By Susan Bromley
Brandon Twp.- Raising a grandchild alone on a fixed income is difficult, especially at back to school time, but it is made easier for at least one local grandma with the help of the Ortonville Community Emergency Fund.
“Without OCEF’s help, I’d be up the creek,” said Bessie, a 67-year-old township resident. “OCEF helps with backpacks, notebooks, folders… Maybe throughout the year I could come up with the money to buy these things, but not all at once when they first need it for back to school. Their help allows me to focus on school clothes.”
OCEF alleviates the extra financial stress for Bessie, who has had sole custody of her 11-year-old grandson for the past seven years. Her only source of income is Social Security and she explains that she tries to make ends meet monthly and “it doesn’t always work.”
This month, OCEF is seeking donations of school supplies so they can help 213 children be ready to go back to classrooms in the Brandon School District this fall.
OCEF is also happy to accept gift cards in any denomination for barbershops, hair salons and Payless Shoe Source so at-risk students can have haircuts and new shoes for school.
Items can be donated at St. Anne Church, 825 S. Ortonville Road; Bueche’s Food World, 400 N. Ortonville Road; the township library, 304 South St.; and The Citizen, 12 South St.
“I can’t say enough about the generosity of our beautiful community, and I am blessed every day to see the generosity of this community, we have the most amazing community in the world,” said Karyn Milligan, OCEF food pantry director and St. Anne Christian Services coordinator.
Bessie is certainly thankful.
“It means a whole lot,” she said. “If it wasn’t for OCEF, I wouldn’t be able to get half the stuff that he needs.It’s much less stressful knowing I can depend on them for assistance. All their help is greatly appreciated.”
For more information on how you can help OCEF, call Karyn Milligan at 248-627-3965.
School supplies needed
nBackpacks (larger sizes needed for high school students)
nHeadphones for iPads
nWide-rule spiral notebooks
nPlastic pocket folders
n1- or 2-inch 3-ring binders
nSkinny dry erase markers
nPost-it notes (3×3 and 3×5)