Grants help drive improvements in St. Johns’ parks

By Jason Dunn
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — The city of St. Johns has seen a steady intake of state-allocated grant money to complete various projects across the city. For small towns like St. Johns though, grant money drives large scale projects; without it, they would probably not be completed.

Clean water is all about effective stewardship in Meridian Township

By Julie Campbell
Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Michigan is no stranger when it comes to water crises. The poisonous water throughout Flint has been one of the top stories across the country as of late. There are have been many fundraisers and donations across the country, especially in Michigan, in order to help Flint with their tragedy. However, Meridian Township realizes that they must not only help Flint, but also take action to prevent something like this happening to them in the near future. It can happen to any community.

Area thrift stores, shelters affected by unusually cold winter

Subzero temperatures this winter have made it tough for secondhand stores and homeless shelters in Lansing, not because of a greater demand for their services but because volunteers hesitated to venture out to donate their belongings or their time. Donations lacking

Debra Kelly, the assistant manager at Hidden Treasures Thrift Store, said that the store’s goal is to “be real and resourceful and meet all the needs” regardless of the season. “Whether it’s the winter or summer, there are so many in need,” she said.  “The demand is much greater than the supply.”

Kelly said that the cold winter significantly limited donations compared to what the store normally receives at this point in the year. “The cold has kept people kind of in a slumber,” she said.  “The ice storms, the winter, the cold weather – it’s the same for most of the surrounding retail in the community.”

This is certainly true for Upscale Thrift, a secondhand store operated through the City Rescue Mission, according to employee Hannah Hall. “I think that the cold weather and the amount of snow on the roads definitely affected business,” Hall said.

Capital Area Humane Society receives new funding

Forms of funding

 “I have been here longer than any other dog.  Please give me my second chance,” a sign reads on the cage of 7-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback/Redbone Coonhound-mix Zoie. Fortunately for animals like Zoie, things are looking up: Capital Area Humane Society received new grant funding, and adoption rates and volunteer numbers are high. The humane society, located at 7095 W. Grand River Ave., is not funded by government.  “We’re completely independent,” said development, events and grant manager Jamie Fuhr.  “We don’t take tax money or anything like that.”

Fuhr said that their funding is comprised exclusively of donations from the public and the fees they collect for their services, including their adoption and spay and neuter fees. PetSmart Charities recently awarded Capital Area Humane Society a $135,000 grant payable over two years, according to Fuhr. “This grant will end up spaying and neutering about 2,400 cats,” Fuhr said.  “And this is actually the second phase that we’re doing.”  Two years ago, they received a grant that allowed them to spay and neuter 2,800 cats.

Typhoon victims got less, still need international aid

By BECKY McKENDRY
Capital News Service
LANSING – When Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda, devastated the Philippines last month, Americans sprang into action. Just not as many as expected, according to a national report. Compared to other recent international disasters like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 tsunami in Japan, fewer Americans paid attention to news of the typhoon and are donating to relief efforts, according to the Pew Research Center report. At least over 55 percent of Americans reported “very closely” following the earthquake in Haiti and tsunamis in Japan and the Indian Ocean. Only 32 percent of Americans report following Typhoon Haiyan.

Bath to provide library center for community members

Bath is set to welcome a new addition that could potentially open doors for many of the citizens – their own library center. Bath Library Center, a satellite site of Dewitt District Library, will be a small library located within Bath Corners shopping mall. It will offer a wide selection of books for children while working to serve older age groups. Brought together largely by volunteering efforts and donations, the soon to open Bath Library was granted a budget to open. Bath Township Board gave a total of $75,000 to open and supply the center with books and equipment.

When it comes to food, pantries work all year

By BECKY McKENDRY
Capital News Service
LANSING – As food banks and food pantries across the state prepare for the challenges of the holiday season and talk of looming cuts to federal food benefits, there is one message they’d like you to carry well into the new year. People are hungry year-round. “The holidays are a busy time in volunteering and donating,” said Anne Schenk, senior director of advancement at Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan in Detroit. “But sometimes people forget that we have these needs all year.”
Schenk said volunteers and donations tend to taper off in spring and plateau during the summer. That can be especially challenging, as donations are often in high demand when children are on spring and summer breaks – and not receiving meals at school.

Doing Good with Donuts event donates to fundraiser

By Jordyn Timpson
Mason Times staff writer
The smell of doughnuts lingered in the air this weekend at The Open Market’s last event for the year, Doing Good with Donuts. The second-annual event was held at The Cobblestone Events Center at 205 Mason St., on Oct. 8-9, featuring an array of craft booths, as well as a drive for the Hats, Wraps and Mittens fundraiser. Hats, Wraps and Mittens aims to raise winter clothing for Lansing-area residents by asking shoppers to donate handmade, new or gently used winter accessories. Vendor relations and harvest director for the market, Beth Barnes-Young said The Open Market is working with Volunteers of America, but want to be able to give to more than one organization in Ingham County.