BY STEPHANIE BEACH
— It has always been important for Dolly Collins to donate to various programs that help others, but never dreamed she would need help. Until she suffered a back injury that left her disabled.
“Never would I have thought that I would need help from charity programs ...,” Dolly wrote. “Although the women’s shelter in Traverse City was not where I wanted to go, it was simply the only choice left. This has been a very humbling experience and I appreciate all of the help and support from my community. Since my injury, I understand much more now how important it is to care for others, even if you don’t know them.”
Dolly’s progress has been slow, but she is confident that the women’s shelter will help her with all of the red tape she faces and would like to send them a huge thank-you, along with other organizations that have helped or will be helping her get back on her feet, including the Women’s Resource Center, the Disability Network, the Department of Human Services, Habitat for Humanity, the Father Fred Foundation, The Traverse Health Clinic (CHAP) and other resources that are helping her through this difficult time.
“Also I would like to thank those of you who donate and make these programs possible,” Dolly wrote. “I’m thankful to all of those who find it in their hearts to be kind to others.”
Dolly plans to donate her time and give back when she’s back on her feet again and would like to encourage others to donate in some way.
“Not only does it make you feel good to help, it may help in ways that you may never know,” Dolly wrote.
For the fifth consecutive year, Platte Valley Automotive and its customers helped Benzie County Community Chest by contributing $3 per oil change in December to the local human services fund-raising campaign. The effort raised a total of $250. Meanwhile, other Benzie County businesses joined the effort by offering prizes for drawings for the businesses customers.
‘We were glad to once again sponsor the Lube-A-Thon to help Community Chest,” said Dustin Wolpoff of Platte Valley Automotive. “It gives us and our customers a feeling of satisfaction that we’re able to help the human service agencies that help the people of Benzie County.”
In January, the board granted a total of $60,000 to Benzie County Child Abuse Prevention Council, Goodwill Industries of Northwest Michigan, Foundation for Mental Health, Paul Oliver Hospital wellness program, the Salvation Army, Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency, Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan, Benzie County Habitat for Humanity, Benzie Home Health Care, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan, Benzie Area Christian Neighbors, Benzie Community Drop-In Center, Love INC, Third Level Crisis Intervention Center and the Benzie Recovery Court Foundation.
The Community Chest Board of Directors also maintains a significant fund balance to have the ability to help with future needs of the county’s human service agencies.
“Once again this year the generosity of the people of Benzie County is allowing us to provide significant resources to the agencies that help with the human services needs of Benzie County residents,” said Dave Yarnell, part-time executive director of the Benzie County Community Chest.
Gania Rode of Traverse City would like to thank her neighbor, Ben, for generously allowing her to go snowshoeing on his property when the weather was too icy for her to go cross-county skiing or for a walk on a recent rainy day.
“It was so kind of him and his wife,” Gania said.