Foundation / Lake Trust Employees / Giving Back / community partners / Moved By Good

Giving Back To Michigan For Moved By Good Day

Words by Abbie Dyer on Oct 12, 2018 3:11:13 PM

Most people would relish an extra day off of work to catch up on tasks around the house. At Lake Trust, however, our team is dedicated to the community and we live by the idea that our actions, no matter how small, can truly make a difference in the world. On Monday, October 8, all of our branches were closed for a federal holiday. Instead of taking the day off, we invited our team to participate in a state-wide day of service. With full hearts, over 300 staff members showed up for the inaugural Moved By Good Day.

We selected 22 different volunteer sites across Michigan where Team Lake Trust could sign up to volunteer. All of the non-profit organizations that we volunteered at were selected because they align with our organizational focus on social purpose. We base our volunteer work and give donations to meet the basic human needs of food, shelter, clothing, health and wellness, and education.

 

 

Operation Warm

During our annual all staff day last year, we held a winter clothing drive and our staff brought in 902 winter accessories (hats, mittens, scarves) and 280 coats. This was such a positive experience for Team Lake Trust that we decided we wanted to do something similar this year and make an even bigger impact.

We worked with our friends at Operation Warm to identify two schools in Michigan whose student body experienced financial hardship. After selecting Lansing Charter Academy and Detroit Premier Academy, the Lake Trust Foundation purchased enough brand-new coats from Operation Warm to ensure that every single child at each school would receive a coat. If a student was absent or their size was unavailable, Operation Warm ordered a coat to be specially delivered to the child.  


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    Big Impact. At Lansing Charter Academy, 75 volunteers from our team made sure every child at the school received a new winter coat.
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    Food for All. Our team volunteered at community gardens around Lansing to benefit the Greater Lansing Food Bank.
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    Coats for Kids. We gave brand-new winter coats to every child at Lansing Charter Academy and Detroit Premier Academy. 
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    Loving Our Work. We try to make a positive impact in the office and in our communities because we're better when we work together.

The Gift of Warmth

 

On Moved By Good Day, over 50 Team Lake Trust volunteers showed up at each school to distribute the coats to the student body. Every child was paired with a volunteer who made sure the child’s coat fit properly. After selecting a coat in their favorite color, each student watched with fascination as their name was written on a tag in the coat. Volunteers held back tears as some children explained that this was the first winter coat they had ever owned.

 

“We are currently at over 85% free and reduced lunch (FRL), meaning that a majority of our families qualify for support services through the school and government,” explained Cassandra T., Intervention & Special Education Dean at Lansing Charter Academy. “Students in our building were ecstatic to receive a brand-new coat and having the opportunity to work one-on-one with a Lake Trust volunteer made it so much more meaningful! By having so many volunteers, each child felt the care and support of individual adult attention.”

 

In total, we donated 1,400 coats between the two schools. Yet, the most fulfilling part of our day was seeing the look of delight on each child’s face as they walked away with a simple item of clothing that would give them the freedom to play outside during recess when the temperature drops. The coats may even help with attendance issues this winter, since kids will be able to stay warm when walking to school. In just a few hours’ time, we had altered the course of life for hundreds of students and their families who would no longer face the financial burden of buying a winter coat this year.

 

 

Sharing the Good

 

Our day didn’t end at the schools. Our team was hard at work cleaning and performing building maintenance at City Rescue Mission, Ele’s Place, and the YMCA in Lansing as well as at Clothing, Inc. in Mt. Pleasant. We scrubbed community rooms, organized supplies, and even reupholstered chairs for these deserving organizations. In the Detroit area, we served food at Volunteers of America and worked in the food pantry at Light House of Oakland County.

Despite the hot, humid weather, another team met in Howell to help paint a home with Habitat for Humanity. At Fresh Start Clubhouse in Ann Arbor and LACASA in Howell, Team Lake Trust worked outside pulling weeds and landscaping. During clean-up efforts at three community gardens in Lansing, we learned that The Garden Project (through the Greater Lansing Food Bank) feeds over 7,000 people in the area. 

 

 

Giving: It's a Way of Life

 

As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)*, we understand that we can make a positive impact in the office and outside of it too. In one day, we contributed 1236 combined volunteer hours back to our state. Moved By Good Day was more than just a day of service to us; it was a testament to our internal culture and the caring, giving people we’re fortunate enough to have on our team. 

 

 

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SEE ALSO: Share the Warmth at G2G Summit  |  Hope for a Home: A Day with Humble Design

 

Garden photos provided by Eric Ozanich

 

*Third party website. Lake Trust Credit Union is not responsible for the content, availability, security or compliance of any linked third party websites. In addition, the site's privacy policies may differ from those of Lake Trust.

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