One of our traditions at PM Environmental is to give back to the communities in which we reside. In fact, it happens to be one of our core values. Dedication to our business community is a large part of who we are and we make a point of that by supporting charities throughout the year by volunteering our time, fundraising, or simply making a donation. We feel that is especially important around the holidays, and so we ask each region manager to pick a charity of his or her choice to make a monetary donation to on behalf of PM.
Below are brief descriptions of this year’s charities of choice, as well as short stories of individuals who their work has directly affected:
Brighton Center in Newport, Kentucky – The Brighton Center creates opportunities for individuals and families to reach self-sufficiency through family support services, education, employment and leadership.
“I came to Brighton Center in a time of need. I am a single mom with three kids and three years ago, we were homeless. Brighton Center provided the resources to help turn that around and get us back on our feet.
I have been able to stand on my own two feet and make it through. I have learned that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. It is hard to be a single parent, especially with three kids, but I can provide for my children. We are happy and healthy, and when I see the smiles on my kid’s faces, I know everything is going to be okay.
Many individuals are afraid to ask for help because people will look down on them. You don’t have to worry about that at Brighton Center. They make you feel like you are one of them and you become a part of the family. They helped me provide for my kids, so I can provide happiness and stability in their lives.” - Elizabeth
To learn more about Brighton Center and their services, click here.
Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation in Cookeville, Tennessee - The Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation enhances the quality and availability of healthcare in the region by meeting critical charitable needs of Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) patients, offering free health education and medical services throughout the Upper Cumberland community, operating compassionate programs that enhance the patient experience at CRMC, and promoting community investment in the Cookeville Regional Medical Center.
“My cancer is metastatic. I will be moving into hospice soon. I so appreciate the Foundation’s help paying utilities and keeping food on the table for my kids so we can be at home together these last few months.” – Kim, 41
For more information on the Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation, click here.
Mustard Seed Ranch in Cookeville, Tennessee – Mustard Seed Ranch is a community-sponsored, interdenominational Christian ministry designed to take children out of unsafe environments and into loving, nurturing homes.
“Our goal is to provide safe, loving homes to children with backgrounds of abuse, neglect, and trauma. We currently have two brothers here at MSR, both of them came a year apart from each other, and were placed here by their grandparents. Their father and mother are out of the picture due to drug and alcohol abuse, and were in the sole care of the grandparents after a prolonged fight with DCS to obtain custody and guardianship. After obtaining guardianship, they were struck with illnesses that prevented them from being able to offer stable care for their grandsons, at which point they reached out to Mustard Seed Ranch.
The boys have both been here for 2 and 1 years respectively, and because of their placement here, the grandparents have been able to be just that - grandparents. They still see the boys on relief and visitation weekends, get to watch football games and choir concerts; all without the burden of providing daily care that their health wouldn't permit. We've been able to get counseling opportunities to help the kids overcome the traumas they experienced while with their parents that the grandparents didn't have access to, and because of that, we've seen growth and healing in the lives of the entire family.”
To find out more about Mustard Seed Ranch and the programs they offer, click here.
Circles Grand Rapids in Grand Rapids, Michigan – Circles GR is a Chapter of Circles USA, whose mission is to inspire and equip persons from every economic class to permanently reduce poverty. We connect people across socioeconomic lines in long-term friendships that offer collaborative guidance for families (called Circle Leaders) working to exit poverty while raising the “poverty IQ” of the middle- to upper-income volunteers (called Circle Allies) who accompany them.
In just 10 months, Circle Leader Raven has secured a better job, is close to completing expungement of an old criminal offense, and has gained new confidence.
“Before this program I was a procrastinator,” she says. “But you form a bond with your Allies, and they let you know they believe in you. You don’t join Circles if you’re not ready for change – Circles pushes you and makes you want to change.”
To learn more about Circles Grand Rapids, click here.
Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan in Grand Rapids, Michigan – The mission of the Mental Health Foundation is to create communities that have good mental health by inspiring people to recognize, understand, accept, and take action.
“My Name is Jack Bennett, and for those who know me know I like to ride my bike. Well to me riding a bike means a little more than riding a bike. The last three years I have really struggled with Depression.
I fought depression all through high school on and off. After high school I got so caught up on my body perception that I became bulimic, it got to the point where I was admitted to a hospital overnight. I tried seeing a therapist, I “followed” their steps, but that just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t until I realized being on a bike is what brings me joy, and was my number one solution to defeat bulimia and depression. I became a bike messenger in between classes, hopping on my bike and riding whenever I could. I am now living on Mackinac Island, a place free of cars and my only transportation, a bike.
So what is next? I am now leaving November 3rd for Auckland, New Zealand, where I will set out on my bike to ride across all of North and South New Zealand for a month and a half, packing everything on my bike, from a tent to 2 changes of clothes.
So now it is my turn to try and give back! I would like to try and raise $10,000 for the Be Nice Foundation, an amazing Foundation where I learned first-hand along with 12,000 other students in Kent County, Michigan about the importance of mental health, bullying, depression, along with coping skills through there Live, Laugh, Love Program.”
For more on the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan, click here.
Downtown Rescue Mission in Huntsville, Alabama – It is the mission of the Downtown Rescue Mission to serve as a lighthouse in the community for the poor, homeless, and destitute in order to meet their physical and spiritual needs through the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.
“My name is Brittney Green. I am twenty-four years old and have been struggling with addiction for six years. It began when I was seventeen with weed but eventually led to opiates and other drugs when the weed wasn’t enough. At that time, I moved in with a group of friends. It was basically a party house. It wasn’t long before I overdosed. It scared me and I swore I was going to stop. I went to a twenty-eight day program, and when I got out, I did good for a couple of months but fell right back into it with a different drug – meth. I was strung out for three months before meeting my husband. I stopped everything but weed, thinking it would be enough, and everything was great for a while.
Once I had my son, Chip, I struggled with postpartum depression. I thought I could handle it. When Chip was nine months old, I snapped and tried to hurt my husband, my son, and my neighbors. I don’t remember any of my actions. The guilt and shame of what I had done took over, and I was ready to be numb again. I started doing opiates again. Over time, this didn’t satisfy so I returned to meth. Everything spiraled out of control. I destroyed my marriage, being more concerned about when I would get high again than spending time with my son. Nothing was stopping me. Then I went to jail in July 2017. I called my dad and begged him to bail me out one more time. He gave me one more chance and came and got me. I did well for three days before getting high again. The next day my dad revoked my bond and took me back to jail. I had burned my last bridge. I failed my drug test so my bond was taken away. The only way out was to go to a rehab facility.
I called my mom who graduated from the Mission’s LIFE recovery program in 2013 and asked her to help me find somewhere. I got to the Mission in August 2017 but wanted no part of it. I was angry and thought it was everyone else’s fault that I was here. I was so buried in my self-pity, guilt, and shame that I didn’t think there was hope for me. But God led me here and showed me the error of my thoughts. He is now my Hope. I am broken and imperfect but He has saved me. Since being here, God has restored broken relationships with my mom and dad, not only our individual relationships but has also allowed me to see my mom and dad make amends. God has blessed me with the opportunity to see my son every other weekend when visitation used to be only twelve hours a month. God is teaching me to have faith and seek Him in everything. If I do, He will align my steps and everything will begin to fall into place according to His will.”
To learn more about Downtown Rescue Mission and the services it provides, click here.
Mission on the Hill in West Point, Mississippi – The Mission on the Hill aims to provide faith based services to those in need in the Golden Triangle community.
Dustin R. was once homeless and struggling with chemical dependency. He needed a new start and after taking him in our program he has devoted his life to Christ. He is now clean and sober and no longer homeless. He is active in Celebrate Recovery, does project management for our volunteer work day program and is working towards schooling and getting his degree.
“I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given at The Mission. Were in not for the grace of God and the staff believing in me and offering me a fresh start, I don’t know where I would be.”
-Dustin R. Men’s Program Participant
More information about Mission on the Hill and their services can be found here.
Piquette Square for Veterans in Detroit, Michigan – Piquette Square is a 150-unit apartment project in Detroit to house and care for homeless veterans. It offers comprehensive support services to help veterans develop self-sufficiency and reintegrate into the community. Southwest Solutions developed Piquette Square and owns and manages it.
The Detroit Institute of Arts Community Group Art Exhibition opened on December 6, and it includes artwork by eight veterans who reside at Piquette Square. Veteran Benny Richard exhibited his ceramic piece entitled “The Redemption.”
“The piece represents my strong faith in God and the redemptive work of the cross,” Benny says.
Benny has lived at Piquette Square since it opened eight years ago and has been attending the DIA workshops for six years. He suffers from emphysema and COPD. “The opportunity to create art has been therapeutic for me,” Benny says. “I am able to work through my concerns about my physical health, which has been improving at Piquette Square as I get the care I need. I am maintaining hope and a positive attitude, and I express that in my art. I feel honored and humbled to see my work on the wall here at the DIA.”
To learn more about Southwest Solutions and all that they do for veterans, click here.
Greater Lansing Food Bank in Lansing, Michigan - The Greater Lansing Food Bank is a non-profit organization that provides emergency food to individuals and families in need throughout the Greater Lansing Area.
Tina works over 40 hours a week at an auto manufacturing affiliate. Because a workplace injury left her husband unable to work, Tina has become the primary breadwinner in her household. In addition to working to provide for herself and her husband, Tina’s adult daughter recently returned home because of a financial setback, along with two grandchildren.
“The food bank is crucial,” Tina says when asked about how Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB) distributions impact her family.
She is salaried and paid on a semi-monthly basis, which means that she only gets two paychecks per month, no matter how much she works. During months with a “fifth week,” stretching the budget is much harder than usual.
“Sometimes I have to skip meals, but I always make sure the kids eat.”
Find out more about the Greater Lansing Food Bank here.
Taylor’s Closet in Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Taylor’s closet bring fashionable, designer clothing to young girls all over South Florida, for free. Since its inception in 2006, over 12,000 girls have been reached and over $1 million in clothing has been given away. Girls are not only given a safe place where they can shop for free, but can also participate in weekly workshops and after school clubs that focus on design and art, and engage in healthy dialogue about important issues affecting their lives.
Six years ago, Taryn walked into Taylor’s Closet with the biggest smile on her face. But beneath the beautiful, radiant smile was a girl who was broken and needing healing.
We began mentoring Taryn weekly and discovered she was abused by her father-something; she had tucked it away for many, many years. She bravely walked through each lesson and soon it came time for her to go off to college.
While she was away studying, Taryn developed an eating disorder and eventually checked herself into a rehabilitation treatment center. She reached out to us and we quickly had a staff member begin working with her on a weekly basis. Taryn knew in order to fulfill her God-given destiny, she had to let go of all the hurt from the past once and for all.
And she did.
After six months of intense mentoring, Taryn is on the road to full, healthy healing. We are so proud of her and know she has a bright future ahead of her!
For more on Taylor’s Closet and all that they do, click here.