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Christmas 2017 Mission for Area People provided gifts to 1,335 children. In addition to the three main gifts per child (over 4,000 gifts), we also gave hats, gloves, and stocking stuffers, so we provided almost 10,000 gifts. For five days, Mission for Area People’s elves were busy setting up gifts, shopping with parents, and wrapping gifts. It is truly a wonderful sight to see.

At the end of the Holiday Toy Shoppe, we found that we didn’t have enough gifts for the teen-agers, ages 15-18 years of age. Salvation Army provides gifts to children infant to 14 years of age and the same for Toys for Tots.

Christmas will change this year at Mission for Area People. We will provide gifts only for teenagers 15-18 years of age. Teenagers are harder and more expensive to buy for, which puts a financial burden on a parent.

Please check the clearance items and put-away for Christmas this year. Items needed:

Watches, colognes, pajama bottoms, jewelry, wallets, purses, gift cards for fast food, iPhone, or music.

With your help, we can provide items for teenagers who might not receive gifts for Christmas.

Thank you for your support.

Mission for Area People just celebrated 50 years of community outreach services! That says volumes for an agency that has grown in programs and services. The one area we have not grown in is new volunteers.

Many of the dedicated volunteers have been at MAP for over 20 years. Which also means they are 20 years older, and some have taken ill, or some have become snowbirds.

This is why your help is needed!!! The programs at Mission for Area People do not run themselves, the director does not run them, nor does the staff. It is the volunteers who keep the programs up and running at MAP. Volunteers are the core of any non-profit, without them, there is no clothing pantry, food pantry, medical support fund, Thanksgiving baskets or Christmas gifts.

The office is in need of volunteers to help database information, screen client requests, and verify information as needed. It is the Administrative Assistant who will oversee and help train in the office.

The pantries are open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. If you have afternoons free, please call Diane at 733-9672. Help make a difference in your community by giving a hand-up.

Mission for Area People would like to welcome the ladies from the Greater Muskegon Service League. Your help on Monday is very much appreciated!

When: Friday, May 11, 2018

Where: Folkert Community Hub Banquet Center,
640 Seminole Road, Muskegon

Time: 7:00—10:00 p.m.

Cost: $30 in advance or a table of 8 for $225

Tickets may be purchased on our website. Serving heavy appetizers, MIPhoto Booth, and dueling pianos featuring Billy Ryan and Matt Giraud.

Cash Bar and Silent Auction.

All proceeds to benefit the Emergency Medical/Dental Fund at Mission for Area People.

Dan and Clarissa's hardship story begins last year when she lost her job in June and he lost his job in July. Clarissa decided to go back to college and get a degree to better her job opportunities. It was hard juggling school full-time, a part-time job, and care for their 12 year-old son who has some challenges of his own.

Things started to look up. Dan got a full-time job and Clarissa graduated and worked two part-time jobs. It seemed as though life was going to get better, and then in August, Dan was given the news he had lung cancer. Dan asked the ultimate question, how much time? The Dr. replied, "Maybe until Christmas". Due to Dan's illness and chemo treatments, he lost his job. Clarissa lost one of her part-time jobs because she needed to be with Dan and take him for chemo to Grand Rapids.

Clarissa didn't know who to turn to when she got the news, so she turned to MAP looking for help with a gas card. After a complete screening and talking with the family, we were able to get a better picture of just how much help the family needed. Not only did they need help with gas cards for medical treatments, they also needed to get a license plate, and needed gas for work. We also discovered they were behind in utility bills, their rent, and needed food and personal care items.

Mission for Area People provided gas cards, the license plate (through the ALICE funds from United Way), food and personal care items, and paid a utility bill (through Flexible Focus funds from United Way). MAP partnered with the Father Jack Foundation to offer some rental assistance after the family was denied assistance by two other community agencies. We are also connecting them with a church for spiritual support.

For many families in our community the smallest event can create turmoil. For Dan and Clarissa, it was a major life change when they got the news.