The United Way of Northeast Michigan is working to bring the holiday spirit to families across the region, and needs the community’s help to reach their goal. Joe Gentry, executive director of United Way of Northeast Michigan, said “We have to match 400 kids needs with people that are willing to take a kids wish list and go out and purchase the presents and deliver them back before our drop off date which is next week.”
While many in the community have already stepped up to help, there are still over one hundred children still needing to be matched, making now is the perfect time to lend a helping hand. The program has been running for forty five years and serves families from public and parochial schools in Hillman, Johannesburg-Lewiston, Alcona, Atlanta, And Alpena in need with the help of school success workers.“Those school success workers recommend families and kids that have real needs,” said Gentry. “They’re in the houses and see these families that are struggling to get by. So this program is a way to help those families enjoy Christmas and get some of those needs met.”
Families in the program receive anything needed to have a happy holiday season and united way partners with other local organizations to ensure services are not duplicated and all donors’ funds are appropriately utilized.“It’s a way to help people that are truly in need,” said Gentry.
If interested in contributing by shopping for a Christmas wish list or giving a cash donation, you can call the United Way of Northeast Michigan at 989-354-2221 or Cathy, who is in charge of matching donors to families 586-703-4019.