By Sue Moore
The season of giving that most of us just experienced during the holidays actually extends throughout the year. Our communities are fortunate to have the caring people who volunteer to keep the nonprofits doing their magic.
This list begins with the Vicksburg Foundation board, which recently announced nearly $250,000 in grants made to 501c3 organizations in south Kalamazoo County.
Some of the nonprofits who received grants in 2014 from the Vicksburg Foundation include:
- Generous Hands
- Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation (VCSF)
- South County Community Services (SCCS)
- Village of Vicksburg: computer upgrades, partial salary of DDA director, weed treatment for Sunset Lake ponds, utility meter system, drainage systems for Township Hall in the Historic Village, school resource officer (three year commitment)
- Village of Schoolcraft: building renovations to the Ladies Library building
- Lending Hands: repair and replacement of medical equipment
- Vicksburg United Way
- Kalamazoo County Sheriff: help with funding K-9 purchase
- Vicksburg Band Boosters: new band uniforms grant match
Frederick Construction continues to give to the community in lots of little and big ways but doesn’t want any publicity. When asked about the opportunity to showcase their contribution, Mike Frederick responded, “We’ve had a good year. We’d rather just keep doing our little bit for this area, without anybody noticing.”
Just for the record, Frederick Construction has made a nice donation to the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation (VCSF). A more visible donation was when he quietly talked to Ken Evensen, the leader of the Thursday Guys who are building the General Store in the Historic Village. He gave Ken the OK to charge whatever materials they needed to complete the project on the company’s account at Big C Lumber in Schoolcraft. Ken, of course, was happy to oblige because he desperately needed materials to enclose the exterior before winter.
Bronson Hospital, Jaspare’s, and Life Story Funeral Homes have also donated recently to the VCSF’s endowment fund, which Warren Lawrence continually promotes. He loves this way of giving because the money will stay in the fund in perpetuity, with the interest on investments used to provide grants to deserving students.
One such grant, was recently given to VHS sophomore Emma Piper who needed financial help. She was selected to play with the Michigan Ambassadors of Music Band. They will play in Europe next summer on a three week tour with band students from all over Michigan. She wrote the following in a thank you to the board of VCSF, “It means so much to me that you are supporting not only this amazing learning opportunity, but once in a lifetime chance. I am very much looking forward to getting to share my experiences with you all.”
Rettenmaier, although a German headquartered, multi-national company, takes just as much community pride, and writes a check each year for the Schoolcraft Friday Pack that feeds youngsters over the weekend who would go without.
It doesn’t end with just giving dollars, it’s the human factor that makes the difference. Volunteers get things done whether behind the scenes or out in front. It would be impossible to name all the volunteerism that goes on in these two villages, but the Eagles Nest folks stand out in Schoolcraft, and the South County Community Services volunteers that serve both communities set the pace.