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Meeting Oceana’s Greatest Needs

“The fact that we have so many residents struggling to make ends meet is the root cause of the county’s challenges. For many families they are just one unexpected expense away from a crisis,” said Community Foundation for Oceana County Executive Director Tammy Carey.

In 2017 the Foundation board adopted a strategic plan around developing resources to meet greatest needs and providing leadership to create positive change. “We know that Oceana has challenges in education attainment, early literacy, workforce development and health. We also recognize it takes the focus of many partners and supporters to ensure our communities remain vital and strong,” said Randy Wagner, Foundation board chair.

To address these pressing community needs, the board made a specific goal to grow its Community Investment Fund to $500,000, and Administrative Fund to $100,000. An anonymous donor has again pledged $25,000 to match any gift to the Foundation that’s earmarked to either of, or split between these two funds by December 31.

The Administrative Fund enables the Foundation to help lead critical work across the county — such as the Read Early, Read Often initiative to encourage reading to babies & toddlers, and the Oceana Employer Resource Network to reduce barriers to successful employment. The Community Investment Fund enables the Foundation to channel financial help to emerging, unmet needs that suddenly arise, such as preserving the Pioneer House Historical Museum in Walkerville from further deterioration and providing support to the Oceana Hispanic Center to help individuals seek legal status or citizenship.

“Less than two percent of our Foundation’s $11 million in total assets is available for our trustees to grant to such purposes,” added Carey, “so we can only meet a fraction of the requests for funding that we receive. We’re really trying to boost these funds and provide a new level of service to Oceana communities.  Last year, we surpassed our $25,000 matching goal when $43,000 was actually contributed. We really need everyone who cares for and supports Oceana County to join and help us exceed this match,” said Carey.

To support one or both of these two key CFOC named funds, one can write a personal check payable to Community Foundation for Oceana County.  Be sure to indicate the name(s) of the fund(s) to be supported.  Mail the check to P.O. Box 367, Shelby, MI 49455.  Contributions also can be charged to a personal credit card by donating here.

Special tax-smart giving strategies are also available. They include donating appreciated stock when investments are up (like now), and giving directly from one’s IRA if they are over 70.5-years-old and must take a required minimum distribution.

The Foundation envisions an Oceana where everyone has access to resources to thrive. It receives and manages contributions from citizens and organizations and provided $589,544 in grants and scholarships in 2016. The Foundation’s offices are in Shelby.  More information can be obtained by calling Ms. Carey at 231-861-8335  or following the Facebook page.