We’re packing 1,500 Thanksgiving dinner boxes, adopting 1,000 families in need, and raising $750,000 to help thousands of others who are struggling in our community – and you can help.
All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Pontiac was packed with good cheer on a frigid November night as Lighthouse kicked off its 2nd annual Shine Your Light for the Holidays Campaign. This year’s event, presented by Ford Motor Company Fund, was extra special because it’s the first year for the new Lighthouse (formed when Lighthouse of Oakland County and South Oakland Shelter merged earlier this year.) Together, we are providing a stronger response to poverty in our community.
“I just want to say thank you for being here,” Lighthouse CEO Ryan Hertz told the crowd. “There are 20,000 households in Oakland County that are low income that are rent burdened and pay more than a third of their income on their rent. There are a lot of people living right on the edge. Our organization is here to help end poverty and help make sure that everybody in our community feels safe and supported, has a reasonable and decent quality of life, and has hope and can envision a positive future for themselves and their loved ones.”
This year, Lighthouse will distribute 1,500 Thanksgiving dinner boxes complete with turkeys and all the trimmings. Genisys Credit Union generously provided the funding that was triple matched by Meijer in order to purchase all of the turkeys. Lighthouse is also adopting 1,000 families in need for Christmas through our signature Adopt-a-Family program and we’re raising $750,000 to provide year-round services to working families and seniors who are unable to keep up with the increasing cost of living.
“I love this energy in this room and it means so much because what Ford believes in is community,” said Rene Palileo with Ford Motor Company Fund who presented a surprise $25,000 donation to Lighthouse and urged others to give as well.
The Shine Your Light event was free and open to the community and full of family fun. Children decorated ornaments, wrote letters to Santa, and enjoyed cider and donuts, a hot cocoa bar, hot dogs, sliders and more. Jolly old Saint Nick himself made an appearance at the event. There were also a photo booth, balloons, and an award ceremony honoring the following dedicated Lighthouse volunteers: Debbie Warner, Susan Betterly, Geoff Briegn, Helen Staszak, Carol Goldworthy, Vince Carter, Tarra Mitchell, and Judy Web. Local 4 meteorologist Andrew Humphrey served as the evening’s emcee.
Thank you to this year’s sponsors: Ford Motor Company Fund, Blue Cross Complete, Williams International, Ascension, Yates Cider Mill, Meijer, and Genisys Credit Union.
Join our efforts and shine your light for our neighbors in need! To donate, visit lighthousemi.org or call 855.92.SHINE. You can also help out with any of the events listed below. All will take place at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Pontiac (171 W. Pike St.) unless otherwise noted.
- FILL-A-FIAT: Saturday, Nov. 16 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) Updog Yoga Rochester has partnered with the Fiat Club of Detroit to attempt to fill a Fiat with food, gift cards, and monetary donations for Lighthouse. An anonymous donor will match all gift cards and check donations up to $500. The event takes place in the Updog parking lot, 210 W. University in Rochester.
- FOOD DONATION DROP OFF: Week of Nov. 18 (1-4 p.m.) Donations of food can be dropped off daily at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Pontiac.
- PACKING DAY: Saturday, Nov. 23 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) More than 50 volunteers will come together to assemble 1,500 Thanksgiving baskets for families. Included among the volunteers are board members, community partners and businesses.
- SENIOR DELIVERY DAY: Sunday, Nov. 24 (1-4 p.m.) Volunteers deliver Thanksgiving dinner baskets to seniors who aren’t able to pick them up during distribution days.
- DISTRIBUTION DAYS: Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 25 and 26 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) Clients will come and pick up their Thanksgiving basket. Volunteers help families collect their boxes and load their cars.
- ADOPT A FAMILY: In December, 1,000 families will be adopted by donors through Lighthouse. Their wishes of gifts and household goods will be granted for Christmas.