Congratulations to our tax preparation volunteers for helping our program be recognized with an Honorable Mention in Rural Initiatives for our efforts to bring our tax preparation services to the rural areas in our counties!
In the recent IRS VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Partner Recognition Ceremony, our program was one of twenty-two partners from the thousands nationwide to receive an Honorable Mention in this category, and one of only two Michigan VITA partners to receive recognition in any category.
We would like to give a special thank you to our volunteers who make this program what it is, especially this year when the season ended differently than we had hoped or planned. We owe so much to our volunteers, who give this program their time and support, and thank you all for your contributions.
If you would like to volunteer with us, visit our volunteering page to learn more.
Community members offered up their front porches for the book drop offs. Thank you to Maggie S., Holly C., Chris M., and Sarah C., as well as Cardinal Rule Press Founder Maria's children and nieces for sorting and packaging the books!
The donated books will be used to help flood survivors rebuild their family libraries.
We have been incredibly moved by so many coming together to help their neighbors in need with everything going on, and these folks are a stellar example of that!
From Southern Baptist Disaster Relief who obtained the sanitizer and water to Sunrise Church of Midland who stored it to Terry Wilson who brought his forklift to load these items onto our truck so we could transport them to aid in our relief efforts in Gladwin, they have all truly made a difference in their community.
For this community spotlight, we'd like to recognize Jean!
Jean is an avid crafter. For a few months she has been working to fill a box with hats, mittens, and scarves in all sizes. She's already started on more!
These items are available for anyone who needs them in the lobby at the admin office in Farwell.
We asked Jean what inspired her to volunteer her time and resources, and this is what she had to say:
"I know there are so many people struggling to make ends meet. I just want to do what I can to give them a bit of warmth."
Thank you, Jean, for using your talent and giving your time helping to keep people warm!
Dollar Daze of Clare and their customers are major supporters of the Clare Food Pantry.
Many Dollar Daze customers donate a quarter at check out for the Pantry. These donations are used to purchase food for the Pantry. These donations often contain items we don't usually receive and fun foods that make kids smile.
The Clare Food Pantry relies on community support for much of the food we distribute. Donations help us offer more options to families struggling with hunger. Ongoing support from Dollar Daze and Dollar Daze customers is so helpful and makes a significant impact for us and for the community members we serve.
We'd like to introduce Briar, a winner of the 2019 Community Action Award, and his mom, Patricia (not pictured)!
Briar, with the support of his mom Patricia, helps to support the Clare County Food pantry in an unusual but extremely helpful way: he raises chickens to provide eggs to the pantry! Briar, who is twelve, is responsible for feeding and watering the chickens, cleaning the coop, and washing and packaging eggs. This is no small task as Briar brings 20 dozen eggs with him each time he stops by the pantry.
Briar and Patricia began dedicating time to raise chickens to donate eggs to the pantry because they are especially passionate about helping veterans and families with children. They began bringing eggs to the pantry about a year ago. This provides a resource that the pantry would not be able to purchase on its own, and the pantry customers are always excited to receive fresh eggs.
Thank you, Briar, for all you do to provide this fresh, nutritious resource to the pantry and the people of our community.
Sarah was in the emergency shelter rapid rehousing program, but it would expire in three months. In that time she would need to find a job that would pay enough so she could cover her bills and rent. Sarah worked with one of our Outreach staff to make a plan and a budget and continued looking for a job that would allow her to get by.
While she was in the program, she was asking about budgeting and the best ways to plan ahead to avoid any unforeseen setbacks to make sure she would succeed.
By the time Sarah exited the program, she had made a budget and was able to find a job that would allow her to pay all of her bills and rent and still have funds left over each month.
Great job, Sarah! We're so impressed with your determination and discipline!
ready to welcome their family back!
Great work, Carla! We appreciate all that you do.
Our first spotlight is the Buttlemans, Beckie and Josh.
After 12 years of trying to conceive their own child, Beckie and Josh Buttleman thought they might never become parents.
Then in October 2016 their world changed when they were asked to become Foster Parents to Josh's nephew, Jordan. Over eleven months, while working with Early Head Start and a host of state agencies, the Buttlemans went from a household of two to a family of five as they also began fostering Josh’s niece, Charlotte, and gave birth to a daughter in the same week! On October 25, 2018 the adoption of their niece and nephew, Jordan and Charlotte, was official and now they have their forever family! They recently purchased the home they were renting and have also purchased two vehicles to ensure they have reliable transportation for work and appointments.
Throughout these events, Beckie and Josh worked extensively with their Early Head Start Home Visitor, several caseworkers from different departments of DHHS in multiple counties, Adoption Option, the Maternal Infant Health Program, WIC, and Early On. At one time they were working with 15 different people to help ensure the health and safety of their three children!
Because of their desire to work hard and do better for themselves and their children, they are confident when asking for the resources they need to ensure their family grows into a healthy and happy future together.
We're so proud of your family and all that you've accomplished!
1574 E Washington Road
PO Box 768
Farwell, MI 48622
2300 E Ludington Drive
Clare, MI 48617
337 Lemke Street
Midland, MI 48642
14330 Northland Drive
Big Rapids MI 49307
240 E Church Street
Reed City, MI 49677
271 E Apple Ave
Muskegon, MI 49442