Not only is Williams Farm Machinery a program sponsor of Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge, they are also putting on a great fundraiser for us during the month of April. Be sure to visit them at 1115 Lansing Rd in Charlotte, and tell them how much you appreciate what they do for the hungry children in our community. While you’re at it, pick up that piece of Stihl gasoline-powered, hand-held equipment that you’ve been thinking about and they will donate $20 to us.
Join us for the 2017 Taste of Grand Ledge fundraiser, “Summertime in March,” at the Grand Ledge Opera House from 2-4 pm on March 18, sponsored by The Caring Neighbor Foundation, at the Grand Ledge Opera House at 121 Bridge Street, Grand Ledge.
The generous local bakery and restaurant owners participating in this family-friendly event are:
- Aggie Mae’s Bakery
- A&W Restaurant
- Beagle’s Cafe & Bakery
- Biggby Coffee – Grand Ledge
- Crossroads BBQ
- The Log Jam
- Cathy’s Bakery
- Cugino’s Italian Restaurant
- Flour Child Bakery
- Tammy’s Cake & Cookie Creations
- Mancino’s Pizza and Grinders
- Renee’s Cakes
- The Grand Ledge Opera House
Grand Ledge is long overdue for some warm weather fun. The Capital City Corvette Club is sponsoring the first big community event of the season, the 3rd Annual Cruisin’ for Kids car show fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge on Wednesday, May 25 from 5:30 – 8:30 just across the street from Neff Kindergarten Center. This is a great event for the whole family – especially the kids – who vote for the best of show. There is no charge for the public to attend the event. If you wish to enter a car, motorcycle or other interesting vehicle, there is a suggested $15 entry fee. All proceed from the event will go to Blessings in a Backpack. Rain or shine, we hope to see you there.
Then on Saturday, June 4, the Caring Neighbor Foundation Golf Outing Fundraiser, a benefit Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge, will be held at Centennial Acres in Sunfield, Michigan. The event begins with lunch (included in the registration fee) at 1:30, and the tee off begins with a shotgun start at 2:30. The format for the outing is a four person scramble, of 18 holes, noncompetitive. Enjoy one of the first golf outings of the season and help the kids in the Grand Ledge area at the same time.
Golf Outing Registration Flyer
Let us lure you out of your winter hibernation dens to join us at Taste of Grand Ledge a Backpack Grand Ledge fundraiser, at Sanctuary Spirits on February 20, 2016.
This is the first ever event of its kind in Grand Ledge, bringing together together 20 local vendors that will provide “small plates” for the guests from 2-4 pm. All the proceeds from this event will go to buy food to fill the weekend food bags that we provide to needy Grand Ledge area school children throughout the school year. Admission is $10 per person or $20 per family (including children).
We owe a big thank you to Van Gogh Tattoos in Grand Ledge organizing the “Art to Music” fundraiser on June 26 at Sanctuary Spirits.Four talented artists made art while the guests drank artisanal wine/spirits, ate barbeque, participated in a raffle, and listened to music. These four paintings are being silent auctioned and all proceeds will be donated to Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge, thanks to artists Ian Wallace, Sarah Fuller, Boris Gustav and Mat Grambau. Sanctuary Spirits graciously donated the event space for Art to Music. Stop by Sanctuary Spirits at 902 E. Saginaw (east of M100 on the north side of the street) and place your bid before July 4, 2015, at 4 pm. They are open Tues/Weds from 4-8; Thurs/Fri from 4-9; and 12-9 Saturdays.
Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge works hard to ensure that the needy children in the Grand Ledge area have food to eat on the weekends during the school year, but we are always up for fun, too. Check out the pictures and video of two recent events held as fundraisers for us. Thanks to these great organizations providing us with sponsorship-level donations, the needy children of Grand Ledge will have weekend food during the 2015-16 school year.
More fun is on the way! Join us at the upcoming “Art to Music” fundraiser that Van Gogh Tattoos is hosting for us at Sanctuary Spirits on June 26 from 6-9 pm.
The Cruizin’ for Kids Car Show
Hosted by the Capital City Corvette Club and sponsored by Sparrow PHP, the Cruizin’ for Kids Car Show was held on a chilly evening on May 19, but the cars were hot, so no one cared.
Caring Neighbor Foundation/Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge Golf Outing
The weather was gorgeous for this June 6 event at Centennial Acres Golf Course in Sunfield, Michigan, hosted by the Caring Neighbor Foundation as a fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge. Thanks to all of our sponsors for the event: Stanley Koks Foundation (major sponsor); The Willow Ridge PTO, Neff PTO, Dart Bank, and Wolverine Water Treatment Corp. (hole sponsors); Dr. Scott Stevenson, DDS (scorecard sponsor); and The Caring Neighbor Foundation (cart sponsor).
Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge is currently providing weekend food to 260 Grand Ledge area children who might not otherwise have enough to eat on the weekends. In order to continue to provide the weekend food to our hungry local kids, we need the money to do so. We are currently raising funds to pay for the 2015-16 school year. It only costs $100 to sponsor a child for 32-weeks during the school year, and we anticipate feeding up to 300 children next year. If you can’t afford $100, we are grateful for any amount that you are able to donate.
We are primarily a community-supported project that relies on individual community donors to provide 65% of our yearly budget. Every cent of your donation goes toward buying food to feed the kids with on the weekends. Any of the minimal operating expenses that we incur are paid for through a small grant that the Caring Neighbor Foundation in Grand Ledge provided to us, or the items/services are donated to us. Our national organization, that acts as our 501(c)3, pays for their own salaries and operating expenses through a foundation grant. Therefore, NOTHING comes off the top of your donation, which is quite unusual in the charitable giving world.
You can send your tax-deductible donation to: Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge, PO Box 162, Grand Ledge, MI 48837. You will receive a receipt for tax purposes in 4-6 weeks. If you would like to make a one-time or recurring donation on your credit card, click here for more information.
Upcoming Fundraising Events
Thanks to our event hosts, the Capital City Corvette Club (CCCC) and the Caring Neighbor Foundation (CNF), we have a couple of really fun fundraising events coming up soon. Click on the links below for more information.The CCCC is hosting the 2nd Annual Cruizin’ for Kids Car Show 2015 on Tuesday, May 19 from 5:30 – 8:30.
Check out a musical slide show of last year’s stellar car show event here:
2014 Cruizin’ for Kids Slide Show (turn up your speakers!).
On Saturday, June 6, the CNF is hosting the 2nd Annual Caring Neighbor Foundation / Blessings in a Backpack Golf Outing 2015 on Saturday, June 6, at Centennial Acres in Sunfield (MI). Shotgun start is at 2:30.
Join us at both events and kick off your early summer fun while helping the children in the Grand Ledge area.
Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge is now in its third year of operation, providing weekend food to children who are at risk for food insecurity during the school year in the Grand Ledge Public Schools. A child who is considered at risk for food insecurity may have inconsistent access to food at home.
Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge is providing weekend food to 240 children in who may be at risk for food insecurity in the 2014-15 school year. While the free and reduced lunch programs feed the impoverished children during the school week, we aim to make sure that these children are fed on the weekends by providing them with a bag of nutritious, kid-friendly food on Fridays during the school year. All children should show up to school on Mondays well fed and ready to learn.
An October 20, 2014, report in JAMA Pediatrics Pediatrics found that one in four children in the US is food insecure. According to the Kids Count in Michigan data, there has been a 53% increase in the rate of children who qualified for federal food assistance between 2005-2012 in Eaton County.
In a December 2013 Kids Count in Michigan news release, Jane Zehnder-Merrell director at the Michigan League for Public Policy, stated that while the recession has officially ended, the toll on children is still apparent because, as research has shown, there is a deep, lifelong impact on children who grow up in poverty due to deprivation in their early childhood years.
Included in the 240 students we provide weekend food to are 16 students that the Grand Ledge High School counselors have identified as beig “couch homeless,” meaning that they live on the couches of friends and family. Principal Dawn Kennaugh at Beagle Elementary School recently discovered that 19 of her students are in transient living situations. Sadly, it was recently reported that there are 31,000 homeless students in Michigan .
Thanks to donations from community members, businesses, service clubs and foundations, we have been able to fund the program again for the 2014-15 school year. In spite of some significant food cost increases, we still have a little left over to add about 15 more students to our program.
If your child is enrolled in the free/reduced lunch program at school and could us some food to tide him/her over on the weekends this school year, get in touch with your school contact and ask for a permission letter that you can fill out and return.
NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin said, “If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.” If you wish to help us conquer childhood hunger in Grand Ledge and Wacousta, please consider us worthy of a tax deductible donation in your holiday giving plans. $100 feeds a school child for the school year (for more information on making a donation, click here )
On behalf of the steering committee of Blessings in a Backpack Grand Ledge, we wish you a Happy Holiday season.
Tina Erskine, Program Founder