E-Newsletter from October 1, 2020
Dear Friends of We Care INC,

Here at We Care, we are already gearing up for the holidays!  This year the coming holidays will look a bit different with social distancing, masks, and separation from loved ones. But we're excited that we are still able to serve those in need in our community. 

When Cynthia called our office, she was struggling to find hope and didn't know what to do.  She had been reduced to part time hours at her job due to COVID and with three children, she needed help.  After calling our office at the end of March, our staff was able to help her apply for unemployment, receive food and meals from the pantry and Open Door ministry weekly, and get the personal hygiene products she needed so her limited paycheck could go to pay bills.  A month later, she called us to see if there was any help to fill her propane tank.  We worked with her and her case worker, and she was able to receive a full tank. 

So a few weeks ago when we started looking at our holiday programs, we immediately thought of Cynthia!  Our volunteer gave her a call to see if she'd like a Thanksgiving or Christmas Meal basket, or participate in our Christmas gifts program(s) for her kids.  She broke down in tears and said that she couldn't even begin to thank us enough for all we had done, and now to help her with this as well - she was so grateful and appreciative.  Although she was working a few more hours each week, she had so many bills to catch up on that she was still so tight on funds.  She said that these holiday ministries really help and it gave her the motivation she needed to continue to work and get caught up.  What a blessing - for her, for the donors and for our community.

We continue to make a difference in our community through this remarkable organization.  No matter what you're going through, there is always a sliver lining.  Take time this season to see the beauty and blessings around you - of fall, the changing colors of the landscape, and enjoying family and friends even if it's via Zoom...  I pray that we will all see the blessings and find contentment during this holiday season, for “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”*

Blessed because of your continued support,

Erika Morrison
Executive Director, We Care INC

*Philippians 4:12
Auction fund-raiser going on now! 

The Downtown Association South Haven is auctioning paddles to benefit We Care.  They are beautiful, hand painted paddles created by numerous gifted individuals throughout our community. Pictured above are some of over 25 paddles to bid on!


Visit www.32auctions.com/paddles2020 to learn more and to bid on the paddle that you want to win.There's a paddle for every home, don't wait! 

Thank you, DASH! 

Thanksgiving and Christmas Meal Baskets

Would you like the opportunity to make a difference this holiday season?  You can provide a meal basket to a family in need during the holidays.  Check our website for items needed and for ways you can give a special meal. E-mail Lynn@wecare-inc.org to sign up to receive or donate.

www.wecare-inc.org/holiday-programs

E-Newsletter from August 1, 2020

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

Milton Berle, Comedian


Dear We Care Friends,

The last five months have been a crazy ride.  As an essential service, with over 12 pantries and programs still being utilized during the COVID-19 crisis, we have been busy.  We are getting over 1000 requests for help each month, and have been able to meet every single one.  This was no small feat and it was because of the support we have received from you - our community. 

We Care is working hard to "build doors" - that is, finding new ways to provide for the needs of our neighbors during this stressful time for so many in our community.  The USDA is subsidizing products from participating retailers, to go to food pantries.  We have been consistently receiving 144 boxes of dairy products through Prairie Farms Dairy and 60-75 boxes of meats through Gordon Food services each week, distributed through our pantries.  That is a lot of families served!  This takes many volunteers, time and space to be able to host these distributions.  We would like to thank Senior Services, Moore Pharmacy, Country House Furniture, Pennzoil, First Congregational Church and Sacred Heart Catholic Church for helping make this a successful opportunity to help our neighbors in need. (Pictured above, top center and bottom left)

We have also been busy writing grants to help supplement the donations we have received.  We had several grants from the Southwest Michigan Cares program, thanks in part to the South Haven Community Foundation and United Way of Southwest Michigan. We also received a grant from AT&T for our Covert Food Pantry at Lily of the Valley Church; grants and donations from the Rotary Club of South Haven; Meijer for our food pantries; and more.  We appreciate their support and the funds received are directly applied to helping those in our community who are struggling.

Our Medical Equipment loan program has been wonderfully facilitated by Casco United Methodist Church.  We have appreciated them and the coordinators over the last decade - Carl and Joyce Andrews and Larry and Kathy Yankee - that made this program so successful.  The We Care office will be assuming the coordinating aspect and welcome your donations and requests for equipment. (Pictured above, bottom right)

We started a new fiscal year on July 1st.  All donations are tax-deductible and all funds go to help our neighbors in need.  Ready to make an impact on your community?  Go to www.wecare-inc.org/donate to make a donation!

We also have a brand-new website!  Take a minute to learn all about We Care and see the new pictures and exciting things.  Visit www.wecare-inc.org to learn more about who we are, what we do, our ministries and programs, and location.

If you need anything or know someone who does, please give us a call.  We are here to help and we want to bring you encouragement and hope.

All our love and support,

Erika Morrison
Executive Director, We Care INC
269-637-4342
erika@wecare-inc.org

We Care would like to thank the following people for helping to collect thousands of Personal Hygiene Products throughout the South Haven Community.  The May Day collection benefited the We Care pantry located at First Assembly of God in South Haven.
  • Scott, Harrison and Garrett Smith 
  • MaryLou Callan 
  • Eduardo Crotte 
  • Doug Ploen
  • Chad LaRowe
  • Gayle and Jim Slattery
  • Norm and Carol Bailey 
  • Joan Hiddema
  • Art and Kris Ayers
  • Julie Ludwig
  • Bev and Larry Brown
  • Donna and Ron Goodrich
  • Dani and David Veenstra
  • Mary Gahan
  • Nancy Van Wynen
  • Mary Taie
  • Corban and Eli Morrison
  • And Rosalie Plechaty, for coordinating the event on behalf of We Care INC.


COVID-19 RESPONSE

Updated on June 12, 2020

We are so excited to open our office beginning June 15th (June 16th for Bangor).  Due to the COVID-19 crisis, our offices have been closed for over 2 months and we've been working hard to assist all needs over the phone and directly through our pantries. 

Although this triage-approach has worked, it has been far from ideal.  Two of We Care's Core Values are hospitality and volunteerism.  We've been able to enact both due to the shut-down of our state.

Now, we are able to reopen safely to volunteers, staff and donors.  We will still be available to everyone by phone - 269-637-4342 (South Haven) or 269-427-9581.  And hopefully, we will be able to reopen to everyone on Monday, July 6th!  We can't wait to see everyone again!  (Please see guidelines below as they will be in place for all those coming to our offices.)

Thank you for your patience and support during this time!

Love and blessings to each of you,
Erika Morrison
Director, We Care INC


 

Updated on May 13, 2020

Dear Friends of We Care INC, In order to remain a safe place for all of our community, we want to share with your what we are doing to promote good health in our area. In response to the COVID-19, influenza, strep throat and other communicable diseases, We Care In the Name Christ has implemented the following:

· Within the We Care offices -

o All surfaces, doorknobs and pulls, phones, keyboards, office equipment, etc. will be wiped down frequently throughout the day.

o Hand sanitizer will be mandatory upon entry and exit.

o Gloves will be made available to everyone coming into the office.

o We will be utilizing closed containers for beverages.

o Masks must be worn at all times.

o All staff and volunteers must remain six feet away from each other at all times.

· We are following the State of Michigan protocols and recommend that our community follow them as well:

o Hand washing is mandatory after every interaction.

o No handshakes.

o Stay home when you are sick.

· We Care is open to phone calls only. Our office is closed to walk-ins. You can contact us at 269-637-4342 in South Haven, 269-427-9581in Bangor.

· We encourage our PANTRIES AND MINISTRIES to do the following:

o Have curbside pick-up only; no indoor service.

o Use face-masks and gloves.

o Load all groceries and products into plastic bags and carry to the car so that the family does not have to get out, and place in the trunk of the car.

· We urge our VOLUNTEERS to:

o Stay home if you feel uncomfortable coming into the office or pantries/ministries.

o If you have any signs of upper respiratory issues, please stay home.

· For our CHURCH and COMMUNITY PARTNERS, the State of Michigan recommends cancelling all indoor gatherings. Consider utilizing YouTube or other online platforms for your services or events indefinitely.

We Care remains committed to providing a safe place for our community and those in need. Therefore, we want to be the place of encouragement during this time of uncertainty. As Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” We are here for you; please let us know if we can help in any way. From all of us at We Care,

Erika Morrison

Director, We Care INC 06321 Blue Star Hwy. | South Haven, MI | 49090 269-637-4342x101 (office) | 269-351-2803 (cell) | 269-427-9581 - Bangor Office www.wecare-inc.orG.

E-Newsletter from June 1, 2020
E-News Letter: June 1, 2020 - "On the Bright Side."

Fom the Director

Dear We Care Friends,

Every cloud has a silver lining.  During this crisis in our community, state and world, it is hard to see the blessings through the burdens of unemployment, loss, need, stress, fear and discouragement.  There are so many people who are hurting, it can seem that any act of kindness is just a small drop in an ocean of need. I encourage you to always be on the look out for small glimpses of joy, of hope, and of deep peace because I guarantee that they are there.


We had an example of this just last week.  Michael walked into the Personal Hygiene pantry in South Haven on a Wednesday.  One of the volunteers walked up to him with a warm smile and asked how he was doing.  Mike responded that he was great!  In fact, he wasn't there to get anything, but wanted to make a donation instead. 

"You all have always been here for me. I know that whenever I have a need, I can come and you'll help me," he said.  "I'm doing good now, and I have a good job, but I know there are a lot of people who are struggling.  I want to help them out, because I know what it's like.  Thank you for blessing me!" And he handed the volunteer $50 and with a big grin and an air-hug, headed out the door.  The volunteer immediately went and told the rest of the crew and everyone sat for a minute humbled at this small but powerful act of genuine blessing and kindness.  

Taking notice of these bright spots in a dark time requires very little effort, but simply a desire to see the good in the world around us.   When things seem bleak, it is then that it is the most important.  God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of  power and love (2 Timothy 1:7).  When these two things mix, it's a wave of blessing for everyone around it.

In this dark time, we are here for you.  There is no act of kindness and love that is too small.  Each one makes a huge difference.  If you'd like to give back or have a need, please give us a call.  And if we can't help, we'll find someone who can.  Maya Angelou said it best, "Open your eyes to the beauty around you, open your mind to the wonders of life, open your heart to those who love you and always be true to yourself."

Take care, dear friends -
Erika Morrison
Director, We Care INC

NEWS AND NOTES


MAY DAY COLLECTION
THANK YOU
to all our generous supporters.  May 1st, or May Day was celebrated with an all-community collection benefiting our personal hygiene pantry in South Haven.  We can't thank you enough for all that you donated!  The pantry was pretty much empty, but you filled it back up.  Thank you from all of us at the pantry and We Care.

 



 
GOLF FUNDRAISER
Our Golf Outing 2020 fundraiser may be cancelled, but we have the privilege to auction off a round of golf for four players at the Warren Course at Notre Dame.  Here is a letter from the Chairman Joe Guiltinan:

"To all golfers who support We Care:

Last year’s We Care Golf Outing benefited We Care's 35 pantries and ministries by raising over $9000. We thank you for your support. Although we had to cancel this years golf outing in light of the Covid-19 virus, in preparation for the event we had obtained a complementary round or golf for 4 (including carts) at the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame – the site of last year’s Senior US Open.   

To help support We Care, we are auctioning this item online. The certificate is valid through November 22, 2020. Tee times can be made online up to two weeks in advance or click here for more info on the course: Warren Golf Course.

To place a bid, send an email to Erika Morrison at We Care (erika@wecare-inc.org).  Bids must be received at We Care by midnight June 14. The minimum bid that will be considered is $200. On June 15, we will notify all bidders of the result of the auction. If two or more bidders have submitted identical high bids, each will have a chance to bid again. The person placing the winning bid will receive the certificate by mail.

If you are not interested in making a bid, please consider forwarding this email to a friend who might have an interest.

Thanks again for all your past support.

Joe Guiltinan, We Care Golf Outing Chairman"

 
To all our donors -
 Thank you for your generous donations during this Covid-19 crisis.  Because of you, we have been able to meet over 1000 needs a month - we have over doubled the amount of needs we meet each month.  Your support allows us to continue this much needed work in our community, providing food, shampoo, laundry detergent, soap, utility help, a listening ear and so much more.  We can't do it with out and we are SO grateful for you!  

We are excited to announce that the We Care offices will have a soft open starting June 15th (Bangor office will open June 16th).  Although the triage-type way we've been doing things has been working during this crisis, we have missed seeing our volunteers, clients and being together in person.  We will be open to phone calls and donor walk-ins, however will be closed to client walk-ins until July 1st, when we will be open to everyone - as long as things continue to progress well with our state.  This will give us time to make sure we have everything arranged and situated for a safe and sanitized return for everyone.  We will also have some new procedures in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.  Thank you for your patience and support during this time!
ANNUAL REPORT 2019



We Care INC