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State Service Project

Purpose/Mission 

The 2018-2019 Michigan BPA State Service Project is “Serve Those Who Serve.” Michigan BPA is extremely thankful for those who served our country, and we want to honor them for their lifelong contributions and sacrifices. They left their loved ones behind, fought selflessly on the battlefield, and risked their lives to preserve our freedom. Now, it is our turn to serve them.

Explanation

This year, we are putting that philanthropic spirit into action. All Michigan BPA chapters can participate in two main ways: donations and volunteer service. You can either sign your chapter up for volunteer events using the links and contact information provided in “How to Get Involved” tab, or you can hold fundraisers at your school to donate to Wreaths Across America (donations should be mailed to the state office: 208 King Hall, Ypsilanti, MI 48197). By doing these, your chapter might have the chance to win the State Service Project Award at the State Leadership Conference!

Partners

In order to maximize our reach and impact to veterans, Michigan BPA partnered with multiple organizations: Wreaths Across America, three VA hospitals in Michigan, and Great Lakes Cemetery. Out of many great options, our state decided to have Wreaths Across America as our central partner. Every December 15th since 2007, this organization places millions of wreaths on veterans’ graves at over 1,400 locations in all 50 states. This memorial act honors our fallen soldiers and teaches youth to value their personal freedom.

The three Michigan Veterans Affairs Hospitals—Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Battle Creek—also provide smaller opportunities for chapters to volunteer. From weekly bingo volunteering to major fundraising events held at the hospitals, there is a wide range of activities you can get involved in. Contact the facilities in your area today and get started!

Goals

The State Executive Council would like to stress the importance of volunteering. Donating money may be easier in some cases, but donating time is an invaluable action that can be performed by all Michigan BPA members regardless of fiscal conditions. According to independentsector.org, each 2018 volunteer hour is equivalent to $24.69. With that in mind, the State Executive Council is setting the goal of 2,000 collective community service hours for the entire Michigan Association.

Another goal for the year is to increase the number of local chapters participating in the State Service Project. We realize that participating in the project may be confusing or even intimidating, but the State Executive Council is here to provide you with information and assistance to maximize your impact. If you have any questions regarding the State Service Project, please email one of the state officers.

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How To Get Involved

Participating in this year’s state service project is a phenomenal opportunity to make connections, acquire skills, and most importantly, give back to those who’ve served our nation. With that in mind, here are several ways you can get involved in the project. For more general information, please read over the PowerPoint.

Ways to Volunteer

Local VA hospital volunteering: VA hospitals are looking for groups of 8-9 who want to help out at the hospitals on the weekends. The types of jobs vary, so we recommend you contact your local VA hospital for more details. Here are the participating locations: Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Detroit, and Saginaw.

Wreaths Across America: At participating cemeteries, you can help lay wreaths on graves to honor the veterans. It is highly recommended that your chapter volunteers on National Wreaths Across America Day (Saturday, December 15, 2018). Additionally, there will be a clean-up day to retrieve the wreaths in mid-January. Wreaths Across America is in need of many volunteers, so these events provide the scale and the resource for chapters to easily get involved.

Great Lakes National Cemetery volunteering: As the state's largest Veterans cemetery, Great Lakes National Cemetery offers a volunteering event of a massive scale. On Veterans Day (November 11), volunteers will be needed to help set up for the ceremony.

Ways To Donate

In addition to volunteering, Michigan BPA accepts donations for Wreaths Across America. Below is a list of possible fundraiser ideas.

  • 5k walk/run

  • Bake sale

  • Can drive

  • Penny Wars

  • Sundaes sale

  • Sell t-shirts

  • Host a movie night

  • Talent show

  • Car wash

  • Walk- and paw-a-thon

  • Art show

  • Cookie dough sale

  • Biggby sale

  • Trevis cup sale

  • Frozen pizza sale

  • Sell pop in your school

Other than monetary donations, your chapter can also donate other goods to VA hospitals. Contact your local VA hospital for more details.

Wreaths Across America Sign Up

Interested chapters should sign up to volunteer on December 15, 2018.

Sign up link: Visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org, then go to Menu>Volunteer to> Place Wreaths on Wreaths Day

To find a local partnering cemetery:

https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/search?searchType=location

For more information on Wreaths Across America:

https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/our-story

Contact Information:

Wreaths Across America: rakoczy.deborah@sbcglobal.net

VA Hospital Voluntary Services:

▪ Detroit (William Browning)

o   Email: William.Browning@va.gov

o   Phone: 313-576-3332

▪ Ann Arbor (Beverly Conatser)

o   Email: Beverly.Conatser@va.gov

o   Phone: 734-845-3467

▪ Saginaw (Adam Hayward-Lupo)

o   Email: Adam.Hayward-Lupo@va.gov

o   Phone: 989-497-2500

▪ Battle Creek

o   Phone: (269) 223-5417

State Service Project PowerPoint

Click here to download a PowerPoint with background information that you may present to your chapter.

State Service Project Award

Chapters who participate in the 2018-2019 state service project are eligible to be recognized at the state leadership conference.

Click here to submit your application for our State Service Project Award