Directors Quarterly Blog April 2021

A year later

Families lost loved ones, virtual learning for students, and our kitchen tables became our workspace.

A year later, after the World Health Organization officially declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic, the world is still struggling to recover and operate in what we have come to accept as the “new normal.”

As we move forward with the rollout of vaccines, we still see the struggles of individuals, families, non-profits, and businesses.

When the pandemic hit, the Cadillac Area Community Foundation did not hesitate to support our community’s emergency needs.  We put philanthropy in action, using grant dollars to support food banks, shelters, masks, personal protective supplies, etc.

A year later, we continue to fund non-profits, our most recent grants to WexExpress and Veterans Fund of Wexford and Missaukee Counties.

The WexExpress funds are to provide transportation to individuals in Wexford and Missaukee County.  The grant is for anyone age 54 and under without transportation or has disabilities to and from COVID clinics for their vaccine. With a matching grant, we have provided 3000 miles.

Due to Veterans’ overwhelming requests, the Fund fell below $2000 in 5 months.  An additional grant from the Foundation of $5000 was obtained to provides emergency needs for Veterans in Wexford and Missaukee County.

Foundations across the country have continued their charitable mission, delivering services to non-profits during this crisis.

We are all monitoring the pandemic finding ways to respond to the ever-changing needs, and praying for the thousands of people affected by the virus.

Our lives feel different now, but we are all in this together and gaining the strength we will need for tomorrow….

Happy Spring, Doreen

January Blog – Entering into 2021

As we enter into 2021, there are plenty of things to look forward to.  In-person meetings, returning to work, our children back in school, family get-togethers, weddings, birthday parties, vacations, all the things we have put aside to be safe with slowly return.

It’s easy to think about enjoying something lost in recent months or what life would be like if the pandemic were over. Will we continue to work remotely, or will the virtual school be the new way of learning?  What will the new normal look like?

Our goal is to serve charitable needs & enhance the people’s quality of life in our community.

The Cadillac Area Community Foundation will continue to reach out and be visible to our community’s needs.  We will continue to work with our nonprofits to find relief efforts and grants to assist them.   We are continually checking in with our food pantries and assisting our veterans with emergency requests.  As we go into spring, we will be reaching out to our senior students about scholarships available.

According to Newsweek:

Vaccines become available to the general population; Dr. Fauci has said that most people will be able to “walk into a CVS or a Walgreens and get vaccinated” by April. Other experts say it may take until June.

I am looking forward to seeing family and friends more often, having my granddaughter spend the weekend, and visiting our two new babies in the family.

These are the simple things in life that make us happy. We need to get back to those times. The New Year cannot come soon enough for me.

Wishing all a Healthy & Happy New Year, Doreen Lanc

December Blog

Caring for our Community
What the CARES Act means for your charitable giving

During 2020, the Coronavirus has affected millions of Americans and small businesses. This has resulted in significant federal aid and private donations towards the relief effort. If you have personally donated to a charity during 2020, then you may qualify for a new deduction under the CARES Act. The CARES Act outlines the following changes to charitable giving:

*A new temporary deduction in 2020  for cash donations up to $300, even for taxpayers that do not itemize deductions.  This is an “above the line” deduction.

*For taxpayers that itemize deductions, the adjusted gross income limit for charitable gifts of cash was increased from 60 percent to 100 percent for 2020 only.  This could allow taxpayers to completely wipe out their AGI and their tax liability with a charitable contribution.

If you were subject to required minimum distributions (RMD)  in 2020, the good news is that the CARES ACT suspended the RMD requirement.  But you can still contribute up to $100,000 from your IRA to a qualified charity in 2020.  The check has to be written from the trustee of the IRA directly to the charity.    This way, it doesn’t show up as taxable income and helps prevent the distribution from being taxed in Michigan.

If you have already donated to a public charity in 2020, make sure you received supporting documentation for the donation. If you have yet to donate or have questions, CACF would be happy to help.

Happy Holiday, Doreen

November/December Blog

Dear Friends and Donors,

With the support of our many generous donors in 2020, the Cadillac Area Community Foundation continues to provide support to our community in what has been an extraordinarily challenging year for both our community and our nation.

We live in a community that prides itself in supporting the less fortunate among us as we are indeed all in this together!

At the onset of COVID-19, we provided $25,000 each to Love Inc., in Wexford County, and Community Hope in Missaukee County.  These funds supported the need to provide emergency food and shelter in both communities.

Grants received from Consumer Energy Foundation, DTE Foundation, and gifts from generous donors helped us act quickly to alleviate some of our community’s pressing needs and our non-profits resulting from COVID-19.

Along with our financial support to food pantries, we granted emergency funds to Oasis FRC, Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital Patients Needs Fund, and Hospice of Michigan.  Additionally, we provided masks to CAPS students, facemasks, and hand sanitizer to the extraordinary volunteers working at food distribution centers in Wexford and       Missaukee Counties.

We continue to work with our non-profit organizations to find relief efforts and grants to assist them during this uncertain time.

In addition to our contributions to lessen the impact of COVID-19, we continue with our many other community support programs. For our youngest community members, we provide financial support to the Imagination Library that encourages the joy of reading at an early age. For the youth in our community, we provide financial and mentoring support to CACF Youth Advisory Committee. For our future community leaders, we helped support another successful year with the  Leadership Learning Lab.  We provided emergency support for our veterans as needs arise, and we continue to support our non-profit organization’s services and programs.

Nobody knows what the “new normal” will look like; we can hope 2021 will be a fresh start.

The Cadillac Area Community Foundation gives a special thanks to our generous donors and community partners, together, as we continue to impact lives.

Gratefully, Doreen Lanc

October 2020 Blog \ October is Health Literacy Month

Help us make the change.

Literacy is the foundation of community and economic development.  If you can’t read, how do you follow instructions, manage finances, take orders, understand medical instruction, apply for jobs, get promotions, read to your children and help them with their homework?

Our state has a lot of work to do to improve literacy rates among elementary students. The 2015 M-STEP data examines the number of third-graders who are considered proficient readers. Nearly 50 percent of third-graders in Michigan are considered partially proficient or not proficient readers.  Students who fall below the standards in third grade are more likely to struggle for the rest of their education.

Research shows that reading to young children (ages 6 months to 5 years) not only provides healthy together time for parents, families, and children, it also offers many lifelong benefits.

Increased vocabulary, curiosity, and memory;
Positive associations with books and reading;
Opportunities to build listening skills; and
A foundation for scholastic success.

This is why the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program is so important to communities.  Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that gifts free books to children from birth to age five in participating communities.

The Wexford-Missaukee Imagination Library program, which started in June of 2013, provides a book in the mail each month to children birth to 5 years, who choose to sign up. The only eligibility requirement is that the family live within the service area of the Wexford Missaukee Intermediate School District. (Cadillac, Manton, Mesick, McBain, Pine River, Marion, and Lake City).

The cost of the age-appropriate, monthly book, with postage, is $2.25. The program is funded 100% locally through grants, businesses, and individual donors.  The cost of the program is over $40,000 a year and currently has 1,854 children registered.

This month we have a match opportunity…… up to $10,000, from October 1 –until the 31st, every $1 will be matched 100%.

We need your help to keep books in the hands of children by donating.

$25 will sponsor 1 child to receive a monthly age-appropriate book for 1 year (12 books)
$125 will sponsor 1 child to receive a monthly age-appropriate book for 5 years (60 books)
$250 will sponsor 2 children to receive a monthly age-appropriate book for 5 years (120 books)

Send you checks to          Cadillac Area Community Foundation
201 North Mitchell Street, Ste. 101
Cadillac, MI 49601

Or donate online at www.cadillacfoundation.org  click on DONATE
Please add in the memo:  Book Match

You can help us make a change.  Doreen

September 2020 Blog

I wanted to share a story with you today, a story of passion from one person sharing his talent to hospice patients.

Ain’t no Mountain High Enough

Our beloved musician volunteer, Sam Hazlewood, may not be singing Diana Ross and the Supremes, but he is demonstrating the theme, “Nothing can keep me from you.”

Sam’s performances include favorite sing-alongs and anecdotes, and he has shared his gift with HOM since 2012. Before the pandemic restrictions, he was seeing over 25 patients at one time, keeping all on track with a notebook and a “gig” schedule so each patient had 1-2 music sessions per month.

Since August of 2018, Sam had been taking his guitar and beautiful smile to a patient in the north and playing for sometimes over two hours. So when the pandemic hit, it hit Sam pretty hard.

“This is my purpose,” Sam will tell you. And there is no doubt it is. There had to be a way to let the music play.

With the collaboration of the nurse, social worker, VPC, and activities director at the facility, “Video Musician Visits” emerged. Sam had his first performance on April 21 with his patient along with two others he had previously played for and one new patient.

Coordination and help from the facility activity director drive the success of these visits, besides Sam’s charm of course. A time is set that is best for the patient and Sam gets tuned and ready. The facility calls into Sam’s tablet from their tablet and sets it up in the patient’s room. The performance usually lasts 20-40 minutes, then facility staff will “pick Sam up in the tablet” and take him to the next patient.

“One patient was singing right along,” Sam said, “and when she got to the point where she seemed tired I told her it was ok, she could just rest and let me sing.

“Sometimes I’m not sure they are all that awake but then when I’m done, they’ll say ‘thank you,’ so I know they are hearing me.”

On May 19, Sam had his gig scheduled, but the patient he had been seeing since 2018 took a turn and was now in the “active phase” of passing. The VPC called Sam to let him know he may not be playing for her today. But when he connected via video to the facility they said, “Yes, we still want you to play for her.” So Sam was able to share his purpose one more time with his patient in a very special way.

Sam is a special human, as are all of you. There are countless stories such as this, and we thank all of you who have found the way to continue phone or video contact with your patients since the onset of this pandemic.

There is definitely no mountain high enough for our volunteers. You are truly remarkable and so loved!

The Cadillac Area Community Foundation has granted Michigan Hospice funds to purchase 9 tablets, to improve quality during treatments, medications, services, grief support, and spiritual care of patients and families in need.

Happy September, Doreen

August 2020 Blog

A Busy Summer for YAC!

The Cadillac Area Community Foundation Youth Committee has been working all summer on projects to help students stay busy during this time of uncertainty.  Students have been earning hours (10 required) of community service, by volunteering, checking on grandmas and grandpas, and neighbors.

As monthly meetings turn to conference calls and zoom meetings, students are stilling looking for ways they can make a difference during the COVID 19 crisis.

In May during a CAPS food distribution, YAC students gave out over $1500 in items, (basketballs, footballs, color books, word searches, games, puzzles, etc.) bought locally to help kids stay busy and get exercise.  Many of the families had a pleasant surprise, as students gave out FREE items, COVID 19 Capsule flier, and how to stay safe fliers.  Families were very appreciative of the kindness of the students.

From a $3000 grant the Students awarded to the Up North Arts organization, they volunteered to help pack up art supplies of construction paper, watercolors paints set, fine tip markers, and instructions (just another way to keep students busy) and then dispersed over 200 bags full of art supplies to families on a sunny Saturday morning.

In June the students approved a grant to Feeding America West Michigan for $1000 for Mobile Food Pantry Cadillac Area.  Due to COVID 19, the food pantries have seen more than normal activity.  They also approved $2500 to Sleep in Heavenly Peace for kid’s beds (which they hope to join them on a build day) and approved New Hope Center $1000 for new mattresses and protective cases.  Unfortunately, the shelter has been at capacity all summer.

In July, students assisted setting up CAPS Kids Closet at Central Office, a $1000 grant in December 2019 was awarded to help get the closet up and running.  As part of the grant, they wanted to be a part of organizing the closet.  Taking all of the safety precautions, students spent an afternoon arranging items by size, putting up shelving, and consolidating items.

This month (August), students met over Zoom to discuss “Masks”!  They voted to support CAPS with a 1000 masks.  The masks will have the Cadillac Viking and the YAC logo.  Their mission is to give every student a mask on the first day of school.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit young people hard, disrupting education, putting their summer jobs at risk, and making their futures uncertain, but they are always looking for amazing initiatives like art projects, food, shelter, clothing, and even masks to change lives.

If you have a student going into the 8th grade and would like additional information about the YAC program, please feel free to contact me at the Foundation, 231-775-9911.

Happy August!
Doreen

May 2020

Virtual Celebrations

Our seniors were shortchanged from their high school experience.  They were born in the devastation of 9/11 and graduating during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

No prom, no cap &  and gown, no ceremony, no pictures with high school friends, no presentation of diploma in front of family and friends, no celebrating their high school accomplishments, and no graduation parties.

They have worked hard for this moment, and they are resilient, they are strong, they are persistent, they are determined, and they ARE going places!

The 2020 seniors will have lasting memories, just not the ones they planned on.  The new wave of recognition includes: drive-in graduation ceremonies, scholarship awards via Zoom, and honoring seniors on Facebook all because of our response to the social distancing ban, and it is new to every single one of us.

Our schools, teachers, and parents, are going to great lengths to find ways to honor their students. They are being very creative in showing their gestures to the class of 2020.  In the wave of technology, schools are reaching out in many ways to celebrate.  Facebook, websites, signs in yards and even billboards seem like a small gesture but mean everything to a senior during COVID-19.

We will probably never again feel comfortable in public places, shaking hands even with close friends, and standing close to people we don’t know.  It may be a long time to feel comfortable in large groups, sporting events, and even going to the movies.

But, we will continue to celebrate the milestones in our lives and we will continue to face unprecedented challenges, with determination and technology, virtual memories will be made!

Congratulation to the 2020 Senior Class – Stay Safe – Stay Strong!

We are in this together!
Doreen

April 2020

We’re living in uncertain times. We hear about the challenges our healthcare workers, essentials workers like grocery store employees, police officers, and EMS workers deal with every day.  We have seen teachers and school staff members that are touching base with their students, friends and families being apart due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.   It is real and serious for everyone!

The Cadillac Area Community Foundation granted Love Inc. and Community Hope $50,000 to support the emergency needs of food and shelter in the Wexford and Missaukee county areas from our Community Fund. These grants were just the beginning; donations we receive will be pushed out to the community to meet the needs as they occur.  We are keeping contact with our non-profits who are providing so many essential services to individuals and families impacted by the instability and economic consequences associated with COVID-19.

A collaborative effort by the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau, Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Cadillac, Cadillac Area Community Foundation, Alliance for Economic Success and the Downtown Cadillac Association have put together necessary information for business help and support for companies impacted by COVID-19 Coronavirus.

City of Cadillac updates:  https://www.cadillac-mi.net/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=443

Resources for businesses/food pantries:  https://cadillacmichigan.com/covidupdates/

MI Blood locations:  https://donate.miblood.org/donor/schedules/zip

We are here for the long haul, making sure we support our community of urgent needs.

If you would like to make a charitable donation to support with challenges facing a non-profit organization you have passion for, please write the name of the organization in the check memo and send to CACF, 201 N. Mitchell Street, Ste. 101, Cadillac, MI  49601, or donate on-line at www.cadillacfoundation.org. Please add the name of the organization’s you wish to support in the comments section.

Any support large or small is a positive sign of hope.

Stay Safe and Healthy,

Doreen

March 2020

A Safe & Healthy Community

Safe & Healthy Communities (SHC) is a local community coalition comprised of a variety of health professionals focused on addressing substance abuse in Wexford and Missaukee Counties. Their mission is to build and mobilize a comprehensive, community-wide social movement to substantially reduce substance abuse in our extended communities. .

Unfortunately, the fact is that people have died from causes associated with the use of vaping products, and underage drinking.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that, as of December 10, 2019, there are 2,409 hospitalization cases of vaping-related lung injuries in the U.S., resulting in 52 deaths across 26 states. A recent survey done by the Cadillac Youth Advisory Committee asked students 9-12 grade, which substance is currently being abused, 73.1% said vaping.  When asked if they knew the health risks, 97.4 said they did.  The 7th & 8th graders said 89.2% of the students are abusing vaping.  The numbers are shocking!  99.1% said they understand the health issues associated Read more