RAISE UP SHIAWASSEE, presented by the Cook Family Foundation, Shiawassee Community Foundation (SCF) and United Way of Genesee County (Serving Genesee and Shiawassee Counties), was the topic featured at the SRCC Topics @ Twelve on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

   Tom Cook (above), along with Kim Renwick from SCF and Jamie Gaskin of United Way, all spoke about Raise Up Shiawassee for 2019.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)


by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

      The Cook Family Foundation dates back in the community several decades and represents a standardized model of philanthropy, serving as a community resource and an inspiration for positive change. Tom Cook spoke about the Cook Family Foundation and how that traditional model of philanthropy is evolving with Raise Up Shiawassee during the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce Topics @ Twelve event on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the Armory.

   Raise Up Shiawassee began in 2017 in conjunction with #GivingTuesday – a movement on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving set aside for charitable giving. In 2017, Raise Up Shiawassee involved nine area nonprofits. In 2019, Raise Up Shiawassee, taking place on Tuesday, Dec. 3, will involve 19 nonprofit groups, allowing residents and organizations to step-up community support by investing in these groups. The groups for 2019 will include The Arc of Mid-Michigan, Shiawassee Hunger Network, Child Advocacy Center, DeVries Nature Conservancy, Durand Union Station, Friends of the Shiawassee River, Girls on the Run, Great Start, the Laingsburg Clothesline, Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts, Memorial Healthcare Foundation, the Pregnancy Resource Center, Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee, SafeCenter, the Shiawassee Arts Center, Shiawassee Community Foundation, the Shiawassee Family YMCA, Shiawassee Hope and the Shiawassee Humane Society.

   There are a number of ways to get involved including investing in one or more of these nonprofits by visiting www.unitedwaygenesee.org/raise-shiawassee, donation matching with another individual or organization, establishing an employee giving campaign, setting up a foundation endowment at www.shiacf.org and/or encouraging employee participation. Employees are welcome to volunteer or check out the upcoming Find Your Nonprofit Soulmate information, which will be made available by following press releases and advertisements in local newspapers or through a Raise Up Shiawassee social media page.

   Gaskin of United Way shared during Topics @ Twelve that United Way supplied over $192,600 in support to Shiawassee County in 2018, including $53,400 in relation to the March tornadoes. He emphasized to those in attendance that all United Way funds raised in the county remain in the county, with support having been distributed to educational organizations and groups like the Shiawassee Regional Education Service District – and now with Raise Up Shiawassee.

   The big question proposed during Topics @ Twelve by Tom Cook was “Can business be a voice for philanthropy in our community?” Which, of course, is answered through direct involvement with Raise Up Shiawassee.

   Following the introduction of plans for 2019 Raise Up Shiawassee on Tuesday, Justin Horvath, President/CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, brought the information to members and stakeholders during an afternoon networking event at Muzzy Pheasant Farm in Corunna, as well – further emphasizing that the Tuesday, Dec. 3 date for Raise Up Shiawassee is only just over two months away.

   Raise Up Shiawassee is being sponsored by United Way of Genesee County (Serving Genesee and Shiawassee Counties), Shiawassee Community Foundation, the Cook Family Foundation, the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership.

Philanthropy Continues with 2019 Raise Up Shiawassee was last modified: September 30th, 2019 by Karen Elford