You should be proud. Your gift, combined with the gifts of others, makes it possible for us to help families rise out of poverty and thrive in our community.
Every day, we see the importance of our collective impact. This past February, on the night of a looming snowstorm, a local crossing guard called our 211 health and human services hotline. She told us about a mother with a newborn sitting on a park bench and 3 small children sitting at her feet, in the cold, covered with blankets.
When the crossing guard asked the family if they were okay, the 5-year-old boy spoke for his mother (who spoke limited English) and said that his family was homeless and planning to sleep on the bench that night. After speaking with the crossing guard and the little boy, 211 put a call out within our statewide system and contacted local police, CPS, and the Salvation Army. With our help, the police were able to immediately pick-up the family and work with the Salvation Army Housing Assessment Program to find them food and shelter.
Without these sorts of partnerships between public and private services, without the crossing guard, 211, the police, CPS, and Salvation Army, without YOU, this mother with a newborn and 3 small children would have been left to fend for herself through the snowstorm. It’s hard to think about what may have happened.
People are complex. There is not one person, one organization, or one silver bullet for the community-wide issues we face. We are continuously working to build stronger partnerships with the champions of our community and find ways to work better together – and we are so proud to be a part of this collaborative community work with you.
From all of us a Heart of West Michigan United Way, thank you for all you do to make West Michigan a great place to live and work!