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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Charity Navigator's Cross-Country Tour: Michigan


Charity Navigator's Cross-Country Tour series has had us crisscrossing the United States as we spend one day each week featuring a few of the highly-rated charities at work in one of the fifty states.

This week the tour takes us to Michigan, home to more than 150 highly-rated charities. This diverse state is nestled in among the Great Lakes, which provide endless miles of beautiful shoreline. It also boasts unique urban communities that have done much to shape the American story.

Keep reading to learn more about a few of the outstanding organizations serving the people and communities of The Mitten. And, for a real test of how "Michigan" you are, hold up your right hand and see if you can point to where each of these organizations is located in the state.

The Heart and Warmth Fund (Detroit, MI)
☆☆☆☆
Neighbors helping neighbors in need

The Heat And Warmth Fund, THAW, is a leading provider of utility assistance for Michigan residents in need. They collaborate with partners to deliver services that support long-term energy solutions.

THAW, an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization, distributes assistance to vulnerable Michigan residents through 80 agency partners and a series of annual mobile processing events. Since its inception in 1985, THAW has distributed more than $145 million in assistance to more than 200,000 Michigan households in need.

Open Doors Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo, MI)
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Building relationships, overwhelming homelessness

Since 1970 Open Doors has been helping individuals and families in housing crisis to gain housing and stability through affordable housing and support for employment, education, and sobriety. They serve 92 households at a time in their Residence Community and 60 young adult men and women annually in their temporary shelter and employment program. Two-thirds of their temporary shelter guests and 90 percent of their affordable housing community residents successfully transition from housing crisis to stability.

The Rainbow Connection (Rochester, MI)
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Making dreams come true for Michigan children with life-threatening medical conditions

The Rainbow Connection is a local organization that focuses its efforts exclusively on Michigan children and their families. Founded in 1985, The Rainbow Connection is a dedicated to making dreams come true for Michigan children with life-threatening illnesses and providing emergency support services to these families. To date, the organization has granted over 3,400 wishes to children across Michigan suffering from life-threatening or terminal illnesses. From something as simple as a new computer to meeting the President of the United States at the White House to the most requested wish of all, a trip to Disney World, The Rainbow Connection grants wishes throughout the year.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation (Grand Rapids, MI)
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
For good. For ever.

Founded in 1922, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation is Michigan's first community foundation. Their mission is to build and manage the community's permanent endowment and lead the community to strengthen the lives of its people. Since 1930 when the Foundation made its first grant, hundreds of thousands of people's lives have been enriched through grants and scholarships totaling almost $160 million. The role of the Foundation has grown from simple grant maker to a community leader seeking long-term solutions to diverse community challenges.

Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes (Grand Rapids, MI)
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Empowering young people to own their economic success

Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes (JAMGL) exists to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. The organization is part of Junior Achievement Worldwide, a global organization that offers high-quality economic education programs to over 9.7 million students in 123 countries. This is accomplished through Junior Achievement's diversified product line of interactive, experiential economic education programs covering concepts in financial literacy, workplace readiness, and entrepreneurship. Volunteers from local businesses and organizations elect to deliver these K-12 programs over the course of 5-12 weeks depending on grade level. During the 2016-2017 academic year, our organization served more than 59,000 young people in nearly 270 schools with the help of more than 1,400 volunteers.

Looking for other organizations in Michigan? You can use Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search Tool or Discover feature to find even more highly-rated charities serving the people and communities of The Mitten.

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