DAVISON — So far this year, Outreach East has been forced to cancel nine benefit events – two of them major fundraisers for the organization – due to COVID- 19.
For an organization that relies on contributions from the community to feed those who are less fortunate in the Davison area, it has made 2020 an especially difficult year.
But Davison Township Supervisor Tim Elkins, and Ken Duetsch from Red Carpet Keim Realty, are organizing a fundraiser which doesn’t require a gathering of people and can be done from the safety of one’s home.
Elkins said the fundraiser seeks monetary contributions from the public which are then matched by sponsors from businesses in the community.
The first year, he said he and Duetsch raised $12,000 and last year they raised another $8,000. This year, Elkins said he hopes they can raise $15,000.
“Outreach had to cancel two of its biggest fundraisers so far this year,” said Elkins. “We (Elkins and Duetsch) thought we’d do this fundraiser again and make some money.”
He explained the concept as someone from the community donates $20, for instance, and one of the fundraiser’s sponsors will then in turn donate $20. Initially, he said the goal for 2020 was to raise $10,000, but they decided they could raise more and set their sights on $15,000 over four weeks, starting Aug. 28.
Jan Lebert, director of Outreach East, said the effort couldn’t come at a better time for the organization, with the needs of the community on the rise for food and assistance with utilities and rent.
“You can’t be more virus friendly than this!” she said of the matching donations fundraiser.
Lebert said the need for assistance in the community wasn’t bad over the summer, with many people who were unemployed receiving additional aid from the government because of COVID-19. But now, as some benefits begin to dry up, she said families are starting to come back.
One thing that has helped sustain Outreach East over the summer has been its ongoing pop can drive. To date, they have raised more than $4,000 in returnables alone. It has been so successful, Lebert said they’ve decided to extend the drive for the foreseeable future.
She also said the organization will be applying for some grants to help out during this time but is hopeful the matching donations fundraiser will help meet many of their needs.
The fundraiser is a dollar for dollar match, turning a $20 donation into $40 for Outreach East.
Details: Call 810-653-7711.
To donate visit www.outreacheast.org or by mail at P.O. Box 61, Davison, MI 48423. The goal is to raise $15,000 by Sept. 30.