Coping with Coronavirus: An update from Local non-profits

by Patrice Johnson

The coronavirus shutdown is exacting serious impact on all parts of the community, non-profit organizations included. With that in mind, this reporter reached out to leaders of local non-profits for updates. Below are the responses we received.

If your charitable or nonprofit organization is not listed below, please send a few sentences to update SCN. We will do our best to include your information in an upcoming edition. Also, keep in mind, if your organization has an event to advertise, SCN would appreciate your financial support. Items are published in our “Community Calendar” at no-charge as a public service. Contact Stockbridgecommunitynews@gmail.com.

Faith and Other Community Leaders Group of Stockbridge (FOCL)

by Ginny Rezmierski

Our FOCL group distributed a flyer on “Food Resources” for the Stockbridge Area in March, inserted in the food packages from Outreach, Open Air Market, the Fourth Friday dinner at First Pres and via the schools. This month we have a flyer on “Mental Health Resources” for the Area. Please distribute these to members of your congregations and others as widely as you are able.

“We are beginning to roll-out information about the medical, dental and counseling services that are available to members of the community from the Center for Family Health (CFH) in Jackson. Brochures about CFH’s medical, dental, transportation, and Covid 19 testing services will be delivered to the churches and other locations. Contact ver@umich.edu or Stockbridge pastors at stockb.faith.leaders@umich.edu.

Open Air Market of Stockbridge

by Suzi Greenway

The Open Air Market of Stockbridge is so grateful to all the patrons who have come to the market since opening this month. We have so many new customers and our vendors are working very hard to meet the demand for fresh local food. How fortunate to have such a wonderful community to be able to serve.

Contact OAM, P.O. Box 382, Stockbridge, MI 49285, 517-851-7437, suznort@juno.com, and we’re on Facebook.

Parent Teacher Organization and Panther Cubs

by Jill Ogden, President

The effects of the virus have brought the PTO to almost a complete standstill. We are still holding regular meetings to take care of a few business matters and maintaining our social media presence, but otherwise our hands are tied. We have been trying to figure out ways to help the staff and students but have decided the best thing we can do right now is start looking toward the future and what things are going to be like next school year.

Potential education budget cuts have us examining the best way we can have the most impact in the schools. Most of our fundraisers are centered around large events and we are brainstorming other ways to bring in revenue such as a pledge program or membership. If you would like to donate to the Panther cubs PTO, donations can be accepted through our PayPal account at panthercubs851@gmail.com. Contact: jillredfield1@gmail.com.

 Stockbridge Area Arts Council (SAAC)

by Dick Borden

The Stockbridge Area Arts Council has cancelled Stockbridge Festival Chorus rehearsals and fall concert performance. The annual June Art Show has been been put on hold but may happen in the fall.

Our summer arts study scholarship has been awarded but remains unused. We are pleased that the Friday Marketplace Music series which receives our support is going on as scheduled. We have postponed our annual fundraiser but gratefully accept donations, which may be sent to Stockbridge Area Arts Council, PO Box 194, Stockbridge, MI 49285. We look forward to resuming a regular schedule of public events as soon as possible.” Contact trombonerichard@yahoo.com or taylor_nancy@yahoo.com.

The Stockbridge Area Garden Club

Contact risnerco@gmail.com or mail the Stockbridge Garden Club, P.O. Box 612, Stockbridge, MI 49285.

 5 Healthy Towns Foundation (5HF)

by CEO Amy Heydlauff

With Wellness Centers [Stockbridge Area Wellness Coalition (SAWC)] closed and the stock market depressed, we have no operating income. Although we prefer not to dip into the funds intended to serve future generations’ health and wellness needs, we are able to do so and have.

We also secured a Small Business Administration payroll protection loan that allowed us to pay most of our wellness center and Foundation employees. Foundation employees have been on the job and working hard throughout the pandemic.

We are only able to fund critical programs. We intend to pick up funding where we left off, as soon as we can. We hope with the opening of the wellness centers the cash flow will allow us to restart all funding.

Even without funding we’ve been working to connect people, programs and information. Our social media and other media presence, in an effort to share information, remains strong. Contact: 734-433-4599, www.5healthytowns.org, or https://www.facebook.com/5healthytowns/

Stockbridge Community News (SCN)

by Patrice Johnson

SCN is experiencing a significant drop in revenues due to the coronavirus and has been operating at a loss for the past two months. By vote of the board, our print and online editions will continue to provide consistent, quality news and information to the local community throughout the crisis and hopefully for years to come. Donations are welcomed and appreciated, now more than ever.

Operationally, SCN has suffered few ill effects during the pandemic. Our dozens of volunteers work from home and communicate via the internet. SCN’s board of directors now meets online monthly instead of in-person meetings, and thanks to Google Hangouts, the process is flowing smoothly. We are grateful to the community for its continued support. Contact SCN, P.O. Box 83, Gregory, MI 48137. Email: stockbridgecommunitynews@gmail.com.

Stockbridge Community Outreach

by Jo Mayer

Stockbridge Community Outreach operations have been dramatically affected by the pandemic. We have seen a marked increase in demand for food, and we are striving to meet the needs of the community by allowing weekly visits to the pantry and reducing the amount of paperwork necessary to receive services—just show up outside our doors between 1-3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays and call the office and a volunteer will bring the food out to your vehicle. We expect to be operating this way through June and are working on a phased in reopening of our other services. We ask that our clients—or anyone in need who resides in the Stockbridge Community School district—call our office at 517-851-7285 if they need assistance with food, utilities, prescriptions, transportation, referrals or anything else.

So far donations to Outreach have kept pace with our increased food costs, for which we are grateful!  Many thanks to all who have generously donated to our efforts and know that we are doing our best to help the community weather this crisis. We are concerned for the future, however, as many of our regular supporters will be feeling the financial effects of this pandemic for a long time, including area churches, Ingham County Commissioners, St. Joe’s Mercy Chelsea, and Enbridge. Also, as suspensions on evictions and utility shut-offs expire, we expect requests for emergency assistance to greatly increase, while demand for food will continue and possibly increase, as well. In light of this, we have decided to go ahead with our annual “Christmas in July” matching donor fundraiser. Our board members have banded together and will match up to $4000 in donations received starting July 1 and ending July 31, 2020. (If a donor would like to send in an early donation, please note on the memo line that it is for the Christmas in July fundraiser.) Donations can be made online at our Facebook page or mailed to Stockbridge Community Outreach, PO Box 682, Stockbridge, MI 49285.

Stockbridge Downtown Development Authority (SDDA)

by Geri Uihlein

The DDA is trying (Need support and vote from the board) to organize something similar to crowd funding in Brighton. (https://www.brightoncity.org/small_town,_big_hearts_initiative_/index.php  www.patronicity.com/brighton.) Would be terrific if all Stockbridge organizations work together on the project. Village, township, chamber, DDA, Stockbridge Community News and any and all nonprofit organizations—basically anyone who cares.”

Uihlien is scheduled to present a plan to the next DDA meeting, May 28. Her goal: “To keep this simple and structured it much the same as the Brighton project.”

Contact guihlein@stockbridgedda.org.

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