News and Information

News and Information

A time to give is now

By Brandon Shreur, The Daily News on May 5, 2020

For nearly everyone — not just in Montcalm and Ionia counties, but across the entire state, country and world — the past two months have been anything but normal in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
To recognize some of the medical professionals, grocery store clerks and other essential workers who have stepped-up during this time, United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties is teaming up with nonprofit organizations across the country to celebrate #GivingTuesdayNow today. Read more...

Stanton-based churches partner with United Way and Feeding America for food distribution

By Brandon Shreur, The Daily News on May 4, 2020

STANTON — Standing in Central Montcalm High School’s parking lot on Thursday afternoon, Beth Bellows and a number of volunteers from Trinity Church and First Congregational Church in Stanton gathered to hand out box after box of donated food to local families.
“Obviously, with COVID-19 and the loss job jobs, there’s an inability to have food on the shelves at all the stores, at all times,” said Bellows, assistant to the lead pastor at Trinity Church. “We wanted to make sure people didn’t go hungry. We wanted to make sure they have the resources to continue providing for the families with the food they needed.” Read more...

United Way and DTE partner to raise funds for Feeding America food trucks

By Brandon Shreur, The Daily News on April 14, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues over the coming weeks following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extension of the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, families and community members may need help.
“We’re just starting to really see the need, honestly,” United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties Executive Director Terri Legg said. “Forty-nine percent of people between the two counties struggle to make enough for basic needs before COVID-19 hit. We know that, of that 49 percent, 43 percent of them don’t have a rainy day fund, so to speak.” Read more...

Increase in Mobile Food Bank Events Provides Relief in Wake of COVID-19

By Cory Smith, The Daily News on March 20, 2020

GREENVILLE — As a lifelong firefighter and resident of Florida, Don Ruiter has pretty much seen it all.
“I’ve been through dozens of hurricanes, the 1998 wildfires, the Parkland school shooting — I’ve been through tons of crisis events,” he said. In moving to Michigan a year ago, and having since built a house west of Greenville, Ruiter knows what it takes to overcome tragedy and a feeling of the unknown. Read more...

United Way Conference Focuses on Affordable Housing Options

By Brandon Schreur, The Daily News on December 17, 2019

BELDING — Leaders from Montcalm and Ionia counties gathered at Belding High School on Thursday morning to talk about ALICE.

ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) is a term for households that earn more than the federal poverty line but less than the amount needed to cover the basic costs of living in a given state. Read more...

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The United Way Sponsors West MI Classrooms

By EightWest Staff on July 11, 2019

As most teachers will tell you, there never seems to be enough money in the budget to fully outfit a classroom. Many Teachers make up this difference out of their own pockets. For the last few years teachers in Ionia and Montcalm Counties have received help from The United Way’s Sponsor a Classroom Program. Click here to watch video...

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Life Long Literacy and Education Advocate

From the desk of Terri Legg, Executive Director 

I am sad to share that Jon passed this morning.

Jon's was much more than a businessman, husband, and father. He was a man of character that believed in service above self.  His life can be defined by his passion for volunteerism and commitment to many organizations in and around the community. Read More...

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The ALICE Project Report 2019 Update

49% Percent of Montcalm County and 43% of Ionia County Households Fail to Make Ends Meet, United Way’s ALICE Report Shows

The Michigan Association of United Ways Finds Low Wages, Reduced Work Hours and Depleted Savings among Challenges for Michigan’s Working Families

Fenwick, Mich. – United Way Montcalm – Ionia Counties joined the Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) in releasing a study on the condition of Michigan’s working families, which it has dubbed ALICE households—those that are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Read More...

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A Service for All

By Meghan Nelson, The Daily News on February 11, 2019

When 211 was reinstated in Ionia and Montcalm counties last summer, it once again provided a way to connect residents to essential services.

United Way Executive Director Terri Legg has been trying to debunk misconceptions about the service since 211 was brought back online. She is trying to spread the message 211 is for all people, regardless of their background. Read More...

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Agencies Offering Active Shooter Preparedness Training for Non-profits

By Evan Sasiela on February 2, 2019

United Way, Ionia Area Chamber of Commerce, are offering an active shooter preparedness training session for non-profits. Read More...

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2018 Sponsor a Classroom Thank You

From the front desk of Terri Legg, Executive Director

As any educator can tell you, there never seems to be enough money to adequately outfit a classroom. Many teachers make up this disparity out of their own pockets.

Fortunately, for the past couple years teachers in Ionia and Montcalm counties have had a little help in the form of The United Way’s Sponsor a Classroom program. According to local United Way Executive Director Terri Legg, the organization recognized the need and then researched the most effective way it could help. Read More...

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Child Poverty is Down, but Michigan Children are Still Suffering

By Jeremy Wahr, Capital News Service on November 2, 2018

LANSING — Childhood poverty in Michigan has decreased in recent years, but people living near the poverty line still face many hardships. About 444,100 children, or 20 percent of the children in Michigan, still live in poverty, according to the Kids Count in Michigan 2018 Data Book. The numbers are down from 2010, when 537,003 children lived in poverty. Read more...

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Isabella Bank Closing Monday for Service Projects

Isabella Bank is closing on Monday to allow their employees to partake in service projects.

The closure is a part of their "Compassion for Action" event, which encourages 400 of their employees to spend time volunteering in their communities, according to a press release sent out by the bank on Tuesday. Read More...

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Helping Teachers Help Kids

By Mitchell Boatman 616-546-4209
Posted Aug 26, 2018 at 1:01 PM

FENWICK - Running a classroom can be a difficult - and expensive - task for teachers. Luckily for early elementary school teachers in Ionia and Montcalm counties, United Way is here to help. The "Sponsor a Classroom" program is nearing the end  Read More...

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Sponsor A Classroom Initiative Underway in Ionia, Montcalm Counties

By Mike Taylor | on July 21, 2018

IONIA — There’s an old saying among teachers, one you can find on posters hung in faculty lounges across the country. It reads: “It’ll be a great day when schools have all the supplies they need and the military has to hold a bake sale to buy a new fighter jet.”  Read More...

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211 Returns to Ionia and Montcalm Counties

By Meghan Nelson | on May 24, 2018

From a young age, children are taught to dial 911 in case of an emergency.

But for those who are facing a crisis regarding day-to-day needs, another three-digit phone number can be a lifesaving hotline.  Read More...

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2-1-1 Service Expanding to Seven More Counties

May 29, 2018

Heart of West Michigan United Way's 2-1-1 program is one of the best in the nation, so we're expanding it to help even more people in Michigan. Now, people in Ionia, Montcalm, Lake, Newaygo, Oceana, Mecosta, and Osceola counties will be able to connect to local services like housing, food, utility assistance, transportation, childcare, and more through our call center.  Read More...

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