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.
Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce
Thank you to the WDCC for their generous gift to Mission for Area People from the Dancing with the Local Stars fund raiser. It is through their hard work, and generosity, the Healthy Choice food pantry at Mission for Area People, will be supplied with fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein meats and low fat dairy products.
Thank you WDCC for all you do for our community. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Postal Carrier’s Food Drive
Thank you Muskegon and Muskegon Heights Postal Carriers for your hard work during the Postal Carriers food drive on May 13th. Mission for Area People received a tremendous amount of non-perishable canned goods for our pantry.
Thank you for making a difference in our community.
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”:
- A small food pantry where church volunteers pre‐packed a couple of bags of groceries to hand out.
- A small clothing room, with a few tables of clothing for people to choose from.
This is “Now”: Programs established or improved in 2003
- 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.
- Nutrition and cooking classes provided by MSU Extension Service for people who utilize the food pantry more than 4 times per year.
- 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.
- Clothing and household pantry organized just like a clothing store. Patrons may visit twice a month and receive 4 bags each visit.
- 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.
- One hundred Thanksgiving baskets are given away each year to families with children in the home.
- BackPacks for Kids Program. Three hundred children will receive new, filled backpacks to start the new school year.
- Rent and utility assistance as funds allow.
- MAP is a local clearinghouse for churches or agencies to verify the eligibility of clientele.
- Emergency car repairs, gas cards, and car insurance for the working poor.
- 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!