What is Season of Caring?
Support local schools, pantries, and shelters by joining Season of Caring by helping us fill these 4 bags by participating in a Donation Drive between October 1 - November 30.
CLICK on one of the four types of drives below for more information on that specific drive type.
What Are Hope Bags?
Holiday Hope Bags is an initiative to provide food-insecure students in Montcalm and Ionia counties with a weeks worth of food during the Winter Holiday. As a majority of students rely on free school meals and after-school third-meal programs, the holiday season can add additional family stress by adjusting tight food budgets to accommodate the two weeks students are home during winter break. Hope Bags are here to support families to ensure that the winter holiday is a time to celebrate, relax, and focus on the new year ahead!
United Way aims to support 700 Montcalm and Ionia county students with a weeks worth of meals for Winter Break.
A $10 donation supports 1 student with a Holiday Hope Bag. Please support the United Way with its goal of raising $10,000 to support every student in need. Collected items must be dropped off to the United Way office on December 1st.
365,358 Michigan Children Live in Poverty and another 580,761 live below the ALICE Threshold
Over 500 students receive a third meal to take home every day in Montcalm and Ionia Counties
Over 15 Summer Eat Up Meet Up programs to support daily meals for students during Summer Break
Holiday Hope Bags Grocery List
All food donations must come from this pre-approved list. All donations must be nonperishable, unopened, and unexpired. Collected items must be dropped off to the United Way office on December 1st.
- Shelf Stable Milk
- Mac & Cheese
- Candy Canes
- Canned Soup/Pasta
- Canned Vegetables
- Hot Chocolate
- Granola Gars
- Spaghetti Noodles
- Peanut Butter
- Apple Sauce
- Fruit Cups
- Instant Mashed Potatoes
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Instant Oatmeal
- Kool Aid Packets
- Just Add Water Pancake Mix
Why a Personal Care Drive
The Season of Caring is an initiative to provide needed items to Montcalm and Ionia community members during the holiday season. A Personal Care Drive will support hundreds of households and individuals with the basic needed essentials. Items received from the Personal Care Drive will be provided to local schools, shelters, and pantries to support the growing need.
United Way aims to support 250 hygiene kits for men and women in our community. Collected items must be dropped off to the United Way office on December 1st.
63% of Michiganders earn less than $20.00 an hour
Inflation has caused the price of basic needs to increase at record levels. Nearly 40% of our community struggle to make ends meet
*donations are needed for both men and women*
- Body Wash/Soap
- Shaving Kits
- Mouth Wash
- First Aid Kit
- Feminine Hygiene Products
- Adult Incontinence Products
- Nail Clippers
- Combs/Hair Brush
- Miniature Sewing Kit
Why a Senior Gift Drive
The Season of Caring is an initiative to provide support to Montcalm and Ionia community members during the holiday season. Supporting our local Seniors through a Senior Gift Drive is an opportunity to provide local seniors with a small gift bag during the holidays that will support basic needs and bring joy to members in our community.
United Way aims to support 250 local seniors with Holiday Gift Bags. Collected items must be dropped off to the United Way office on December 1st.
Average income for Seniors ages 65 and older is less than $30,000 compared to $47,000 for those under the age of 65. Due to COVID-19 early retirements and post-pandemic inflation Seniors are struggling to afford the basics on restricted budgets.
- Throw Blankets
- Activity Books
- Small Board Games
- Stamps and Stationary
- Hot Chocolate
- Candy Canes
- Gift Bags
United for Warmth
United for Warmth is an initiative to provide support to Montcalm and Ionia community members during the winter season. Each year families struggle to add winter coats, accessories, and warm clothing into their tight budgets. Host a Winter Wear Drive to support our local schools, shelters, and pantries provide needed winter clothing to our community.
United Way aims to collect new and gently used winter clothing to help our kids and adults say warm during the winter months. Collected items must be dropped off to the United Way office on December 1st.
Hand and Toe Warmers
Pre-pandemic, 37% of people in Ionia County and 45% of people in Montcalm County were Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE). Due to the pandemic, 60% of local households have lost income causing an increased number of families struggling to make ends meet.
Working homelessness is at a record high. Montcalm and Ionia counties are lacking 6,000 housing units. Inflation of all markets are negatively impacting our community.