Giving Back to Our Communities
Every year, PM Environmental’s regional managers choose charities to donate to. This year, they chose causes that are near and dear to their hearts. These organizations impact the community in ways that make the world a better place. Whether it be providing diapers for babies in need or placing jobs for the differently abled, PM proudly stands together with our local communities to make a positive impact. We have compiled stories from individuals whose lives have been changed by the much-needed work of the charities that PM donated to this year.
East Lansing, MI
Haven House’s mission is to guide and support families who face homelessness on their paths to stable homes. Their ultimate vision is of a community where all families thrive at home. They are committed to supporting positive housing outcomes for the families they serve and delivering programs through behaviors aligned with their core values of integrity, accessibility, empowerment, and compassion.
While staying in the Haven House shelter, residents engage in their “housing first” approach, which is a goal to move into permanent housing within a sustainable budget as quickly as possible. Their Family Life program offers enriching classes and activities for adults and kids and helps with back-to-school and holiday gifts. While in shelter, staff members meet daily with residents to discuss progress in finding permanent housing and provide advice in dealing with landlords and local agencies. Residents develop personal budgets that are realistic and goal plans that are productive.
Once families reach their new permanent home, the Partners in Progress (PIP) program provides follow-up care for up to a year. The PIP program is a transitional housing program that assists families after they leave the shelter. A staff member works with the former residents to set realistic goals and monitor progress in employment, budgeting, arranging childcare, improving parenting skills, and connecting with the neighborhood and the community. In addition to shelter and housing services, residents receive meals, crisis counseling, assistance with goal setting and referrals to other agencies as needed. Through engagement in the PIP program, more than 91% of Haven House families are able to remain stably housed in their new home for at least a year after leaving the temporary shelter.
Thanks to supporters this year, Brittany had that help when she and her daughters needed it:
“It was the most stressful time of my adult life,” Brittany told Haven House. Her family had been illegally evicted and could not return to their home. Brittany tried to find another rental. “I had been denied five times at different places I applied due to a low credit score. Me and my two daughters went to live with my mom, and I was in a low place. I wasn’t sure what I needed to do, but I decided to call Haven House. This program was just what I needed.”
Because of kind supporters, Brittany had help during the most difficult time in her life.
Greater Lansing Food Bank
Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB) is a non-profit organization that provides emergency food to individuals and families in need throughout mid-Michigan in Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Isabella and Shiawassee counties. They try to ensure that everyone in their community has access to nutritious food, because no one should ever go hungry.
They serve everyone at risk, because hunger does not discriminate. They provide emergency food to families, children, retirees, and veterans who have served our country. They help people to perform better at work and school and at home, because food is a basic need. Their belief is that no one ever plans to be hungry.
The food bank obtains food from retailers, the USDA, food producers, purchased goods, and from food drive donations. They provide food from each food group, including meat & proteins; fresh produce; dairy; and bread, pasta & grains. They are able to meet this need due to the continuing support of the caring people and businesses in the community.
Great Start Collaborative’s Diaper Drive
Grand Rapids, MI
Every parent deserves access to basic necessities. Every baby deserves to be clean, dry, and healthy. Great Start Collaborative of Kent County has made it one of their greatest priorities to empower families and offer much needed support. They’re committed to keeping children covered at all stages in life, ensuring success from the very beginning.
1 out of every 4 babies born in Kent County is born into poverty and programs like WIC and food stamps do not cover the costs of diapers. Many babies are often forced to spend the entire day or longer in a single diaper because families cannot afford to buy an adequate supply. Inadequate diaper changing increases the risk of numerous developmental and health issues. Lack of diapers can be a strain on families attempting to secure childcare services, because many preschools and daycares will not admit children unless they have their own supply of diapers to use. Since 2009, The Great Start Parent Collaborative has collected over 1 million diapers to assist families who struggle with diaper supply. They distribute these diapers to 30 local community pantries so that those in need can access them.
“Receiving the diapers from the GSPC impacted my family by helping me buy more food instead of having to use the money on diapers; thank you!” – Sylvia
“Diapers are such a huge need for our families. Having them available helps them pay bills and get through the week without the expense of this necessary item for their children.” – The Other Way Ministry
“The diapers provided through our collaborative partnership with Great Start Parent Coalition are an invaluable resource that helps us to provide a needed resource for families with babies in our community!” – Salvation Army
Kent County Animal Shelter
Grand Rapids, MI
The Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) is a division of the Kent County Health Department and houses both the shelter itself and the County’s animal control authority. The shelter provides a safe space for animals in their care, reuniting animals with their owners whenever possible or helping the animals find a new home when needed.
100 Business Who Care
100 Businesses Who Care is a group of executives from companies in southeast Michigan who make an impact on the local community. By combining donations, these companies make a sizable impact on charities serving our own communities.
100 Businesses Who Care is not a 501(c)(3) or incorporated business. The Founders and Advisory Board are passionate volunteers who dedicate their time and talents to make a difference in the community. 100% of the donations are given directly to the winning non-profit at each meeting.
Each participating company donates $500 bi-annually to an established charity serving southeast Michigan. After three pitches are presented by members of the group, the members in attendance vote. The non-profit with the most votes is announced, and each company writes a $500 check directly to the winning organization. As membership grows, so do the donations.
One prior recipient of this donation is Variety Feeds Kids. Elementary students whose daily breakfasts and lunches are typically provided through school programs routinely experience hunger on weekends. Variety Feeds Kids furnishes a weekend bag containing food that is nutritious, non-perishable, easy to prepare and child-friendly to hungry children. Working cooperatively with school officials and staff as well as the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, the bags of food are distributed to children each Friday afternoon or before a long holiday weekend. With the support of partnering organizations and corporations, Variety Feeds Kids not only nourishes the bodies of elementary students but also encourages positive relationships and fosters educational opportunities for children. This particular donation supported an expansion of the program to underprivileged kids in schools in Pontiac, Michigan.
Hard Hats with Heart
The American Heart Association proudly partners with construction industry leaders to host the annual Hard Hats with Heart event in Detroit. More than a fundraiser, Hard Hats with Heart is a movement where project owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and unions come together to address the industry’s increased risk of heart disease and to build healthy communities. The event includes networking with industry leaders and project owner executives, beverages and hors d’oeuvres, and more. All proceeds benefit the American Heart Association.
Beloved Woman’s mission is to help women who are financially disadvantaged become self-employed or find a pathway to a living wage.
Data USA lists Chattanooga’s poverty rate at 20.7%. A New York Times article found that 2/3 of Chattanooga’s population living in poverty are women who are heads of households. Other statistics show that 41% of the babies born in Hamilton County are born to women who make less than $24,000 a year; 42% of the city’s children live in poverty. Beloved Woman’s goal is to help women and children rise up out of poverty. They aim to be a bridge of opportunity for women.
Women in the program enter a 9-week start-up period, meeting once a week to work through a feasibility study and launch a plan for their self-employment idea. After this period, women are given the option to apply for a small micro-loan. This loan is used to launch a small business. As women walk through the launch period following the 9-week study, they are paired with a female business mentor. Women also attend a twice-a-month small group that helps with ongoing education, training, and spiritual and emotional support to help them succeed. Beloved Woman’s hope is that women in the program will form a community for life, giving back to other women who are trying to make a positive change in their lives, their families, and community.
Karen came to the Beloved Woman program in April 2021. She had been making specialty pound cakes since she was a teenager. Selling them to friends and family for most of her life, she had always dreamed of turning her hobby into a successful business. But like so many women who struggle to make a living wage, Karen worked two jobs to make ends meet. One full time job and a part time job on the weekends and evenings. When Karen came into the program, she was focused and determined to create a business model that would enable her to quit her second job and focus on making people feel the love in her cakes. Over the past few months, Karen has made enormous progress in her dream. She has created a business model with a business plan, gained new clients, is busier than she’s ever been over this holiday season with her cake business and is launching her beautiful new website at the first of the year for her business, Cakes by Karen.
Journeys in Community Living
Journeys in Community Living is an organization dedicated to supporting adults with disabilities in choosing and realizing their visions of where and how they live, work and socialize.
Journeys was established in 1975 as the Rutherford County Adult Activity Center. The organization provides community participation services, industrial training services, job training and placement services, special services, residential services and transportation services to more than 120 adults with intellectual disabilities in both Rutherford and Cannon Counties in Middle Tennessee.
The organization operates with the belief that everyone, regardless of ability, has the right to live a healthy and secure life, work at a meaningful job which they enjoy, live in a home of their own with whom they choose, have relationships in their lives, and participate in and contribute to their communities.
Lucy has been receiving employment and Community First services from Journeys, but in the past, she has not been as active in her service. She even went through a brief period of depression. Recently she has opened up a lot to her caregiver and she has become more active. She has been attending sporting events for her school, going to her favorite eateries, and visiting local pet stores since she loves animals. It is obvious that she has a renewed interest in being more active in her community because she has started pre-planning outings with staff and even budgeting her money so that she can make purchases while in the community.
Lucy’s mood has changed substantially. She smiles more than she used to, she seems happier when staff see her out in the community, and she is more vocal about things that she has going on. Lucy recently attended our Annual Christmas Party with her family, and she actively participated in all the events of the evening. She participated in the group dance, the 12 days of Christmas skit, and she was a great host to her sister and mother, who attended the party for the first time. Lucy has expressed her love for her staff, and she is thankful that she is a part of Journeys in Community Living.
Cookeville Regional Medical Center Foundation
The Foundation at Cookeville Regional Medical Center is a nonprofit organization that offers charitable aid to Upper Cumberland Residents struggling with disease, sickness or injury. It supports public charitable healthcare services, promotes compassionate programs for patients, and encourages investment in Cookeville Regional Medical Center. 100% of gifts are used for services, and no portion of gifts are used for overhead or staff expenses. Gifts become medicine, medical equipment, health services, screenings, transportation and critical home needs like groceries and utilities for patients and families facing a health emergency.
Patients and caregivers have a special relationship. Sometimes, it’s a small act that sticks with you, or a simple question that leads to profound change. Carl was a cardiac patient at the hospital who had been struggling with heart disease and health complications. A proud man, Carl had been a hard worker his entire life and hoped to spend his retirement years living a simple, good life. But over the last several years he found himself in and out of the hospital for different cardiac related problems. Carl was about to be released from the hospital and was talking to his case manager when it happened. The case manager explained to Carl about medication options for his condition and recommended a generic medication that would be more affordable than some name brands. The monthly expense for the generic medication would be $50. Carl paused for a moment then reached into his pocket to pull out a few dollar bills and some change. “How many pills can I buy for this,” Carl asked his case manager.
That moment had a lasting effect on Carl’s caregiver, and she went on to help start the “Caring Hands Fund” at Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation. The Caring Hands Fund may be used to help any patient with a charitable need, including purchasing generic medications for patients who cannot afford it.
For hundreds of struggling patients, the Caring Hands Fund is their only resource for things like medication, equipment, screenings, procedures, or simple things like groceries, utilities or transportation.
The Arc of Shelby County
Through advocacy, coaching, and support, The Arc of Shelby County empowers individuals with developmental disabilities and delays and their families to achieve their goals.
The Arc is the largest provider of Early Intervention services in Shelby County. Their Early Intervention program is a system of resources for infants and toddlers with a 25% delay in development. Their approach supports families in finding the best opportunities to promote their child’s growth and development. The team of professionals supports parents and caregivers in understanding typical development and how their child is likely to develop based on factors which include a medical diagnosis or delay.
The Community Services Program at The Arc focuses on individual and family support by offering case management and advocacy services, providing resources and referrals to individuals and families, aiding families with applying for public benefits, assisting families of school-aged children as requested for advocacy and development, and providing follow-along and advocacy as needed for children who have exited the Early Intervention program.
The Employment Program assists individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in achieving their career goals and assists community employers in finding eager employees looking for meaningful work. Employment Specialists focus on a jobseeker’s unique strengths and abilities in order to provide an individual, tailored job search for each person. Meticulous personal assessment and in-depth evaluation of each place of employment are the first steps in “job-matching.” The key to successful job-matching is facilitating a compatible pairing of employer and employee. When the right job match occurs, employment is more enjoyable, fulfilling and successful for both employee and employer.
Here is a testimonial from a woman who is a part of The Arc’s program:
“My name is Isabella. I live in a home with my roommate, William, as part of The Arc of Shelby County’s Residential Program. The best part of living in my home is making coffee for my roommate and me every morning. I enjoy doing my laundry and assisting my Life Skill Coaches with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The biggest joy for me is attending The Arc of Shelby County’s Day Hab because I enjoy spending time with others and going out into the community. My favorite activity this past year was bowling with the Special Olympics and bowling with my friends. Thank you for helping me with my goals.”
Three Hots and a Cot
“Three hots and a cot” refers to something every veteran gets while on active duty: three hot meals and a cot to sleep on. Three Hots & A Cot serves those who have served. They provide a place for homeless veterans to receive the assistance they need to transition back to civilian society.
The homeless population in Birmingham is currently at nearly 3,000. Of these, approximately 800 are veterans. Many of these veterans are dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. All face each day on the streets looking for a meal and a place to sleep in safety. There are limited beds available for the entire homeless population, and the veterans receive no special treatment for being veterans. 27% of these homeless are chronic homeless, which means they have been on the streets for over 12 months. The lack of availability of services and treatment centers is a major obstacle in providing for the homeless population.
Three Hots and A Cot was founded by veterans to serve their brothers and sisters who need help. For various reasons, these veterans find themselves living on the streets, in abandoned houses, under bridges, in old warehouses, in city parks, and in the back of rental trucks. This organization is not a homeless shelter, but a gateway to independence. Whatever the need of the veteran, they will help them meet it. The services they offer include temporary housing, meals, counseling, medical and dental services, job placement, transportation, clothing closet, resume writing, and 24/7 staff support.
Due to unfortunate circumstances, Vietnam Army veteran George had been reduced to living in his van. Just when George thought things couldn’t get much worse, his motor blew out and his transmission broke. It felt like life was going downhill fast. George was in a program at his local VA and was sent out to apply with Three Hots and a Cot. Supporters have occasionally donated vehicles to the organization, and there just happened to be a 2013 Chrysler Voyager available to offer George. When George finished his VA program, he moved into the Saint Benedict’s Center where he now lives with all the comforts of home.
December 16, 2021