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Mission for Area People. Celebrating 50 years. 1967-2017.

It’s hard to believe, but yes, Mission for Area People has been around for 50 years in Temple United Methodist Church.   Mission for Area People was established in 1967, formed by two local United Methodist churches with the purpose of providing food, clothing, and activities to community neighbors.

This was “Then”:

  1. A small food pantry where church volunteers pre‐packed a couple of bags of groceries to hand out.
  2. A small clothing room, with a few tables of clothing for people to choose from.
  3. Roller skating and basketball activities in the lower level, which is now the Supper House that feeds approximately 150 people 5 nights per week.  Supper House was established in 2000.

This is “Now”:  Programs established or improved in 2003

  1. A healthy Choice Food Pantry where families shop and choose their food items.  Healthy food choices such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, no sugar cereals, low fat dairy, and whole grain breads.  Individuals call for an appointment and are pre‐screened for eligibility.
  2. Nutrition and cooking classes provided by MSU Extension Service for people who utilize the food pantry more than 4 times per year.
  3. A medical and dental support fund to assist Muskegon County residence with emergency needs, such as prescriptions, medical transportation, durable medical equipment, emergency dental care, and dentures.
  4. Clothing and household pantry organized just like a clothing store.  Patrons may visit twice a month and receive 4 bags each visit.
  5. Christmas Toy Give‐Away.  This year MAP provided 1,431 children gifts for the holiday.  Parents call and are pre‐screened for an appointment.  They are then given a time and date to come to MAP and shop for gifts for their children.  The gifts are set‐up just like a toy store.  Parents shop with a volunteer, pick out 3 gifts and stocking stuffers, and the gifts are then wrapped and given to the parent to take home.
  6. One hundred Thanksgiving baskets are given away each year to families with children in the home.
  7. BackPacks for Kids Program.  Three hundred children will receive new, filled backpacks to start the new school year.
  8. Rent and utility assistance as funds allow.
  9. MAP is a local clearinghouse for churches or agencies to verify the eligibility of clientele.
  10. Emergency car repairs, gas cards, and car insurance for the working poor.
  11. MAP acts as a clearinghouse for local churches and agencies.

Mission for Area People has come a long way in its programs and the way people are served.  One thing is certain, we would not be able to provide these services without you, the churches, the businesses, and the grantors who believe in the services of Mission for Area People.

Your financial investment, then and now, has, and is, making a difference in the lives we touch on a daily basis!

United Way of the LakeshoreMission for Area People recently applied for a grant from United Way of the Lakeshore to assist Muskegon County’s ALICE (Asset, Limited, Income,   Constrained, Employed) population.  The grant will be used to help the ALICE population with car repairs, car insurance, and gas cards, to help them get to work.   There are many reasons why our ALICE population are having a hard time keeping steady employment and one of the findings, through a survey done by United Way of the Lakeshore, is transportation issues, whether it be car repairs, lack of affordable car insurance, or gasoline.  MAP will also partner with Lebanon Lutheran Church in Whitehall to assist the ALICE population in rural areas of the county with transportation needs.  The funding is limited so MAP will reach out to mechanics in the area who are willing to be a partner and provide the best service with the most cost effective rate. Thank you United Way of the Lakeshore for your trust and partnership with Mission for Area People.

In 1962 Henry (then 22 years old) was in a car accident.  He crushed his ankle and had to have surgery.  A year after the ankle surgery the doctors determined the ankle should be amputated.  Henry was reluctant to have the surgery as he didn’t want to lose his ankle with an artificial one, but he finally agreed to have the surgery. Unfortunately, the artificial ankle got infected and had to be removed.  The infection spread to the lower leg which also had to be amputated at the knee.  After several years of the same prosthetic, the pain was increasingly getting worse.  Henry’s prosthetic no longer fit correctly and a new one was needed. The total cost of the new prosthetic was $9,560.  Although Henry had insurance, his out‐of‐pocket expense totaled $2,051.  On a limited income of Social Security, he did not have the co‐pay amount needed for his prosthetic. Henry’s caseworker advised him to call Mission for Area People for financial assistance through our Medical support fund.  When he was told MAP would pay the co‐pay he said, “I can’t believe it!  I’ve called all over and you are the only organization who can help me”.   Helping Henry is just one of the many ways your support makes a difference at Mission for Area People.