As part of our 2017 Hearts and Hands Celebration, we are offering Four ways that you can help our residents of Allegan County 🙂

How You Can Help to Fund A Need

 1)  Fund A Need for Head Start:  A Digital Vision Screener for Children

Health is the foundation of learning and school readiness.  Our Birth to Five Head Start program works with families to ensure children are healthy and ready to learn.  One of the many ways we ensure children are healthy is by performing vision screenings for all 325 enrolled children.  The vision screening is a quick way for us to determine if the child needs to be seen by their Primary Care Physician or an Ophthalmologist for vision support.


In the past we screened for vision utilizing the Sure Sight Objective Screener which is no longer manufactured.  Within the next year or two, we will no longer be able to get this model calibrated or serviced. 


We have researched vision screeners and have determined the Welch Allyn SPOT Digital Screener will best meet our program’s needs.  It costs approximately $7,400 and includes a protective case.  This screener doesn’t require annual calibration unless we are experiencing problems.  The SPOT Digital Screener is designed to make vision screening easier for both staff and children.  It screens both eyes at once in seconds. 

In 2016 we found 42 children failed their vision screening and needed a referral to have their vision tested by a physician/ophthalmologist.



If you’d like to help us raise funds toward the Vision Screener and help children see better, click:


2) Fund A Need for a Housing Repair Fund for our Clients


A large segment of the population that we serve own their homes, however, many cannot afford (or are physically unable) to maintain them.   They often have homes that require repairs that are outside the scope of our current programs.  We are asking for $15,000 to begin funding this housing repair fund.     


Our client is a resident of Pullman, MI.  She is 74 years of age.  Her current living condition is a mobile home that was purchased in 1972.  One of our programs, Weatherization, was attempted on this home about 5 years ago.  Due to the condition of this home, the need of home repairs was beyond the scope of the program.  Since then, she has been living in conditions that anyone would consider to be intolerable.  Additionally, due to the state and age of her home, she is unable to obtain homeowners insurance.  They say pictures are worth a thousand words, look at these pictures.  Would you be willing to live in these conditions?  Our client does, every single day!


Our client has done her very best, but when your annual income is a meager $18,000 from Social Security, keeping up on just the daily costs of living can be a struggle, much less trying to find additional money for the proper upkeep of a deteriorating home. 


Finally, after struggling for years, she came to CAAC in April of 2016 and asked for Crisis Utility Assistance.  Through our intake process, it was discovered that her home was in such a deplorable condition.  She has to empty buckets of water that she had strategically placed to catch the rain pouring in.  This was a daily occurrence whenever there was a heavy downpour or thunderstorm and then finally the roof was curled half way to the peak when extreme straight line winds came through the area.  She had asked a repairman to help fix the roof, but the cost to do so was more than what she could afford, so she used tarps as a fix.  


 Through all of this she maintained a positive attitude about the future and believing that if she found a job, she would be able to take steps forward.  So at the age of 73, she was able to secure employment and was looking forward to finding a home where she had a roof that didn’t leak, a water heater that worked, and a back door that she could open.  Unfortunately, due to her declining health, which is precipitated by her current living conditions, she was unable to keep her employment and again asked for assistance.


She is just a sample of the individuals that come to us for assistance every day but have fallen through the cracks.  


  If you’d like to help us raise funds toward a safe home for our Senior Citizens

Click Here:



3)  Fund A Need Mini-Van for Senior Services


CAAC is in need of a mini-van for the use in the Senior Services Program.  We currently provide services to Seniors in the community with Home Delivered Meals, Transportation and Food Commodities.   We provide vital, life-sustaining services to our clients.   


A mini-van is a perfect example of what we need to efficiently deliver services to some of the most vulnerable members of the Allegan County population.  We are requesting $12,500 to purchase a mini-van. 


We provide services that support our senior’s independence, maintain their dignity, and preserve their quality of life.  If you are a senior and unable to leave your home, it can be tough to prepare a nutritious meal for yourself.  Seniors receive nutritious, well-balanced meals delivered to their home by a CAAC driver. Seniors find comfort in knowing that a good meal and a friendly face will come with every visit.


We serve more than 65,000 home delivered meals and transport more than 159,000 miles a year for our seniors.   Our clients are advanced in years, many being physically challenged and low-income. 

This vehicle would be used as a backup vehicle when a driver’s vehicle breaks down or encounters vehicle issues so that we can continue to provide services.  It is imperative that we continue to provide services to our clients.  Our clients depend on the meals that are delivered and need to get to their medical appointments as many are physically fragile and depend on the services we provide.   


This vehicle would also be used to allow flexibility for clients requiring some kind of stability assistance.  Some Volunteer Drivers have vehicles that are too small to transport a client with a walker or a wheelchair.  Other Volunteer Drivers have vehicles that are low to the ground, making it difficult for those seniors that have a walker or wheelchair to get in and out of the vehicle easily.  A mini-van would be much for easier for our clients.


If you’d like to help us raise funds toward a Mini-Van to help our community’s Seniors, click:



 4)  Fund A Need Delivery Truck for Food Distribution


CAAC is in need of a truck for the distribution of commodities to our Allegan County Residents.

We currently deliver to sites in Otsego, Pullman, Wayland, Allegan, with the hope of opening a distribution site in Fennville.


10’ Box Truck is a perfect example of what we need to run this food program smoothly, efficiently and cost effectively.  We are requesting $12,500 to purchase a truck. 


We serve more than 690 families throughout the county every quarter.   Many of our clients are elderly, physically challenged, low-income, and cannot get to the CAAC office for their food distribution.  To reach those families that are in the most need, we have to be able to deliver this food to them in their local community.  We currently have sites in the areas mentioned above; we distribute at churches, community centers, emergency management parking lots, senior living complexes and CAAC offices here in town.


In the past, we utilized the vehicles belonging to staff.  If the staff did not have a large enough truck or van to carry 150 to 170 bags of food plus boxes of juice, then it resulted in multiple vehicles being used and multiple trips to and from the site and office.  This resulted in more expense and more staff time out of the office.   For the past year, we have been renting a UHAUL box truck to make these deliveries every three months. 


CAAC will now be distributing an additional food program, which is designed for senior citizens only.  It is a monthly distribution, resulting in additional deliveries in those outlying areas of Allegan County.


Food distributions benefit our Allegan County residents and CAAC clients, many of which are homebound, low-income, or both in addition to the need to supplement their food stamps and save their social security income for bills or their much-needed prescriptions. 


If you’d like to help us raise funds toward the Truck to help us provide food throughout Allegan County, click:


Thank You

Thank You for considering helping us with our Fund A Need Campaign!

Every Donation no matter how small will help us reach our goals 🙂

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