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It's been a long five months since COVID-19 has hit our community and we've been busy. Mission for Area People has continued to operate during the shut-down helping those in need. Diana Wright-Stubbs, Executive Director of MAP, would like to share an update on those we have served during the pandemic. As of July 27, 2020, MAP has assisted the following:

  • Aided 118 individuals with lodging, (this includes the homeless, quarantined, and COVID-19 positive.
  • 55 rooms of lodging were paid for, many are still in lodging.
  • Approximately $29,000 spent in lodging.
  • Bedding, linens, towels, personal care, food, medicine, and transportation have been given to those displaced or homeless.

All of us at MAP would like to thank the community donors including United Way of the Lakeshore, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, Meijers, and many generous individuals for giving to us. We wouldn't be able to continue our work without this support.

The pandemic is not over, but we promise that MAP will be there to help every step of the way. Stay home. Stay safe.

“If you don’t use it, you lose it,” says Madonna Borgerding, a high-energy volunteer that runs the clothing pantry at Mission for Area People.

Madonna has been working at MAP since 1996 after retiring from her job at Sealed Power of 41 years. In 1997, the clothing pantry began giving out free clothes to those in need. The space was moved and expanded on the 3rd floor of Temple United Methodist Church on Jefferson Street in Muskegon Hts. The pantry has free clothes, shoes, jackets, toys, and household items.

Madonna is proud of what’s been done. “The only reason I have been here for over 20 years is that I’ve seen what we have done for people. It’s been more than once, I got a big hug and a big thank you telling me that without us, they don’t know what they would have done.” She’s enjoyed the people she’s worked with and considers it a privilege and a blessing.

The pantry has recently opened again to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Due to COVID-19, a limited number of people will be allowed to shop at the same time and a face mask is required. Household items are needed and donations may be dropped off at 2500 Jefferson Street.

Since many of the Fourth of July’s festivities have been canceled, a few of MAP’s volunteers decided to make their own fun. This group of church friends call themselves “The Penguins” and have been a staple workforce at Mission for Area People for years. Without their extra hands, MAP could not function and do all the programs they do. Although the food pantry remains open with curbside pickup, due to COVID-19’s social distancing, regular operations are limited.

Diana Wright-Stubbs, Executive Director at MAP, knows that limited operations means her “penguins” miss each other. “They came into MAP all dressed-up in Red, White, and Blue to celebrate July 4th and eat cupcakes,” said Diana. “It’s been a long few months and we miss our ladies helping out.” 

The name Penguins comes from the book "Our Iceberg is Melting," which discusses how to successfully come together to solve community conditions. A few of the congregation at Central United Methodist Church read the book and that was the beginning. Since then, the group has worked at MAP’s clothing and food pantries, newsletters, mailings, Christmas and Thanksgiving baskets and gifts, Feet & Seat Covers, and anything else that needs to be done. 

To learn more about how you can get involved with volunteer opportunities at MAP, please call our office at 231-733-9672.

Pictured from left to right are Diana Wright-Stubbs, Carol Higginson, Kay Fairfield, Julie Husted, Sue Zack, Sally Wibalda, and Linda Roberts. Please note that the women pictured are only a portion of the Penguins and the group is much larger and should be acknowledged for their hard work. Thank you to all the Penguins!