We would love your input on our giving. Please email us a few paragraphs about who you will be donating to this December and why; and if you give your time to the group as well.
Starting on this Saturday, December 1st, we will send out checks of $500 to $10,000 to organizations in Northern Michigan and Ann Arbor. The money will go toward expanding, enriching and strengthening the community assets in our region. What makes us special and what can we do to preserve that uniqueness and even enhance it:
1. Obviously, our water, our forests and beaches. Preserving and enhancing this unique environment is paramount for our own quality of life, the tourists that come and the many non-people that call this home as well.
2. Our farms! What is northern Michigan without the orchards and vineyards; and the many food festivals and farm markets and the unique local produce that goes onto the menu at your favorite restaurant?
3. People. We give to good people doing good things that have big dreams. Part of what makes Michigan special is the abundance of quality individuals passionately working to make this little part of the world a better place.
4. Culture and amenities. What are those things that we enjoy that give our lives meaning and put a smile on our faces? And what can we do to enhance these amenities and experiences even more?
We recognize that our donations alone cannot protect and save even one important cause-- it takes a community of donors and supporters. We will do our best to not reject any request if it fits our criteria. And we know that typically our requesters our not working for the organization—they are just volunteers doing the awkward task of asking for help. Yet, understand that only one check a day will be mailed out.
We typically do not donate to college or universities or to hospitals or health related organizations and causes. Nor do we donate toward large capital improvements or campaigns. We do not give outside the Grand Traverse area unless it is a national organization or statewide organization that is active in our region. We have a successful new store in Ann Arbor, and we seek to expand on the groups we have given to in that city.
Please limit your emails to the following:
· The name of the organization or group with a link to their website (if they have one.)
· Why you are personally donating to this group? In a paragraph, show your passion.
· What is your involvement to the organization?
· We have already given over $75,000 this year in donations, so this will be the biggest year of giving we have ever done. The major recipients so far have been the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Bike Trail and the Northwest Hort Station. There have been many smaller donations to festivals, races, fairs and other events. We periodically give directly to individuals or farm families with a specific need.
· There are several groups that we have given to for many Decembers and we will continue to give them. This more transparent giving is a change in the way we do things.