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Past Winners

July 2017 Winner

Sweet Dreamzzz

Sweet Dreamzzz -- a Michigan non-profit organization -- helps low-income children secure a basic need: A good night's sleep.

Sleep is critical to children's cognitive, physical, and emotional development. Unfortunately, health and education experts agree that most American children do not get enough sleep. Many parents have never been taught how much sleep their child needs, or how to establish a bedtime routine. And sleep health is not part of the standard school curriculum. But no matter how "sleep aware" a parent, child, or teacher is, if a family cannot afford bedtime basics that ensure warmth, comfort, and hygiene at night, a good night's sleep remains an unreachable dream.

With the award of $1,000, Sweet Dreamzzz will be able to continue to improve the health, well-being, and academic readiness of children in need. Through our Early Childhood Sleep Education Program (ECSEP), local Head Start preschoolers will be empowered with the sleep awareness, bedtime basics, and adult support necessary to follow a bedtime routine and get healthy sleep each night. What an amazing gift for these children!

There are several ways to look at how a $1,000 donation can support the ECSEP. For example, it can provide...

  • 250 disadvantaged preschoolers with a toothbrush and toothpaste so they can make brushing teeth a regular part of their bedtime routine and maintain proper oral health and hygiene.
  • 250 low-income parents with take-home tools (resource guides, bedtime charts, stickers, reminder bookmarks/magnets) that make it easy to create healthy bedtime routines with their preschoolers.
  • 200 disadvantaged preschoolers with a copy of the book “Goodnight Moon” so they can relax and have family bonding time before they go to sleep.
  • 100 disadvantaged preschoolers with a fleece blanket so they can experience warmth and comfort when they sleep.
  • 100 disadvantaged preschoolers with a teaching teddy bear that will not only provide nighttime security, but will also help them remember the steps of a healthy bedtime routine.
  • 35 disadvantaged preschoolers (two whole Head Start classrooms) with a full sleep kit (blanket, toothbrush, toothpaste, book, and teddy bear) so they have the bedtime basics needed to sleep well each night.
  • A large Head Start center with all the re-usable curriculum and presentation materials necessary to conduct the ECSEP with new preschoolers each year.

June 2017 Winner

Play-Place for Autistic Children

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Research shows that the prevalence of obesity in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and special needs is at 31.8%. The particular needs and challenges that this population faces make them vulnerable to additional risk factors not shared by children in the general population, including medications, genetics, disordered sleep, atypical eating patterns, and challenges for engaging in sufficient physical activity. For individuals with ASD, obesity potentially represents a significant threat to independent living, self-care, quality of life, and overall health. Regardless of the cause, researchers say the findings emphasize the need to create childhood obesity programs targeted specifically to children and young adults with autism/special needs. In their report, the investigators urge that more be done to help prevent and manage obesity in “these already vulnerable adolescents.”

Our state-of-the-art facility offers enrichment and completeness of a physical education regimen that is missing for these affected individuals as well as their siblings. Because of cognitive and physical challenges, targeted participants are not included in mainstream recreational/team sport opportunities. Children with autism and other special needs challenges have a tendency to wander or dart away, so outside free play is usually not an option for them either. This is an exclusive opportunity to get healthy and fit offering the transformative power of healthy, physical play in a safe, supportive, inclusive atmosphere.

Play-Place for Autistic Children is uniquely positioned, with our innovative “Get Healthy & Fit” program already in operation, and with our established roster of experienced community partners to propel this program into greater levels of success. With this funding, we can greatly multiply the number of individuals we affect, and greatly increase the effectiveness of the physical fitness experiences we offer to these individuals. This unique program will positively impact the health and fitness of these children.

Funds will be used to purchase additional fitness equipment for this program such as balance trainers, stationary bikes, fit balls, jump ropes, etc. Numerous activities challenge motor skills, balance and coordination in a safe, inclusive, fun design.

May 2017 Winner

Defeat the Label

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Defeat the Label is a great nonprofit organization that works with schools, students and educators to help empower students to take a stand against bullying, social labeling and social stigmatization in schools. In working with the students, we give them the tools so that they can be the catalyst for change within their schools.

We will use this money to help offset the cost of our Upstander in School program for a school that would benefit from the program, but due to financial constraints would not be able to afford it.

April 2017 Winner

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Oakland County

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Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event in Oakland County is a powerful event that effects hundreds of people in Oakland County. We need to get more support, research and awareness to help those in our community! The event will be held on Saturday, October 7th.

Whether we’ve faced it ourselves, or someone we love has, almost everyone has been affected by breast cancer in some way. But at the same time, we can all do something about it. By donating to a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event you’re helping the American Cancer Society make a difference in so many ways, from funding innovative breast cancer research to simply providing a hand to hold.

September 2016 Winner

Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM)

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The mission of Autism Alliance of Michigan is to lead collaborative efforts across the state that will improve the quality of life for individuals with autism through education, comprehensive services, community awareness, inclusion efforts, and coordinated advocacy.
We turn every dollar into programs and resources that impact individuals with autism, their families, and our communities right here in Michigan, right now.

Our Core Values exemplify our commitment to improving the quality of life for and acceptance of families with autism living in Michigan. We could not support our vital programs without the generous contributions of those who share our Vision for a future of opportunities and paths cleared free of obstacles:

  • Advocate: Remove barriers for families and streamline access to supports
  • Balance: Pave the way to require the same opportunities for persons with autism as their peers.
  • Promote: Advance evidence-based, high caliber professional care across the state
  • Innovate: Move forward goals and creative strategies for our shared future
  • Own: Adopt the agenda and needs of autism in the state of Michigan

June 2016 Winner

Hospitality House Food Pantry

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Hospitality House Food Pantry provides supplemental groceries to approximately 650 low income families in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District, Novi and Wixom. These households live at less than 200% of federal poverty guidelines and struggle meeting their basic nutritional needs.

In addition to our core mission of providing food, we hold two special events per year. First is a backpack program, supplied through donations, so our clients' children start their school year with the tools needed to be successful. The second event is "Santa Shop", providing holiday gifts for children.

With a $1,000 to our pantry, we could purchase $3,500 worth of food for needy families. How is that possible? Through the power of food banks such as Gleaners and Focus Hope, the pantry is able to purchase food at substantial price reductions. Cash donations are extremely powerful in the buying power they represent because in southeast Michigan, we have a strong food bank system and are able to maximize gifts from generous companies like yours. Your dollars would be stretched as far as possible to help those who need it!

May 2016 Winner

South Oakland Shelter

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For over 30 years, SOS has worked with partner congregations to provide temporary lodging and supportive services that help homeless individuals and families break the cycle of homelessness and live independently. With an emphasis on homeless prevention, sustainable housing solutions, and career development, SOS implements strategies and programs that provide realistic options for homeless and at-risk individuals and families seeking stabilization and self-sufficiency.

SOS, and it's amazing staff team continue to do awesome things for the community and strive to ensure all people in our community have access to a safe and secure place to call home. A quick break down of a variety of ways this will directly help our clients:

  • $15 supports one night of food and shelter for a neighbor in need
  • $60 provides a family with warmth and electricity for one month in their own home
  • $120 provides two months of bus passes to help someone find and keep a job
  • $180 provides one month of case management to ensure those who secure housing, maintain it
  • $1,000 ($83/mo) covers the cost of a deposit to move someone out of homelessness and into housing

April 2016 Winner

Joe Kocur Foundation for Children

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The Joe Kocur Foundation for Children has been assisting needy families and charities by developing events that are both family friendly and provide for an opportunity to interact with others in the community that value the spirit of giving.

The $1,000 donation would be a generous contribution that goes towards former Red Wing Joe Kocur fulfilling his commitment to community by providing annual funds to 6 local charities throughout Southeastern Michigan. His main yearly event is a charity softball series in Highland Michigan that draws in approximately 2,000 fans and supporters.

March 2016 Winner

Source of Universal Love

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S.O.U.L. embraces those who are looking for a place to give back and help others in need, from throwing baby showers to young mother in need, to driving someone to a doctor appointment, or heading up a fundraiser such as hosting a dinner party to name a few. S.O.U.L. touches others in community outreach through fundraising activities throughout the year, and co-creating with other organizations offering opportunities for people to both give and receive.

The focus of the money would be to use for emergency food and clothing for people who are in immediate crisis and trying to sort out thing for the long term.

February 2016 Winner

Community Living Centers (CLC)

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Community Living Centers (CLC) is a Farmington-based nonprofit dedicated to providing quality residential living services to individuals with developmental disabilities across Oakland County. Our goal is to provide safe and comfortable homes that are welcomed in their communities. We actively promote wellness of body, mind, and spirit by providing an enriching environment of opportunities for all of our residents. we not only provide independent living opportunities, but also experiences and opportunities to support and engage with the community.

The $1000 would help us with operating costs as well as opportunities for our residents to have experiences in their community such as social events, activities, dining, etc. With a legacy of almost 50 years, we are pioneers in our field looking to grow and modernize in the immediate future to build more sustainability for our organization and continue engaging with our friends and neighbors across the county.

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Thornton & Grooms
24565 Hallwood Ct
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
(248) 644-7810
MI Plumbing Lic. #: 8106666
MI Contractors Lic. #: 7100232
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