Thanks to all who came together for Community Connect

Bouquets & Barbs

Bouquet: Thanks to this community’s generosity, the Community Connect Event was a hit. The amount of winter clothing, blankets, children’s clothing, small kitchen appliances, pillows, boots, hats, mittens, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, sheets, towels, etc., was more than any previous year’s donations.

Items were collected at 12 different collection sites, involving Grace United Methodist/Bethany Lutheran, Immaculate Conception, Redemption Hill, Our Savior’s Lutheran, First Lutheran, Wild Rivers Realty, DICSA, Calvary Lutheran, YMCA, Bianco’s Fitness and Corner Stone Church. Thirty-four volunteers gave of their energy and time to collect the items from these sites; these volunteers coming from every walk of life — young people, retirees, bankers, business owners and operators, human resources and others. It could not have happened without all of these people.

Not only were there more donations, there were more service providers at the event — 21 in all: Great Start, DICSA, Michigan Veterans Affairs Association, Northpointe Behavioral Health, Dickinson Iron District Health Department, Iron Mountain-Kingsford Community Schools, Superior Alliance for Independent Living, The Salvation Army, Light at the Inn, Redemption Hill, Mothers of Preschoolers, Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District-Head Start, Medical Care Access Coalition/Prescription Assistance, Michigan State Police, MSU Extension, UPCAP, Caring House, Michigan Works!, Forever Friendship, Office of Veteran Affairs; and Child and Family Services of the UP.

We were able to help 175 families as a result. To see the faces on the people who came to see what service providers are in this community and then to come into the “free store” and pick up what they needed, at no cost to them, was priceless. One young man found a pair of steel-toed workboots that fit perfectly — he plopped right down on the floor, put them on, laced them up and wore them home, beaming. Others found a winter coat in just the right size and a color they loved, their face broke out in a huge smile as they turned to their friend and said, “Look what I found!” A family who lost their home due to a fire found a comforter that matched a set of curtains someone had given them — again, they beamed.

And all of this was done with a very small amount of money: Dickinson Area Community Foundation granted us a $250 mini-grant; Thrivent Financial provided a $250 Action Team Grant. It was amazing.

Thank you to the community for your generous spirit.