The folks at the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor recognized this when they awarded us grant monies to purchase a bunch of bunk beds for low-income families and provided the volunteers to deliver/assemble them. It’s not too late for you to bring a smile to the face of a child or adult living in poverty. Donate the funds for the purchase of a new bed or crib today!
A big difference! Not only does Friends In Deed address the immediate needs of low-income families living in Washtenaw County, we help lift families out of poverty to achieve economic independence. Help us help others:
We are in the process of implementing Circles, a program that will expand Friends In Deed’s circle of friends by pairing a person in poverty with three middle or upper income partners for at least 18 months. The goal of the program is to help people get out of and stay out of poverty.
A big difference! The United Way of Washtenaw County is a good friend and partner. Not only does the United Way allow its donors to specifically designate funds to Friends In Deed, the United Way has awarded several grants in support of our projects and programs.
Kayla is a single, working mom with two children. Relying on friends for transportation to and from work, her arrangements became strained when her one-year-old son required treatment for a serious, chronic medical condition. Friends In Deed was able to help by passing on a used car donated by one our generous supporters.
Tragedy hit when Crystal’s apartment burned down. She and her four children lost everything, including identification. Friends In Deed was able to help her get a copy of her birth certificate so she and her children could get into a shelter.
When Heriberto found himself with sole custody of his 16-month-old son, he needed a bigger place to live and furniture to fill it. Because of generous furniture donations, Friends In Deed was able to help.
Sometimes it is as simple as having a healthy place to sleep, eat and go about the daily business of living. Even those folks who have a roof over their head may not have the basic furniture necessary to make an apartment or house a home. That’s where Friends In Deed comes in.
Waste Not, Want Not
Friends In Deed accepts donations of used furniture and passes it on for free to our community’s many families in need. Through the use of our 12-foot-cube truck and the help and generosity of our many volunteers, we are able to pick up furniture from donors and deliver furniture to those of our clients without transportation.
Beds & Cribs
The need for beds is a particularly crucial need in our community. Not only do we have many families with children who come to us for help after coming out of a shelter or experiencing fires, floods or bedbug infestations, we also have clients who were victims of domestic abuse and have to relocate with their children. When a family is recovering from a disaster and/or living paycheck to paycheck, there is no extra money for the purchase of beds or cribs; and Friends In Deed is the only agency in Washtenaw County that provides them for free. Unfortunately, the number of beds donated each year consistently fails to meet the need in the community for a healthy sleep environment. That’s why we created our annual Holiday Bed & Crib Drive that allows donors to give monetary donations for the purchase of new beds. Since the bed drive’s inception, we have helped over 1400 individuals and children get up off the floor, get into a bed or crib and get a good night sleep.
We try to fill in the gaps of assistance offered by other agencies and organizations in Washtenaw County, which means we may answer a request for assistance by providing information about or making a referral to another organization that has a program of services that better fits a client’s needs. We also work to keep track of resources available in the community and pass on the information through:
- A How-to-Help Seminar each October that gives folks at congregations and human-service organizations a chance to ask questions
- Two bi-annual Resource Guides that lists community services, including shelters, food banks, and places to get free or low-cost clothing
We Pass on Used Cars for Free
We also accept car donations so that we can pass on reliable transportation to an individual or family in need. Again, the car must be used to get to work or medical treatment.
Friends In Deed has provided utility assistance to residents of Washtenaw County for over three decades. The need has only increased since we first started the program, especially since Michigan’s Department of Human Services changed its policy in 2013: DHS now provides utility assistance only during the crisis season, defined as November 1st to May 31st.
We Help Prevent Utility Shut Off
Friends In Deed works with other social service agencies in the community to prevent utility shut off. Not only are families able to keep their water running, lights on and rooms warmed (or cooled depending on the season), they are often able to qualify for a payment plan that allows them to retain a bigger part of their budget for other necessities: food, medical care, clothing, etc.
Client Instructions and Initial Information
While we will consider requests on a case-by-case basis, our main programs are each outlined below. The information below should help you determine if you qualify for assistance and what will be required from you if you choose to apply. If your request does not fall into one of the categories, please give our Help Line (734-484-4357) a call from 9:30 AM to noon, Monday through Friday.
No matter what type of assistance you are seeking, you must be a resident of Washtenaw County and you must provide some documentation for our files.
- Furniture: If you are calling to obtain beds, cribs, couches, kitchen tables, etc., please call our Furniture Line at (734) 484-7607 from 9:30 AM to Noon, Tuesday through Friday.
- Transportation: We recognize at Friends In Deed that a car is often a basic necessity, especially in Washtenaw County. If you are calling about getting assistance with transportation, please call our Help Line at (734) 484-4357 from 9:30 AM to Noon, Monday through Friday.
- Prevention of Utility Shut Off: If you are calling for help with a utility bill, you will need to send us several documents. Please call our Help Line at (734) 484-4357 for more information from 9:30 AM to Noon, Monday through Friday.
News & Notes
Our first class of Circles Leaders (low-income heads of households) are six months into the 18-month program. This means that the Leaders have completed 13 weeks of training and been matched with two-to-three Allies (middle to high-income volunteers). These smaller...read more
Andrea has four kids, ages 6, 5, 5 and 8 months. She also has a baby on the way, which means she needs a double stroller sooner rather than later. While she had a double stroller for her older kids, she gave it to her cousin who was pregnant with twins. While Andrea...read more
Sunday, January 28th is a great day to visit Haab's Restaurant in downtown Ypsilanti. The restaurant is generously donating 10% of ALL of its sales (including bar drinks) on that day to Friends In Deed. While you don't have to mention Friends In Deed, please do....read more
We lost a good friend this week. Betty Damren, a long-time volunteer, passed away at age 99. Betty goes way, way back with Friends In Deed. In fact, she volunteered in our offices back when we were located in downtown Ypsi. Betty started with Friends In Deed when she...read more
We asked some folks. It turns out a bed is more than just about sleep. Find out more by watching the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve50wwujLCYread more
The Helen L. Kay Charitable Trust has been a good and loyal friend to Friends In Deed for many years through its support of our Bed Drive. 2017 was no exception. We recently received $5,000 in grant monies earmarked for the purchase of beds and cribs for low-income...read more
The United Way of Washtenaw County continues to make a difference to Friends In Deed. Most recently, we received a $10,000 grant award in support of our Circles Program. As you know, the Circles program was launched in July of 2017 and the first “class” of Leaders...read more
We received a lot of generous grant awards this year, and we wanted to highlight a few. Some of the grants are from organizations that we've known for a while. For instance, Zion Lutheran Church has awarded us a grant in each of the last several years for operations....read more
With your generous donations on Giving Tuesday, we had our best match yet! We were waiting to get the specifics of a couple pledges made on Giving Tuesday, and we now have a new total: 120 Beds & Cribs. Not only did you generous folks donate 96 beds and cribs, but Van...read more