Surviving Michigan Winters
Emerging from the holidays and slogging through the remaining days of winter means that many of the calls for help on our 1-800 referral line are tough ones. Veterans facing financial challenges leading to loss of heat can be as devastating as eviction notices. The blessing and the curse of expanding Buddy-to-Buddy into helping ALL Veterans, regardless of branch, era, or discharge status, is that there are times in which some of the Veterans we work with are not eligible for assistance from the resources we typically rely on. Truly, in some cases, there is very little we can do to help.
Kate braving the cold to clear the sidewalk
However, the B2B staff are doing our best to ensure we pass along relevant resources for your use, especially for those Veterans whose paperwork can make eligibility a challenge. As you encounter Veterans who are at risk of losing heat in their homes, please consider some of the following options to help: 

  1. THAW works with several utility providers in the state of Michigan and is a nice one-stop-shop for applying for multiple assistance programs: www.thawfund.org/programs 
  2. emPower through TruNorth offers assistance to low-income Michiganders struggling to keep the heat on. The number of requests they’re getting this year means that there is a daily cap. Applicants may be asked to reapply the next day if the cap is reached. Keep trying: www.tnempower.org
  3. Consumers Energy has programs to help avoid shut-off, winter protection plans, payment arrangements, etc. Several of the links within the Consumers website may be helpful to you when you're working with Veterans who need this kind of help: www.consumersenergy.com
  4. State emergency relief may be available through MDHHS: www.michigan.gov/mdhhs

Lastly, even those of us who are blessed with a warm bed to sleep in each night can find this time of year draining. Thankfully, this is a distant photo of me – look closely, and you’ll see me growling about clearing snow, AGAIN. We’re missing you up here, “snowbird” Buddies!

Long winters can mean short tempers – make certain you’re finding time to recharge before continuing to engage with those who need our help. 

As always, thanks for doing what you do.

Kate
Volunteer Veteran of the Month
Sal Cutino was our Volunteer of the Month for December! After retiring from the Air Force Dental Corp in 2014, Sal knew he wanted to find a way to work with Veterans. This spurred him to search online for an organization that would enable him to help fellow Veterans, and that’s how he found Buddy-to-Buddy. Sal has now been a Volunteer Veteran since December 2016, and throughout this past year he’s been an excellent resource for program staff to refer Veterans needing dental care. Read more about Sal...
Month in Review | December 2017
December referrals:
Top interaction log submitters in December:

Steve Alguire - 15
Mark Lindke - 13
Brandon Dunlap - 8
Dick Overton - 7
Jon Luker - 6
Richie Roberts - 6

Most events attended and logged in December:

Paul Clement - 4
Bruce Binns - 2
Mark Lindke - 2
John Snyder - 2
Thank you for taking the time to submit your logs and using the website to communicate with us. These submissions are key in helping us continue to serve Michigan’s veterans.
This Month's Training Anniversaries
The following volunteers are celebrating their training anniversaries with the program this month: 

Eight Years!
Eric Jackson

Seven Years
Brad Blanchard
Stoney Summey

Six Years
Michael Mayse

Five Years
Ron Springer

Three Years
Mike Bachand

One Year
Robert Calhoun
Crystal Bersche

Thank you for your service! 
Farewell to Cassandra Parks
Cassandra Parks, one of our Administrative Assistants, recently worked her last day at Buddy-to-Buddy because she is moving out of state. We wish her well in all her future endeavors!

If you need assistance with anything Cassandra was helping you with, please contact Jamie Majer at (734) 998-5825 or jmajer@umich.edu .
Need Any New Program Supplies? Let Us Know!
If you are running low on program supplies, such as business cards, brochures, or other documents, please contact Jamie Majer at (734) 998-5825 or jmajer@umich.edu and the supplies will be ordered and sent to you as soon as possible.
Program Merchandise for Sale
Don't forget that we have men's and women's hoodies, vests, and long sleeve shirts for sale! If you’d like to look these items over, along with other merchandise items available for sale, visit Ivy Promotion’s website . If you’d like assistance placing your order, please call Jamie Majer here at B2B, (734) 998-5825, and she will complete the order form with you.
Save the Date for the 2018 Volunteer Recognition Event!
Mark your calendars! Our 2018 Volunteer Recognition Event will be held at the Yankee Air Museum in Belleville on Saturday, April 7 . We will send more information as the date gets closer. It will be an event not to be missed!
Interested in Representing Buddy-to-Buddy at an Event?
Would you like to represent Buddy-to-Buddy at a veteran-focused event in your community? Do you know of an event that you think someone from Buddy-to-Buddy should attend? If so, contact Outreach Coordinator Nathan Cross at crossna@umich.edu or (734) 998-5827. 
Buddy-to-Buddy is part of Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN), a portfolio of military mental health programs within the University of Michigan Depression Center.
Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program
2025 Traverwood Dr., Suite C | Ann Arbor | MI | 48105