Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency (NEMCSA), Recipient

Imagine a senior citizen with a health condition that prevents them from going to the grocery store, or cooking for themselves. Imagine someone snowed in, not seeing so much as a soul in days or weeks. Imagine the difference a hot meal and some companionship would make. That’s the heartbreaking reality for many seniors and people with disabilities, and the Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency (NEMCSA) aims to address that need through its Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), in partnership with the Crawford County Commission on Aging. RSVP delivers meals to the homes of those in need in addition to providing many other valuable services. Staffed by more than 100 volunteers, the Grayling, Michigan-based organization was recently awarded a 4imprint® one by one® grant, which it used to order promotional products: the Value Grocery Tote in royal blue. The promotional tote bags have been used by RSVP volunteers to not only deliver meals, but for some of their other programs as well—to provide diapers and baby clothes to new parents and distribute goods at a food pantry. Amy Fuller, RSVP Project Director, says the food delivery is vital to those who receive it, but so is the personal contact with people who care. “One of my volunteers had hugged a client when we left a house, and when we got back she said, ‘I think the hugs are valued by them as much as the meal,’” she explained, mentioning that some volunteers even shovel walks for their clients. “They don’t get a lot of visitors, so having someone show up with a smile and a hug goes a long way.”