2015-16 Annual Report

CAPS After School Program - By having fourth graders attend the CAPS After School Program we built a solid foundation for their academic success and overall improvement.  These supports decreased 4th grade at-risk population by 21% when comparing the previous year’s results.
Catholic Human Services – Foster Grandparent Program - My assigned FG volunteer has really made an impact on a fourth grade ADHD student.  At the beginning of the year, he couldn’t get any work completed, but now he is going much better.  The volunteer sits next to him and encourages him to stay on task.  She demonstrates a genuine concern for him.  He is now working harder, caring more, and even attending after school support programs.  "As a Foster Grandparent, I have the joy of seeing the advancement of the kids I work with.  I am very proud of my students."
Friends Ministry
  • Self-sufficiency Training - It is the goal of Friends Ministry to equip people to move forward with the tools to sustain themselves and their families.  As such, every person who come to us for assistance is given self-sufficiency coaching and mentoring, in addition to the immediate support they need.  Participants of our self-sufficiency mentoring often stop back in to let us know how they have been coached in at Friends Ministry. Jobs kept, family security, responsibilities maintained, and increased capabilities are some of the things they are excited about.
  • Car Repair - A young man stopped into ask for help with car repair.  His job was in the balance.  He was uncomfortable asking for help.  We talked about his circumstances and took an honest look at his household budget.  We talked over options, how to move forward, and helped with payment toward car repair.  We were encouraged by his honesty and wise choices and asked him to let us know how it turned out.  He was happy to report that he solved his problem without our financial help, but was very grateful for our mentoring support.
Cooperative Ministry - We have watched some families, as they grow stronger, gain independence and lives back.  Cooperative Ministry has also been rewarded in the case of a family that received assistance from this ministry and then returned some time later with a very nice note of appreciation and a check to “pay it forward” with the thought of helping someone else.
  • Shelter - A woman came to the shelter with 4 of her 5 children.  The woman was married for 20 years to a very manipulative and mentally/psychologically abusive man.  She made the decision to leave when her husband started threatening to hurt her.   She moved forward with divorce and into a home through OASIS Transitional Housing Program.  She and her children continue with counseling and she is taking the steps to get a job and build her financial resources.
  • Family Links Program - A referral came to the Family Links program through the Wexford-Missaukee ISD Early-On program.  Although reluctant to come to play groups at first, Mother and children are now attending weekly.  Both children are developmentally on track, the mother and father have improved their parenting skills
Salvation Army - An elderly husband was diagnosed with cancer.  Living just beyond the 150% poverty level, they had no extra funds to pay for the medical expenses.  Because they live just above the 150% poverty level, they did not qualify for utility grants to pay for their propane.  Because of United Way, Salvation Army was able to fill their tank and keep a loving couple warm as he faced his last days.
Shepherd’s table - As a free meal program, we see people every day who have not enough food in their homes for meals.  One senior lady who now also comes early to help us set up and make homebound meals, told me about her Christmas and Thanksgivings.  She mentioned that though they had some canned goods and staples, they have a hard time purchasing meat for meals.  As a result they had hot dogs for moth holiday meals.  She said they didn’t mind as much since they had come to The Shepherd’s table and had wonderful meals for each holiday.  She comes for meals all meal days.
Stehouwer Free Clinic - Recently, a client who was given a second chance at life as a result of his assistance from the Stehouwer Clinic, walked into the clinic and said he wanted to volunteer – to give back.  He is currently doing some maintenance for the clinic and says very freely that the clinic saved his life.  The clinic was the only place he could turn to for healthcare, medications, advocacy and support.