Congregation Engagement Packages 20212021-02-03T12:47:50-05:00

Congregation Engagement Packages 2021

Our congregation partners have been the backbone of our SOS emergency shelter program since its founding. While opportunities to participate in our shelter program and support our guests look differently during the COVID-19 pandemic, they still exist and we still cannot do this work without your partnership!

We are asking that your congregation commit to supporting our emergency shelter guests during your normally scheduled hosting week. We recognize that during these unprecedented times, everyone’s financial, emotional, and physical capacity looks different. Among the options listed below, we are certain your congregation will find an opportunity that resonates with your desires and capabilities.

Meal Preparation & Delivery

We will provide a breakdown of who is in the shelter by unit number, family size, and age; help distribute meals if you are unable to do so; and a list of any dietary restrictions.

Package 1: Just Like Old Times

• 35 lunches + 35 dinners daily for 1 week
• Meals individually packaged and delivered to the hotel site each day

Package 2: Lunchtime Special

• 50 Lunch Bags/Baskets put together for clients to make their own lunches for 1 week
• Can include, but is not limited to: loaves of bread, jars of peanut butter and jelly, lunch meat and cheese, apple sauce cups, crackers, granola bars
• HAVE FUN! The possibilities are endless for what you include in your lunch bags or baskets!

Package 3: The Big 50!

• 50 lunches and 50 dinners daily for 1 week
• Meals individually packaged and delivered to the hotel site each day

Package 4: The Whole Shebang

• 85 lunches and 85 dinners daily for 1 week
• Meals individually packaged and delivered to the hotel site each day

Package 5: Mix & Match

• Lunch baskets/bags to last 1 week + Individually packaged dinners for guests daily for 1 week
• May provide dinner for 35, 50, 75, or 100 people each day — Please choose one and let us know!

Contact Dallas LaCross at to express interest, ask questions, or brainstorm other ways to provide meal support.

Financial Donations

For congregations who want to support, but are unable to volunteer or organize meals, consider hosting a fundraiser to support our emergency shelter operations. Donations of all sizes will provide critical services to our SOS shelter guests.

$7,000 – Will provide two meals for a full week to all 100 guests

$3,000 – Will convert and fully furnish one of our transitional housing units into an emergency shelter unit for a mom and her children

$2,100 -Will provide two meals for a full week for 30 guests

$1,200 -Will provide one month of shelter at the hotel for a household

Contact Max Glick at for more information on how to host an online fundraiser through our free platform, HandUp.

Donated Items

Consider hosting a donation drive to support our emergency shelter guests. You help collect the items, and we’ll deliver them to our clients.

• Social Support – Packs of cards, board games, and activity books for kids.
• Personal Care – Chapstick, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, shaving supplies, baby diapers, beauty supplies, and feminine care items.
• Comfort Foods – Coffee, snacks, and continental breakfast items.
• Welcome Basket – Help to furnish a women and children shelter unit within our PATH facility. Host a donation drive or assemble “welcome baskets” complete with the needed items below.

NEW Items Needed
• XL Twin sheets, pillowcases, comforters
• Pillows
• Silverware sets
• Drinkware and dish sets (Corelle preferred)
• Dish towels/rags
• Dish rack, dish soap
• Coffee filters & coffee
• Bathroom towels
• Hand towels
• Washcloths
• Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Deodorant
• Multi-surface cleaner
• Toilet cleaner
• Toilet brush
• Glass cleaner

Slightly Used Items Needed
• Microwave (20”)
• Toaster
• Coffee Maker

Contact Dallas LaCross at to discuss needed items and coordinate delivery.

Congregation Smashing Successes

“Birmingham Unitarian Church hosts the SOS shelter every year the first week in November for the last 25 years. We love what SOS does and were very disappointed that Covid restricted our hosting in 2020. SOS staff asked if we could fund lunch and dinner for 100 guests staying in a motel rather than with BUC. I asked: How much would Meals on Wheels cost? $7,000! I was initially shocked, but said I would try. I thought maybe $2,000 might be possible given other member commitments, and unemployed members. I asked all members! They answered over a month of giving with a total of $17,000. I can’t explain how that happened. I am not the best fundraiser. I am apparently simply surrounded by the best people!!”
-Paul Plante, Birmingham Unitarian Church
Contact:, 734-464-1577

“Christ Church Cranbrook was so thankful to be able to still serve the shelter during the pandemic. We set out to make sure we could still serve 3 meals a day.
Lunch Kits: The 1st thing we did was organize a sign up for lunch kit items on Sign Up Genius. Peanut butter, jelly, bread, cookies, chips and fruit. We also provided lunch meat and cheeses along with condiments. We put paper bags, napkins and baggies in the sack, as well. We had a space for people to donate money to cover the cost of the other meals. We purchased Tj Maxx large bags (research if you can get these donated). We then assembled a bag per shelter room to be dropped off on Sunday of the week we were sponsors. We had people sign up to pack the bags so we could remain socially distanced. Then, people signed up to pick up the bags and deliver them to the motel. We had 8-16 volunteers meet us each time we delivered to help speed the process along.
Dinner: A member of our team contacted local restaurants to get discounted meals for the clients of Lighthouse.We got meals from $5-$8 a meal. We had a sign up for pick up from restaurants and had people sign up to deliver meals to the rooms when the driver arrived.
Breakfast: iHop on Telegraph and Square Lake did all of our breakfasts and did something different each day. If this doesn’t work for you, I am sure bagels, muffins or cereal in the lunch bag would work as well. We used an Applebee’s, a restaurant of one of our members, and Jalapeno’s in Pontiac. I believe if you have a commercial kitchen and the room to socially distance you could prepare individual meals to be delivered.
We really felt the need to think out of the box and got creative as a team. We handed out McDonald gift certificates one day as there is one located next to the motel. Whatever your budget you can make something work. Everyone involved in the week at Lighthouse was so grateful to still be able to serve in some way. Yes, we missed the community building and other aspects of the clients staying at our church, but we still were able to be the church to those in need!

-Kellie Herdade, Christ Church Cranbrook