At MBC we’re dedicated to making a positive impact in our communities by helping individuals and families in need. We do this through our commitment to help support charities that make a huge impact in the lives of many throughout our Michigan communities. One of the ways we raise money is with Friday Casual Days. Every month MBC employees have the opportunity to pay monies for the privilege of wearing blue jeans or other casual attire on Fridays.
Our spotlight charity for June is Friends in Deed.
Friends In Deed evolved from the efforts of Polly Helmke and Libby Hillegonds, who brought together a group of people to study the Love Inc. model back in 1982. With the support of several local congregations, the group eventually pooled their ideas about the services needed by the Washtenaw County community and created Friends In Deed.
Adaptive Service Programs
Friends In Deed’s mandate has always been to fill in the cracks of service offered by the other organizations and nonprofits in the community, which means Friends In Deed’s services have changed and evolved over the years. For instance, at times during the organization’s history, Friends In Deed offered an appliance repair program and eviction-prevention program. It also offered parenting workshops, new mom’s support groups, financial management training and a car-care clinic.
The late 1990s was the time period during which several services and programs were initiated that continue to this day, including the Car Repair program, Furniture program, How-to-Help Seminar, and Resource Guides publications.
While the Direct Assistance and Furniture programs continued to grow over the years, so, too, did Friends In Deed’s congregational support. By the early 2000s, Friends In Deed had a network of 47 congregations that supported us financially and with volunteers.
Office and Warehouse Facilities
This growth eventually resulted in the need to consolidate Friends In Deed’s operations and warehouse. A Capital Campaign was created in 2007 with the goal of raising $300,000 to purchase, renovate and equip a building: 1196 Ecorse Road in Ypsilanti. Friends In Deed moved into the facility in December of 2008. Through the generous donations and pledges from the Board of Directors, the Capital Campaign was completed and the mortgage retired in early 2011.
Helena Prince retired in 2011, and Sarah Thornburg was hired as the new Executive Director. The mission at Friends In Deed continues to adapt to the needs of the community. We look forward to the next 30 years of serving Washtenaw County.