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United Way
United Way of Southwest Michigan

Issue: 5
August 2016
School Supply Spectacular
United Way of Southwest Michigan is helping to ensure children enter school ready to learn by providing 900 free backpacks with grade-level school supplies to low-income families in Cass County.
To make that happen, we need VOLUNTEERS to help us count, sort & organize supplies, pack backpacks with school supplies, and distribute.

Tuesday, August 16 
Supply Organization (10am to 12:30pm)
Friday, August 19
Backpack Packing (10am to 12:30pm)
Saturday, August 20
Backpack Distribution and Feeding America Truck (9am to 1:30pm)

Brookside Learning Center
61682 Dailey Road, Cassopolis 

Sign up to volunteer HERE!
Whirlpool is hosting  Cardboard Boat Races to benefit  United Way of Southwest Michigan  on August  27th. Registration and  additional  information is available  through United Way's  website at:

Deadline is Friday, August 12th, so REGISTER NOW!!
Come out and represent your team colors as you run for a good cause! Register today for the 5K that takes place on Friday, August 12th.  For more information or to register, visit:
Be Healthy Berrien Mobile Farmers Market is making 3-4 different stops everyday through August 12.   The Mobile Pantry is operated by Andrews University, who is working with local farmers to bring more local food into Benton Harbor neighborhoods, businesses, and parks all across the community.

Check out the full schedule on the Be Healthy Berrien website:

American Red Cross is offering FREE CPR/AED Training Classes to Berrien County businesses and organizations through the middle of September, 2016 (minimum of 4 people to a class and max of 14).

Contact Tiana Gee at 269-312-2264 / to schedule your classes today!
CHALK THE BLOCK: Congratulations Zoe Burkett
Zoe Burkett was awarded Best Amateur Artist at the 2016 Chalk the Block in downtown St. Joseph this past weekend.  Her work, sponsored by United Way of Southwest Michigan, was titled "SPLASH."  She was helped out by Alex Lockowitz.   Chalk the Block brought together more than 30 artists from around the country to cover the sidewalks of downtown St. Joseph with chalk art. 

Record Campaign Goal Established for 2016 and Pacesetters Announced
The United Way of Southwest Michigan (UWSM) kicks off its 2016 campaign Monday, September 12, 2016. This year, UWSM has set the Community Fundraising Goal at $4 million.

"United Way is near and dear to my heart and I am honored to be associated with an organization that focuses on improving the lives of our community members by rallying that same community," said 2016 Campaign Chair, Ann Cardon, Superintendent of St. Joseph Public Schools.

Some select companies throughout Southwest Michigan have stepped up to lead the charge for the 2016 annual campaign as United Way Pacesetter companies. Pacesetter companies go above and beyond to not only give the campaign an early boost but set an example by using best practices with their employee campaigns to increase employee participation and dollar amounts raised at their businesses.

"Our $4 million goal is our biggest ever so it will take a tremendous amount of support from our community to get across that goal line. The more support we receive, the greater number of lives we are able to impact," said UWSM President, Anna Murphy. "These are a great group of Pacesetter companies that will certainly provide the leadership for a successful campaign season."

2016 Pacesetters

* AEP, Cook Nuclear Power Plant
* Competitive Edge
* Edgewater Bank
* 1st Source Bank
* Kemner-Iott Agency
* Lakeland Health
* Meijer of Benton Harbor
* Meijer of Stevensville
* Mid-West Family Broadcasting
* United Way of Southwest Michigan
* United Way's Funded Partners
* Walsworth Publishing Company 

For more information on running a United Way campaign, click HERE
Bertha Carson-King Takes Home Margaret B. Upton Volunteer Leadership Award at United Way's Volunteer Recognition Event
By Moody on the Market

Bertha Carson-King has done amazing work in the community of Michigan's Great Southwest, and now she's a King who reigns supreme over the world of volunteerism in our region as the 34th Annual winner of the Margaret B. Upton Volunteer Leadership Award presented in St. Joseph on July 28th. 

Betha received her award from Congressman Fred Upton and Priscilla Upton Byrns representing the Upton family which has been awarding the high honor to top volunteer leaders dating back to 1982. She received a beautifully framed artist rendering of an album cover from her favorite musical artist, Patti LaBelle, as part of The Bluebelles at The Apollo. She will also have $3,500 to award to her favorite non-profit agency. 

Click HERE to read more and to see other winners.
Miss Lattie Just Turned 104!  See her secret to a long and happy life 
Last month, Miss Lattie turned 104-years-young!  Her secret to a long life...learn something new everyday.  Lattie keeps her mind sharp and body active at United Way partner Harbor House Adult Day Services of Child and Family Services.  She loves to stay on the move, enjoys praying for people, and has a life-long passion for singing (a talent she started when she was 5 or 6).  Daily conversations about current events and activities, like cooking buttermilk biscuits, keep her active, engaged, inspired that there is still much more to discover.  If you haven't heard her story yet, click on the video below to MEET LATTIE.

As Honor Credit Union Grows, so does their Commitment to the Community
A UWSM original

It's rare to find a business that is excited about its growth, not because of how it serves their bottom line, but how it serves human kind. That is what Honor Credit Union hopes will be the result of their rapid growth in our area; to help more people in our community. This philosophy proves why Honor and United Way of Southwest Michigan have such a great partnership. The focus is always on 'giving back to the community.' "It's people helping people. The objective is United Way money stays within the community just as a credit union focuses on as well," said Honor CEO and 2015 United Way Campaign Co-Chair, Scott McFarland. "United Way has the ability to pool the funds and create a greater impact because of the matching they allow. They also link many organizations together. You can't discount the work United Way does connecting agencies."

Honor has spent a lot of time over the years becoming an active part of area fundraisers. Perhaps you have seen it. If you have participated in a local run, walk or even office chair race, chances are you have seen the 15 foot high Honor Credit Union inflatable finish line there to greet those that give their time to helping local charitable organizations. Maybe your child loves their Honor Credit Union sunglasses they got for participating in a local charitable event. Or maybe you received an awesome Honor Credit Union coffee tumbler for donating to a cause. In addition to all this, they know the importance of participating. Chances are, if you look at the volunteers at a local event, you will find Honor Credit Union employees happily giving their time on nights and weekends. That is why Honor Credit Union is growing, because they personally invest in us.

"We believe in the communities where we were founded," said Honor CEO and 2015 United Way Campaign Co-Chair, Scott McFarland. "If you're a financial cooperative and truly are one, you give back to the community. The returns are very powerful."

Honor has been running a United Way workplace campaign for over 20 years. They know the dollars they raise are dollars put right back into the community, making a difference on lives in Berrien and Cass. Last year as part of their campaign, they hosted a jeans week, which helped them surpass their goal. A few years back it was a gift basket silent auction that employees bid on which raised over $2,000. Kaylee Williams, Public Relations & Internal Communications Manager at Honor, as well as the 2015 United Way Campaign Co-Chair, recalls the first campaign she was involved with, that consisted of jumping into a frigid Lake Michigan in March as part of a Cold Water Challenge. There's no shortage of creativity at Honor, and the employees know its all part of a greater good.

"Whenever you get a group together to reach a common goal, there is a competitive nature to it, and the fact that you're doing it together is powerful," stated Williams. "Some of our best community events have been a teller's idea. They start in the branches and work their way up."

Outside of the workplace campaign, Honor employees have volunteered with United Way's Day of Action for Seniors and Girls on the Run, and they partnered with United Way by incentivizing the Berrien and Cass county 2015 school campaigns. Their employees have given more than 5,745 of volunteer hours to the community in 2015, supported more than 383 community programs, and awarded $13,000 in scholarships.

"There will always be that local need," stated St. Joseph Branch Manager and 2016 United Way Campaign Cabinet member, Tanya Urias. "Places like the Men's Shelter and Child and Family Services and hearing the stories of what they need makes you want to give more. Our community here at Honor is what sets us apart."

Honor's growth has called for a new corporate headquarters to be constructed right in the middle of our region in Berrien Springs. The new building, just north of the M-139 highway exit off US-31, opened in April of this year with a modern look, resembling something you'd see in Architectural Digest. As you walk in, you see the abundance of space, all necessary to house the more than 105 employees, in a building that has room for more than 200. The continued growth of Honor has led to a massive growth in assets since 2013, and an increase of over 22,000 members; yet, it's the growing amount of work being done in the community that is most important.

For United Way of Southwest Michigan's President, Anna Murphy, it's Honor's continued support for the community that stands out. "We are proud of the relationship we have with Honor. The amount of work that they do around this community, year-in and year-out, really demonstrates the commitment they have of giving back."

United Way