Neighbor for Neighbor Provides Network of Support in Northern Oakland County
(Mel Corrigan, April 24, 2019)
Davisburg, MI- Neighbor For Neighbor (NfN) is a volunteer-run nonprofit 501(c)(3) food pantry that provides food, clothing and financial assistance to those in need in Northwest Oakland County. The pantry is located at the Mill Pond in Davisburg and has been servicing residents of Brandon, Groveland, Highland (North of M-59), Holly, Independence, Rose, Springfield, Village of Holly and White Lake (North of M-59) townships for thirty-five years.
The NfN mission statement is “To Fund and sponsor programs providing basic necessities to the needy in North Oakland County, including housing assistance and food and clothing distribution programs, in the hope that we may be their bridge to a more independent life.”
Thanks to its board members, the help of many volunteers, cash donations, food drives, donations (clothing, small household items, food and hygiene products) and especially significant support (fiscal, material or physical) from Tree of Dreams, Divine Mercy – Knights of Columbus, Clarkston/Waterford Kiwanis, Pine Knob Elementary, Davisburg Rotary, Divine Mercy, Springfield Township and Clarkston Community Church, Neighbor for Neighbor serviced 1282 individuals from 446 families in 2018 by providing:
175,000 pounds of food
$19,428 in financial assistance (to prevent shutoffs and evictions)
$1700 in fuel cards
$2,150 for senior prescription cards
Boots for seniors and school-aged children
100 back-to-school backpacks filled with supplies
Meal baskets for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas
Birthday bags and personal hygiene bags
Joan Wolfe, Director, started volunteering at NfN in 2015 and finds gratification in making “a huge impact” for people, who are really grateful for the assistance. “Money and volunteers: that’s what we need the most.”
When it comes to volunteers, Ruth Andrews, Pantry and Database manager, who first volunteered at NfN ten years ago, has a specific request. She needs able-bodied people to help unload food deliveries from pallets on some Mondays, or (using their pick-up trucks) to pick-up food orders from Gleaners in Pontiac on some Tuesdays. Interested parties should email email@example.com with “Food Truck” in the subject line. Include your name, cell phone number and explain the type of assistance you can provide, in the message. Ruth will inform interested persons of volunteer opportunities via group text.
Would you like to help? As Kay Forest, President, pointed out, “We keep growing and the need for clothes, financial aid and food is always increasing.” Donations in the form of money, fuel cards, groceries, diapers and personal and feminine hygiene product donations are accepted on Mondays 8:30 a.m. – noon and Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. And since NfN is truly run by volunteers (there is not one, paid worker at Neighbor For Neighbor), approximately 90% of all donations received go directly to clients.
When asked what brings the board members back to NfN each week, Kay said, “There’s things to do and people to help.” Ruth’s sobering sentiment resounds; she said, “These people in need are literally our neighbors. We live in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, but in some cases our actual neighbor is going hungry or is in need of a little help to get them through a rough spot. They really need our help.”
Neighbor For Neighbor is an equal opportunity provider located in the Hart Community Center at Mill Pond Park at 495 Broadway, Davisbrug. Guidelines and information for those in need of assistance can be found on the website, or by calling 248.634.0900.
Thank you to Bosco Lounge at 22930 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220 for sponsoring our “Get Involved” series featuring local nonprofits, clubs, and groups. Check out a city by city list here. Want to contribute a write up of a group you care about? Message firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea.