What is the Warm Your Heart (WHY) Campaign?
In 2001, Father Jim from St. Basil Catholic Church approached We Care's Executive Director at , Linda Olsen and Paul Laydendecker from Cosy FM to help raise funds to provide heat in people's homes. That event became the annual Island Sit on the last Saturday of February.
20 years later, Warm Your Heart expanded to include events throughout the month of February. It also now includes raising funds for all our programs, as we have found that families who need heat, also need these other things, such as food, personal hygiene items, and holiday meals and gifts, etc.
We Care meets over 10,000 needs in our community each year. As a non-profit, we are able to do this equitably so that every need is met. But we can’t do it without the support of the community and this fund-raiser, which provides for more than 85% of our utility assistance budget. The more people, business, churches, restaurants and groups that participate, the more utility bills we can help with – like heat in homes during the cold winter months.
Why is this necessary?
In order to help everyone who comes to our door, We Care relies on donations from individuals, businesses, churches and social organizations. We only receive 10% of our funding through grants. This allows us to be able to serve everyone.
What does We Care do?
Our staff and volunteers provide and create the necessary connections to resources that families and individuals need. We do this intensive work by coordinating services with assistance agencies, businesses, pantries and ministries throughout Michigan. We Care offers over 25 pantries, ministries and programs such as food, personal hygiene, baby items, clothing/housewares/furniture, transportation to medical appointments or work, ramps, medical equipment item loan, holiday meals and gifts, emergency assistance, housing resources, and more