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With partnership support from Wolverine Power Cooperative, MEC recently donated $5,000 to the Van Buren Youth Fair (VBYF) in Hartford, and $2,500 to Neighbors of Hope in Adrian. CoBank, one of MEC’s banking partners, matched both gifts through their Sharing Success grant program, doubling the benefit to each organization.

The VBYF is using the funds for much-needed upgrades to facilities and infrastructure throughout the fairgrounds. MEC will host its southwest Michigan Customer Appreciation event at the venue in September.

“We have been overwhelmed by generosity of MEC. The Board of Directors humbly thanks MEC for all they have contributed to our fair with monetary donations and community services provided to our fairgrounds,” said Stephanie Zabavski, president of the VBYF Board.

Neighbors of Hope, a program under the Lenawee County Mission, recently purchased a building and is remodeling it as a long-term option (up to six months) for women and children experiencing homelessness. Programming will include safe shelter, food, case management, and spiritual and personal care — all with the goal of empowering women so they can take personal responsibility for their lives and become contributing members of the community. The donated funds will help with exterior remodeling of the facility, including erecting a fence, to meet compliance requirements. Officials hope to open the doors in August.

“We believe that investing in rural Michigan goes beyond simply providing products and services to customers,” said Patty Nowlin, vice president of corporate communications. “We are thrilled that these key partners share our commitment to strengthening and supporting important projects and organizations across our service territory.”