lead efforts to raise the minimum wage. He was also the movement’s policy director, overseeing thousands of volunteers who encouraged people to vote in hard-to-reach communities.

“In the years to come, you can expect Michigan United to double down on what we do best, bringing people together to end white supremacy and look back at the many ways it affects everyone’s lives,” he said. Whittaker said. “Ryan really set us up for success. People across the state are seeing how in the same fight we are all in. It’s amazing what we’ve built together. I can’t wait to move on. top speed and see what we can do.

Prior to joining Michigan United, Whittaker held numerous leadership positions within the state and the National Democratic Party. The Michigan Democratic Party named him Young Democrat of the Year.

“The Board of Directors is very happy that our new leader comes from our own team. It says a lot about Michigan United that our next Executive Director started as a volunteer and worked his way up the ranks, ”said Board Chair Aamina Ahmed. “It shows that we are an institution that prioritizes leadership development and cultivates advocates for the communities we serve. Ken was absolutely the right choice, and we know he will lead us to a strong and fair future.

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