“We all came in on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.” Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. made that matter-of-fact observation during the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s. Indeed, the ship that is this nation has a diverse passenger manifest, which is one of the most wonderful attributes of America. With the exception of Native Americans, all of us came from elsewhere, with diverse ideas and beliefs. But all have come together under the words of The Declaration of Independence – that all men are created equal and equally entitled to life, liberty, and happiness. And yet, it took more than 250 years for that belief to apply to all of our citizens, regardless of race.

Foundation’s scholarship program continues to help area students

In the face of an uncertain school year, our Seniors continued to strive and grow as students and young adults. Their graduation this spring is a hallmark of their tenacity and excellence, and their future, with goals in mind, is destined to be bright. They will go forward and make their mark on the world, sharing their visions for a better future.  The Community Foundation for Oceana County (CFOC) shares pride in their accomplishments and, along with our donors, are excited to offer financial support to help them along their way.

Read early. Read often. Shifts to Address Need

Read Early, Read Often (RERO), established in 2016, distributes free children’s books to families in Oceana County through partnerships with local agencies including area nonprofits, early childhood centers, food pantries, and more!  RERO encourages reading to children starting at birth.  Babies and toddlers who are read to early and often will have heard as many as thirty million more words than children who aren’t read to before Preschool. Further, the number of books in a child’s home has shown to be as impactful on a child’s educational attainment as the education level of her parents.

Urgent Needs Fund Grants to Non-Profits Throughout Oceana

The Foundation established an Urgent Needs Fund in late March to provide support to area nonprofit organizations, schools and governments on the front lines serving those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  We fast-tracked $28,825 in grants over the last six weeks, with the greatest concern around food access. Over time, donations have totaled close to $70,000.

Oceana County Sheriff’s Office to Purchase Police K-9

With the recent change to marijuana laws in Michigan, the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office is adding a K-9 to the department. The current K-9 in the department, Krieger, was purchased in 2017 and was trained to alert deputies of unlawful controlled substances, which at the time included marijuana. Once a dog has been trained to search for specific narcotics, it’s nearly impossible to remove one substance from the dog’s training and understanding.

2020 Spring Grant Round Announced

The Community Foundation for Oceana County is pleased to announce that $693,215 was granted out of Foundation funds in 2019 to support a wide variety of nonprofit programs, leadership initiatives, student scholarships and community projects. “Understanding Oceana’s greatest needs and how we can be a catalyst for change definitely guides our work. We’ve become much more active in promoting economic development activities in the last couple years, including post-secondary education attainment, workforce development and capital investments in community projects. The support of our donors and their eagerness to partner continue to be enable significant impact,” said Foundation CEO Tammy Carey. The Foundation ended 2019 with $14.1 million in assets.

Foundation Establishes Urgent Needs Fund in Response to Health Crisis

The Community Foundation for Oceana County (CFOC) has established an Urgent Needs Fund to provide support to area nonprofit organizations, schools and governments on the front lines serving those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Fund received initial support of $40,000 from the Foundation, several anonymous partners and Mrs. Mullen’s Closet Fund of the Community Foundation for Oceana County.

YAC completes Needs Assessment to Identify Top Issues for Area Youth

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a grantmaking committee of the Community Foundation for Oceana County consisting of 41 high-schoolers from Oceana County school districts.  Following Council of Michigan Foundation’s best practices, the Council is tasked with conducting a County-wide needs assessment survey every three years.

Sarah Schlukebir Joins Foundation Board

Peterson Farms, Inc. and the Community Foundation for Oceana County, are pleased to announce that Sarah Schlukebir, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, has become a Foundation Board Trustee. Sarah is excited to contribute to Community Foundation at Oceana County in her new role. Oceana County has been her home since childhood and a fundamental part of her family history.

Shelby Rotary Club Wants To Send Kids to Camp

The Shelby Rotary Club and the Community Foundation for Oceana County are pleased to offer the chance for Oceana youth to attend summer camp. Both groups want to impact the youth of Oceana County whom, due to financial hardship, may never have the opportunity to attend camp. Awards are capped at $250 per applicant, but higher requests will be evaluated according to available funding. All awards will be paid directly to the camps and are available for any type of camping focus – arts, sports, scouts, church, general, and leadership experiences. Preference is given to first-time requests.