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Friday Feature from Lakeshore Resource Network: United Way of Mason County

We’re starting a new series from the Lakeshore Resource Network and featuring one of our member agencies each week – today, we begin with United Way of Mason County!

The United Way of Mason County is focused on creating an economically sustainable community for all Mason County residents. The organization fights for the education, financial stability and health of every person in our community. They are hand-raisers. They raise their hand, not only to lead the fight but to reach out to people who need help and hope. The organization is instrumental in the work that is being done throughout Mason County to reduce poverty, providing learning opportunities for all sectors to have an understanding and desire to learn about Bridges Out of Poverty and supporting residents in quality education, connections to resources and stable employment. They have been instrumental in the development and implementation of several successful programs across the county including the Lakeshore Employee Resource Network, the Mason County Family Link, and the Help Me Grow Initiative.

Lakeshore Employee Resource Network (LERN) is in 11 companies throughout Mason County. These companies include Brill Manufacturing Company, ChangeParts, Floracraft, Great Lakes Castings, House of Flavors, Kaines West Michigan, Metalworks, Spectrum Health Ludington, UACJ Automotive – Whitehall Industries, West Shore Bank and Western Land Services. The LERN provides a Resource Coach who works on site at the participating companies to assist employees in removing barriers that can prevent them from being successful in their workplace. Approximately, 81% of employees who see the Resource Coach remain employed with their company.

Mason County Family Link (MCFL) is in four of the school districts in Mason County – Ludington Area School District, Mason County Central, Mason County Eastern and Gateway to Success. The MCFL Team at each school district consists of a Community School Coordinator, a Site Team Clinician and a DHHS Success Coach. The program supports student achievement by bringing together a range of agencies to provide needed services and supports to students and families. United Way is also excited to announce a partnership with West Shore Community College that will allow for an on-site Community School Coordinator at the college.

The Help Me Grow initiative is a partnership between the West Shore Educational Service District and United Way of Mason County. This valuable program seeks to increase the rate of developmental screening in our birth to five years population here in the county in an effort to ensure that children are developmentally and emotionally ready to enter kindergarten.

In addition to everything above, the United Way of Mason County also works in partnership with local agencies to make 2-1-1 available to local residents. Through 2-1-1, residents are able to locate needed health and human services at no cost, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To access 2-1-1, simply dial 2-1-1 on a phone, text 898-211, visit, or download the 2-1-1 mobile app on your phone (search MI211 in the app store).

United Way of Mason County’s Annual Campaign is underway and seeking donations with a goal of reaching $380,000 - the campaign is ending on 3/31/2020. Along with the named programs above, United Way is also excited to award funds in previous years to local programs that include Staircase Youth Services, OJ DeJonge Middle School Afterschool Programs and the Lakeshore Food Club. Currently, the United Way is accepting proposals from local non-profit organizations that share the same goals that they do – helping children to succeed, working with individuals and families to become financially stable and improving people’s health. Please visit and click on “Request for Proposal” for more information.

For any questions about United Way of Mason County, please call (231) 843-8593.

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