This is a time of year when many are making charitable contributions. There are so many established non-profits in our area that need support. I’ve chosen some reputable charities, and provided their mission as well as links to their websites below. If you are unfamiliar with the non-profit landscape in our area, I urge you to educate yourself about these organizations and the vital work they are doing.
I’ve mostly focused on issues that are in line with the values of Epicure. There are non-profits listed below which focus on fighting food insecurity, preserving farmland, and promoting green business practices. As there is great need, I’ve also included a few organizations which focus on support for families in need and aid for the homeless. This is by no means an exhaustive list of non-profits in our area…the need is great, and this post is just an attempt to ask you to give what you can, when you can. -cb
FIGHTING FOOD INSECURITY
The mission of Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan is the collection and distribution of soon-to-expire fresh foods and beverages from available sources (e.g., grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, bakeries, etc.) to people in need through the area’s food pantries, shelters and community meals programs.
Noteworthy: $10 can provide up to 50 meals for those in need. Last year, Food Rescue rescued and distributed the equivalent over 1,000,000 meals that otherwise would have gone in the landfill.
NMCCA provides valuable services related to financial literacy, tax preparation, utilities assistance, and family self sufficiency, in addition to housing assistance, home repairs and food programs, including senior nutrition.
Noteworthy: NMCCA is a part of the Community Action Partnership, America’s Poverty Fighting Network.
The mission of the Leelanau Christian Neighbors (LCN) is to serve residents of Leelanau County by providing food for the hungry and aiding those who have inadequate resources to respond to emergencies in their lives.
Noteworthy: Leelanau Christian Neighbors runs the food pantry, baby pantry, and the Blessings in a Backpack program in Leelanau County.
FARMLAND PRESERVATION & GREENING OUR COMMUNITY
The mission of The Leelanau Conservancy focuses on “Conserving the land, water and scenic character of Leelanau County.”
Noteworthy: The Conservancy has preserved over 11,500 acres and created 24 Natural Areas for public enjoyment with more than 15 miles of hiking trails. Their latest project? The proposed 707-acre Palmer Woods Forest Reserve near Glen Arbor, slated to open in winter of 2016, which will have miles and miles of hiking and ski trails. The Conservancy has also worked with over 200 landowners to protect family farms and cherished private lands with legal agreements called conservation easements. These agreements restrict development and protect the land’s most important natural features.
The mission of Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC) is to further recycling activities in the communities we serve through service, education, and philanthropy. We envision zero-waste communities, where virtually everything is reused, repurposed, or recycled to better the environment and support local charities. Help us become a zero-waste community.
Noteworthy: Bay Area Recycling for Charities is excited to announce the Focus Green 2020 campaign to help the Grand Traverse region become the greenest community in Michigan by the year 2020. Focus Green envisions a network of zero-waste communities in our region, where we reduce what goes into landfills and as much as possible is reused, repurposed, recycled, or composted.
SUPPORT FOR THOSE IN NEED
Pete’s Place: The purpose of Pete’s Place is to provide safe alternative shelter for youth in crisis, reunite and/or strengthen families, provide individual and family counseling, outreach, advocacy and referrals, enhance the lives of youth and families in crisis in our community by providing and advocating for services, and to provide opportunities for change that will lead to emotional and economic self sufficiency and positive participation in society.
Windfire: Third Level’s Windfire program’s mission includes the following : Inspire the creation of safe space for LGBTQ youth, empower adult mentors in schools to challenge harassment based on sexual or gender orientation, to remove obstacles which lead LGBTQ students to feel unsafe in their school environments and to developing a network of adult allies and mentors in the community to increase visibility and availability of the adult LBGTQ community to youth.
The mission of the Goodwill Inn Shelter is to provide safe, supportive shelter to homeless adults and families. We instill hope through service and compassion, offering guests a path to rebuilding their lives.
Noteworthy: The Goodwill Inn is the largest homeless shelter in Northwest Michigan.
At United Way of Northwest Michigan, our mission is to improve lives by connecting and mobilizing the caring power of communities in our region; Antrim, Benzie, Kalkaska, Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties, to advance the common good.
Noteworthy: All money donated stays in our 5 county area.
We will listen to the community needs, care for the distressed, the poor, the hungry and the suffering, and share resources in a loving and respectful manner.
Noteworthy: Now until Jan 2, buy a $10 Simply Give card at Meijer checkout or customer service desk and Meijer will match your $10 –so your $10 donation to Father Fred becomes $20!
Dedicated to the preservation of the physical health and spiritual welfare of people experiencing homelessness, a primary goal of Safe Harbor is to offer food, shelter, and hope for guests staying in our shelter. As part of the Continuum of Care, we also focus on community partnerships in order to better collaborate on long-term solutions to ending homelessness in our region.
Noteworthy: 23 area churches participate and a nightly average of 64 individuals are expected over the season spanning from November through April.