Muskegon – Howmet Aerospace Foundation just began operations on April 1st under its new name. The Foundations’s first grant award in Michigan was approved this week to support the United Way of the Lakeshore COVID Response Fund in the amount of $25,000. “The pandemic has created increased need and demand on resources for area non-profit agencies that provide emergency support “ said Christine Robere, United Way President & CEO.
 “Howmet Aerospace believes in giving back to support the communities where our employees work” commented Amy Heisser, Human Resources Director for Howmet Aerospace. “We are proud that our first grant in Michigan is to help in this incredible time of need”. United Way and the Community Foundation partnered to raise funds to support area non-profits with a myriad of critical emerging issues related to the COVID pandemic. The funds will be granted to area non-profit agencies to respond to local emergency needs.
“COVID-19 is bringing out the best in Muskegon County, our ingenuity, our resilience, and our value of caring for our neighbors, for one another,” said Todd Jacobs, President & CEO, Community Foundation for Muskegon County. “Howmet Aerospace continues to lead by example, and this wonderful gift is yet another example of their caring for the greater community. They are truly a valued corporate partner.”  In addition to Howmet Aerospace Foundation, other corporate partners have included Meijer, Consumers Energy Foundation and DTE Foundation.  Numerous individual gifts have also been made to the fund which currently stands at nearly $300,000.
Top grants awarded to date have been for food, shelter, baby items, child care, technology, cleaning supplies, mask making materials and volunteer supports. United Way and the Community Foundation have been reviewing grant requests from agencies on a weekly basis. To date the following grants have been made from the fund:
  • Every Woman’s Place – $5,000 for technology to work differently and cleaning supplies
  • Muskegon Rescue Mission – $5,000 food and cleaning supplies
  • Head Start of Muskegon – $2,500 diapers, wipes and young children’s products
  • Mission for Area People – $15,000 support unemployed, rent assistance, transportation, food and more
  • LOVE Inc. – $5,000 for food, shelter, personal care items and masks
  • YMCA – $4,500 veggie van to distribute healthy produce to seniors
  • Fruitport Christian Reformed – $1,000 Food pantry and personal care items
  • Community Encompass – $10,000 for housing support for families
  • Catholic Charities – $5,000 for food pantry
  • Agewell Services – $5,000 for food for seniors – Curbside distribution and Meals on Wheels
  • Salvation Army – $3,000 – Meat for the food pantry
  • Child Care Center Supports – $5,000 to provide necessities to local daycares in operations
United Way is monitoring developments of the pandemic – particularly for families in our most vulnerable local communities. For these families, one illness or missed paycheck can be disastrous. We are communicating weekly with the emergency services agencies to keep aware of the changing needs.
Families are encouraged to call 2-1-1, the three digit helpline, to get connected to health and human services agencies that can help.


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