Oh, how we look forward to the days when we can gather again, in person. But alas, today we cannot. Thus, our phantom event celebrating Groundhog Day. We all await Punxsutawney Phil's awakening to find out if he's seen his shadow or not; while each of us dreams of our future weather - winter or spring!
The festival of Punxsutawney dates back to the origin of Charitable Union, 1887. What a splendid year it was!
So, celebrate with us at home or school or work... wearing formal wear or lounge wear... Sipping mimosas or coffee... Find your happy place and think of Charitable Union.
RSVP by March 1, with your donation
Have questions, call Tyler at (269)964-7234 x - 106 or email: Tyler@CharitableUnion.org
July 27th Charitable Union will begin accepting donations Monday thru Thursday from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m.. Please note the following changes in our TOUCHLESS DONATION process and donation hours:
Please do not leave donations outside of these hours. We need to ensure the safety of our staff.
Here’s how it works: Stay in your car until staff directs you to unload your donations into the appropriate space. You will need to deposit all of your donations into the appropriate bin. We ask that you separate hard surfaces (glass, metal, wood, ceramics) from clothing, bedding, and shoes. Donations will be quarantined for 72 hours to protect our staff, volunteers, and the families we serve.
Our Free Store is available via “curbside” until the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order expires. Anyone in need can call 269-964-7234. Staff will complete all paperwork over the phone and shop for the items you need. These items can normally be picked-up within 30-minutes of calling.
Our Hours of Operation for all areas. Please check the area of service below that you would like information on:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Due to COVID donations must be held 72-hours before processing.
Free Store Shopping:
Mon, Tues and Wed
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
2nd Saturday of month
9:00 a.m. to Noon
Closed Thurs and Fri
The Gift Shop :
Beginning July 27 Re-Opening with limited customers. Gift Shop Hours:
Monday - Thursday 8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.
Friday and Saturday 9:00a.m. to 1:00p.m.
Did you ever read “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” as a kid? Remember as a kid how the worst things in the world included gum in your hair and the dreaded center backseat of the car? If only life's potholes were that simple!
Some potholes in life cannot be avoided; the closing of a business so you lose your job, or a house fire and you lose all of your worldly possessions. These types of potholes are life altering, but if given the proper supports you will bounce back.
I had the honor of serving a young woman and her boyfriend after their house fire. It was a rental unit, they lost everything but the clothing on their backs and they did not have renter's insurance. When she came to Charitable Union, she was unfamiliar with our Free Store and our mission to contribute to Human Dignity.
She and her boyfriend are both hard workers, but they couldn't work. They didn't have proper work clothing. So, step one was to give them a weeks’ worth of work clothes. But
they would need more. “Do you normally lounge in sweats or gym shorts”, I asked? Let's grab some of them too.
While she shopped for herself. I shopped for the boyfriend. She got the call they had a place to stay, and he was off to pick-up their new bed. I asked about the size of the bed and went to our Fire Aisle to see what we might have for bedding. I found a king-sized bed-in-a-bag (thank you to the donors who ensure we have these types of items, for occasions like this). As I gave her the new bedding, she broke down in tears. She could not believe strangers would support her like this and give her new items to replace the things she had lost.
Imagine how devastating it is to realize you have lost everything. You must start over, you don't know where to turn, and life itself seems like an obstacle. This is where Charitable Union fits in, providing one person's old as another person's new!
We are blessed to be embarking upon our 133rd year of service in this community. Help that brings Hope!
Charitable Union received a wonderful gift recently from Chapel Hill United Methodist Church. The above stained glass art piece now hangs in the window in front of the building on 85 Calhoun street. It depicts the charitable works that our agency has been a part of for the past 132 years here in the Battle Creek and surrounding Calhoun County area. On behalf of the board, staff and clients at Charitable Union, thank you Chapel Hill Methodist Church!
I've lived and worked in this area for most of my life and I care deeply about this community and its future. In my opinion, the future of our community will be determined by how we collectively care for our children, not just the children in our family, but all our children. When children don't have the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter it is hard for them to be concerned about learning.
Many of us live in areas where we don't see the children and parents who are so deeply impacted by poverty, but our teachers see them every day. And make no mistake - each of our local school districts have children who live in poverty....
Right now in Calhoun County, nearly 22,000 people are living in grinding poverty. That includes one in four local children and thousands of local seniors. And I know we can do better as a community in helping these people to help themselves.
So where do we start? For me, the journey out of poverty begins with the basics: clothing, shoes, bedding and basic infant-care items. Kids need them to grow up healthy and succeed in school.
Adults need them to get and keep a job. Seniors need them to stay warm. While many organizations and individuals are working to help, Charitable Union is a key player in the journey out of poverty, and it has been since 1887….
Today, I invite you -- I urge you -- to help lead our community by making your pledge. Gifts of any amount will help, but I'd encourage you to consider seriously making a "stretch gift” that goes beyond what you may have given before. The rewards you'll reap from giving will last a lifetime!
With Hope and Gratitude,
Peter J. Christ
Former CEO, Battle Creek Community Foundation