Doing the Right Thing with Love

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Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The old law about an ‘eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind.  The time is always right to do the right thing.”  He also said, “Hate cannot drive out hate.  Only love can do that.”

We are blessed in Lenawee with people, who have been doing the right thing and sharing their love for each other.  It’s been going on for decades, but recently, individuals and organizations have really stepped up.

The reaction to the COVID-19 Response Fund has been overwhelming.  Please join me in celebrating those, who have shared their compassion with our community.

  • Service Organizations – Adrian Rotary (Noon), Adrian Morning Rotary, Athena Lenawee, Kappa Kappa Epsilon, Kiwanis Club of Adrian, Kiwanis Club of Tecumseh, Legacy Arbor of Gleaner Life, Lenawee YOUTH Council, Rotary District 6400 Lenawee Clubs (Adrian AM & Noon, Blissfield, Clinton & Tecumseh), and Zonta International of Lenawee.
  • Businesses & Organizations – Adrian Dominican Sisters, County National Bank, First Federal Bank, Gleaner Life Insurance Society, Midwest Energy & Communications, Old National Bank, TLC Community Credit Union.
  • Foundations – Consumers Energy Foundation, DTE Foundation, S.L. Hickman Family Foundation, Sage Foundation, Maurice and Dorothy Stubnitz Foundation, and The J.F. Ervin Foundation.
  • In-Kind Gifts – Meijer contributed over $1,000 of disinfectant wipes and spray, and paper towels, while Mammoth Distilling donated 40 gallons of hand sanitizer to share with local nonprofits.
  • Individuals – More than $46,000 has been donated from caring individuals.

All gifts are appreciated, and the first $75,000 was doubled with matching funds from the Lenawee Cares endowment.  10% of Lenawee Cares gifts are set aside for the future, when needs are greatest.  Although the endowment had just been started in 2016, the Lenawee Cares Advisory Board believed that the pandemic demonstrated a time of urgent need that required immediate action.

The first grants were distributed on March 23.  To date $169,975 has been granted to local nonprofits to help our neighbors in need, as follows:

  • $78,500 to food pantries and meal programs
  • $20,000 for utility assistance
  • $10,000 for rent, mortgage, or temporary housing
  • $30,810 to shelters
  • $30,665 to other needs including $3,730 for tele-med counseling; $12,165 for 100 agency boxes containing PPE and cleaning supplies; $10,000 for childcare scholarships for essential workers whose young children were not in school; and $4,770 for unmet needs, such as prescriptions or gas cards.

Additional gifts are welcome.  Go to www.lenaweecf.com, click on Donate Now, put in an amount, and then in the note to seller, type COVID-19, before completing your payment information.  Or, checks can be mailed to Lenawee Community Foundation, P.O. Box 142, Tecumseh, MI 49286 with COVID-19 on the memo line.  For volunteer opportunities, call us at (517) 423-1729.

Martin Luther King Jr. also said, “I believe that unconditional love will have the final word.”  For you, who are working with local nonprofits, volunteering to help your neighbors, or making donations, the final word is yours!   May your kindnesses spread love that never ends! 
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Suann Hammersmith, President and CEO of the Lenawee Community Foundation.