With the ongoing problems we're facing with the pandemic happening and all, the needs are great, we all know that. The ways needs are met too have been facing some monumental hurdles, most of which have all found ways to work around the problems in some way shape or form. It's been a grueling year to say the very least and to know that some of what we're used to has had to be set aside or postponed, well, the fatigue of it all is settling in on everyone. We get it, we're feeling it too. But what about some of those needs that can't be ignored? Needs like food, clothing and shelter? The most human of all the needs are what we should worry about the most and to know that our community, Muskegon Michigan finds a way to rise up and meet them, time and time again....that's the kind of thing we're all about sharing!
The United Way of the Lakeshore was on the fence a little this year with one of the events they traditionally do to meet those needs. The worry about the spread compared to the need for warm clothing for people almost got this years coat drive put on hold....ALMOST. Normally, the drive held in November, is where our local clothing pantries get a great deal of the items they provide for those in need. A little after Christmas, people began to notice that something was missing and the word got out that our annual chance to take care of our community was in need of a jump start. It got it. To quote from the United Way press release - "This drive was kicked off by an extraordinary student from North Muskegon High School, Ethan Koman. The sophomore is a member of the North Muskegon National Honor Society who on his own started a mini-coat drive collecting donations in his neighborhood. He was able to collect over 50 coats as the first donation to this year’s drive. Over 20 different sites collecting the coats with 12 business partners. These partners can be found at https://www.unitedwaylakeshore.org/fill-truck-coat-drive. 1/3 of all coat donations came from the 7 different Howmet Aerospace plants in Whitehall. “The employees of Howmet Aerospace Whitehall operations stepped up to assist those in need in our community,” says Amy Heisser, Director of Human Resources at Howmet Aerospace. “This coat drive is another example of our almost 70-year history of giving back to our communities.”
It's absolutely stunning to see how needs are met in Muskegon. We get to see it first hand, day in and day out. We spoke with Dominique Bunker just days ago about the need for help as the COVID immunization clinics begin to become more available here in town about the need for volunteers, buy the next morning they had nearly 100 saying "I'll help". With the coats too, as they came in, people sorted, washed and readied the clothing for it's next use and we had a chance to catch up on that too. Take a listen.
IT NEVER FAILS! Muskegon knows better than anyone how to take care of it's own. It's truly a source of pride and accomplishment in our little neck of the woods and something to hold our heads high about.
Back to the press release - "These coats have been sorted and are being washed by volunteers thanks to Community enCompass’ Sacred Suds facility. Once cleaned, these coats will be delivered to local clothing pantries like Mission for Area People, the Salvation Army, Lebanon Lutheran, and the Holton Community Center. Other coats have been distributed to families that are living in the United Way temporary housing program for individuals with COVID-19, and other families that have been identified by local caseworkers. If your family is in need of warm winter apparel this season, please contact our local 211 office by dialing 211 or visiting https://www.mi211.org/.
Our many thanks to those who gave, those who helped and of course the United Way of the Lakeshore for all they do for all of us. Learn more about their work by clicking on their image below.