Posted on October 4, 2013 by MNA
On September 11, over 50 volunteers convened at Lansing City Market to work on their new native plant garden. Volunteers came from all over the Greater Lansing Region and from different backgrounds to help with this project.
The idea for this project first came about last spring when we decided that we needed to beautify the area along Lansing’s River Trail that sits between the Lansing Center, a regional convention center, and ourselves at the Market. This area had been long since neglected since construction ended on the new Lansing City Market which opened three years ago. After talking about a few ideas we settled on a native plant garden because it would add to the natural landscape of the Lansing River Trail. We also realized that we could incorporate lessons with our already in place programming that would not only make the space a beautiful one but an educational one.
We immediately teamed up with the Red Cedar Chapter of Wild Ones, a native plant organization, who developed the plan for the project and who ultimately awarded us a grant which covered the majority of the plants needed for the project. After receiving additional funding through the 9/11 National Day of Service and Day of Remembrance grant we were prepared to complete our project with the help of volunteers.
The day itself went on without a hitch which is always the goal for any volunteer coordinator. We had the plants, the wood chips, the snacks for the day and the volunteers showed up in droves. We had AmeriCorps members from all over, including folks from Healthy Kids Healthy Futures in Battle Creek, Wild Ones volunteers, college students, some AmeriCorps Alums from the Power of We Consortium, and even some veterans. It was a great day where we accomplished all of our tasks including cleaning up before our end time. We felt especially accomplished because the second that the plants were done we started seeing bees and a lady bug so we knew that our work was done!
This, of course is an on-going project and our little plants need lots of love and water. At some point every day you’ll see a volunteer or two out there watering. We are looking forward to next spring when our little ones pop out from the snow.
-Submitted by Heather Hymes, Lansing City Market Manager
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: 9/11, civic engagement, Collaboration, National Service, service, volunteering | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 23, 2013 by MNA
Michigan Nonprofit Association affiliates have just released a new resource entitled Lifelong Civic Engagement: A Guide for Michiganders. The digital resource is available on the Michigan Nonprofit Association website under the Civic Engagement tab. This resource discusses lifelong engagement of Michigan residents and offers suggestions and resources on how to engage in the community. The resource is divided into sections based on a series of life stages (K-12; College Years; Non-College Bound Youth; Post Graduate; Aging Adults). Each of these sections is designed to act as an independent resource for a specific life stage, as well as function as a cohesive document that lays out ways to civically engage in Michigan throughout a lifetime.
To accompany this resource, MNA has created an activities placemat for children 5+, the Learning How to Give Activity Mat. The placemat includes activities and simple word/definition games to provide exposure and knowledge development of terminology such as philanthropy, service, and giving. The placemat is linked within the resource in the elementary piece of the K-12 section and can be easily printed for use.
This resource was made possible by an anonymous donor who believes strongly in the concept of lifelong engagement and reflects a year of research done by the first MNA Civic Engagement Fellow. Please take some time to read, share, and educate other Michiganders of the civic engagement opportunities available to them no matter which stage they may be at in their life.
Click here to view Lifelong Civic Engagement: A Guide for Michiganders.
Click here to view the Learning How to Give Activity Mat.
Submitted by Alyssa Walters, MNA Civic Engagement Fellow
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: civic engagement, education, Michigan Nonprofit Association, philanthropy, service, service-learning, volunteering | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 23, 2013 by MNA
17 colleges and universities from Michigan Campus Compact (MiCC) membership were recently named on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Deserving recipients include the Presidential Award Finalist, Kalamazoo College, and Honor Roll with Distinction recipients Michigan State University, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Western Michigan University. Albion College, Alma College, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Central Michigan University, Davenport University, Delta College, Eastern Michigan University, Kellogg Community College, Lawrence Technological University, Madonna University, and Olivet College were all recognized on the Honor Roll as well. Congratulations to all campuses!
Campuses recognized on the Honor Roll lead volunteerism efforts across their country by offering hundreds of service-learning courses and by engaging students in community service. Their dedication is unprecedented and their impact is impressive.. These higher education institutes are recognized nationally as leaders in the effort to better communities and reflect their historic civic missions.
Michigan Campus Compact (MICC), an affiliate organization of the Michigan Nonprofit Association and the national Campus Compact, supporting the civic engagement activities of colleges and their students in the State of Michigan.
Submitted by Hanna Porterfield, Michigan Campus Compact Communications Intern
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: civic engagement, Michigan Campus Compact, National Service, service-learning | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 21, 2012 by MNA
This fall season Michigan Nonprofit Association’s (MNA) continued its efforts to involve staff in civic engagement opportunities by coordinating an organization wide food collection intended to create complete meal boxes for local families in need. Opportunities like these help MNA staff connect with the local community, service organizations, and learn more about an existing community challenge. Food security is a real challenge for many individuals and families.
Since the beginning of October, MNA collected more than 200 food items to fill food boxes for six families. The food boxes were distributed through Northwest Initiative in Lansing to families who have a student participating in the weekend backpack program at a local school and to a family who has a student enrolled in a LEAGUE Michigan school in the Detroit area.
Northwest Initiative is a neighborhood based organization who serves individuals in the northwest region of Lansing. One of their programs includes the weekend backpack program that provides a backpack full of food for students who would otherwise not have consistent access to food for the days they are not in school. The food boxes made up of the items donated by MNA staff were designed to help feed the student and their family for the five days of the Thanksgiving break when the student would not receive breakfast or lunch at school.
Northwest Initiative works closely with the Greater Lansing Food Bank to help increase the food stability of the families they serve. The boxes donated by MNA not only support a student and their family but allow Northwest Initiative to serve additional families with the food resources they receive from the food bank and individual donations.
The Thanksgiving holiday offers a reminder about the critical role food has for families and communities but it is important to remember the need exists year round. Because of the success of this project and the partnerships it helped MNA develop, future food collection efforts can be coordinated year round as the community need arises.
Submitted by Chelsea Martin Program Coordinator, Michigan Nonprofit Association
Filed under: Uncategorized, Volunteerism | Tagged: civic engagement, Collaboration, Michigan, nonprofit, Thanksgiving, Volunteerism | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 8, 2010 by MNA
Veterans Day is Thursday, November 11, and Youth Service America through its “Get Ur Good On” program shared the following ideas and resources for how you can support the troops!
10 Ways to Get Ur Good On to Support the Troops
1. On Veterans Day, plan a service project in honor of military members and invite them to join you. Mission Serve has lots of potential projects listed: www.missionserve.org/pages/plan-a-project
2. Rock a yellow ribbon! Request a free yellow ribbon from Yellow Ribbon America and wear it during November. www.yellowribbonamerica.org
3. Gather a group of friends and make holiday cards to send to troops. The website A Million Thanks has letter drop off locations across America; find one near you: http://amillionthanks.org/Drop_Off_Locations.asp
4. Visit, thank and honor hospitalized veterans at a Department of Veterans Affair medical center, clinic or nursing home. Find out about their student volunteer program here: http://www.volunteer.va.gov/StudentProgram.asp
5. Bake cookies! Is one of your family members deployed right now or do you have a friend with a deployed family member? Bake cookies to send to them. Treats for Soldiers has tips on how to ship the cookies. www.treatthetroops.org/tips.htm
6. Halloween is over and you probably have a lot of Halloween candy left over and your candy can go to a good use. Several organizations are currently collecting candy donations to add to care packages they send to deployed soldiers. Visit Operation Gratitude at www.halloweencandybuyback.com or Operation Shoebox at www.operationshoebox.com
7. Have a cell phone drive and send collected phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers. They send the donated cell phones to ReCellular, which pays them for each donated phone – the money provides an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad. www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/becomeDropoff.html
8. Host a “Support the Troops” drive at your school and collect items to send to the organization Give 2 the Troops. View the list of items they can accept; there is a huge variety of items you can collect! www.give2thetroops.org/items.htm
9. Become a USO volunteer! They have volunteer opportunities in the US and Europe. You can help out at a special event, cheer for troops at a homecoming, man a front desk, or provide a listening ear to a soldier. Visit the site for more volunteer info: www.uso.org/ways-to-volunteer.aspx
10. Help collect and preserve the remembrances of American war veterans and civilian workers who supported them by participating in the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project. www.loc.gov/vets/vets-home.html
Filed under: Events, Volunteerism | Tagged: civic engagement, Veterans Day, Volunteerism | Leave a Comment »