Michigan Medicine community comes together to give back

September 29, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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Every year, members of the Michigan Medicine community come together to give Washtenaw County neighbors a brighter school year — and a brighter future.

This year proved to be no different, with donations of a record-setting number of school and other supplies to students and families in the community.

Employees donated 347 backpacks, 159 boxes stuffed with school supplies — including various markers, crayons, notebooks, glue sticks and calculators — and hundreds of pairs of underwear and socks, which were identified as a significant need this year.

“The results of this year’s campaign are tremendous, once again reflecting the kindness and compassion of the Michigan Medicine community,” said Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the U-M Health System. “I am so proud of the energy and teamwork on display to help others pursue their goals and dreams.”

The supplies will be donated to three local organizations — the Education Project for Homeless Youth, the Ozone House and the Community Action Network. Those agencies will be tasked with identifying children and families in need and the school supplies will then be distributed directly to each one.

The generosity of Michigan Medicine employees was certainly appreciated by the organizations who stand to benefit.

“We are continually impressed with the outpouring of support from the Michigan Medicine community,” said Dawn Espy, program manager of the Education Project. “Because of their support, we can help provide a healthy and positive educational experience for youth in our community who need it the most.”

A representative of Community Action Network said the supplies equip children to be better prepared for success in the classroom.

“We serve some of the most under-resourced families in Washtenaw County and the impact this can have on children is immense,” said Louey Guillen, deputy director for CAN. “No child wants to go to school and feel like they are unprepared for what is required of them. A donation like this makes sure they go to school with a full backpack and ready to learn.”

‘Overwhelming support’ for Maggie’s Marketplace

In addition to the school supply drive, faculty and staff were also asked to support Maggie’s Marketplace, a first-of-its-kind food pantry located within the Ypsilanti Health Center. The pantry helps patients facing food insecurity get the nutrition they need for themselves and their families.

Monetary donations to Maggie’s totaled $3,340, enough to fund the pantry for more than five months.

“We are so very grateful and can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to the members of our dynamic Michigan Medicine community,” said Ladele Cochran, administrative manager of the Ypsilanti Health Center. “From the day we opened, we have felt overwhelming support from our colleagues. We have removed the stigma of the need to access healthy food and are addressing food insecurity, which is a real barrier to proper health care. Our work has already touched thousands of lives and the latest wave of donations will allow us to impact many more in the future.”

Click here for more information on Maggie’s Marketplace and click through the photo gallery above to see photos of Michigan Medicine team members helping to gather donated school supplies.

Thank you for all you do to support our neighbors in need!

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