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.
- 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
- 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!
Mission 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.