In January of 2022, the Hastings Elks Lodge #1965 was approved and issued three Elks National Foundation (ENF) grants, allowing us to inject $7500 of aide into our local community!
In the first week of the new year, the Hastings Elks Lodge received a $3500 Beacon Grant that was utilized as “Operation Suitcase” and aided the MI DHHS Children’s Services program with 15 brand new suitcases, loaded with sherpa fleece blankets, pillows, toiletries, plush stuffed critters, crosswords, word searches, journals, calendars and coloring/stickers books as well as gift cards from Walmart, B2 Outlets and Show Sensation locally. This program was revisited from the same efforts in years past, and was welcomed warmly by our lodge CIP committee and Coordinator. This Operation Suitcase should be able to continue on in coming years in order for the youth transitioning from their homes and in to foster care to have their very own belongings and a nice suitcase to be able to transport their items while they are in transit. These children often are unable to bring much if anything of their own belongings with them during these times of transition, and these suitcases are a wonderful way for them to have ownership of some nice belongings and needed items at this time of uncertainty in their young lives.
CABIN FEVER RELIEVER for Veterans:
The next grant awarded our lodge was the Gratitude Grant, and was approved and issued to us in the amount of $2000 as aid for the Cabin Fever Reliever local partner Happiness for Veterans group. This group is one of the recipients of the efforts made during our annual Cabin Fever Reliever Event in March. This event benefits local veterans service agencies and has historically allowed tangible goods and food donations, as well as monetary support our local Veterans groups and other local vets in need via agencies close to home here in Hastings. The $2000 Gratitude Grant was designated in the form of $1000 in pantry food goods and $1000 in the form of freezer food stuff which will be secured from Tom's Market here in Hastings who works closely with the group to ensure they have the best pricing and goods made available to the Happiness folks.
YMCA'S "Y ON THE FLY" for local kids:
The third and final grant of the fiscal year 2021-2022 was approved and issued as the Spotlight Grant. This Spotlight Grant was awarded to the local YMCA’s “Y on the Fly” program. This YMCA program allows for mobile units to be able to visit youth in outlying communities of Barry County and essentially bring the playground/activities and snacks/meals to children that would otherwise not have the ability to find their way to these stationary playground programs. We are proud to be able to aid the growth of this program, in hopes they will continue to expand their footprint and find their way to the south/southeast section of the county. Learn more about the local YMCA's "Y on the Fly" Program.
Many thanks to all who have supported and contributed to these grants being issued and executed! Hastings Elks Lodge #1965 has been thrilled to be able to obtain and share these with our community partners and hopes to continue on with these opportunities into the next year's grant cycle.