Hoping to make the upcoming holidays brighter for as many less fortunate Sterling Heights families as possible, the city is again teaming with public and private service organizations to coordinate and streamline each agency’s holiday assistance programs.
As it’s done over the course of the past two decades, the Sterling Heights Community Relations Department will initiate and draft a master list of families needing assistance wherein interested service organizations will dissect the list and adopt as many families listed as possible. The list of names will be shared and assistance efforts coordinated at a November 6th organizational meeting in the Velocity Collaboration Center (6633 18 Mile Road) with interested service clubs, houses of worship, non-profits, businesses and school groups.
According to Community Relations Director Bridget Kozlowski, this multi-agency coordination effort protects limited resources and ensures that there is no duplication of services.
“Families and non-profits struggle to serve as many deserving families as they can with their limited resources and that is why I am so proud that the city is again taking the lead on coordinating holiday assistance efforts this year,” Kozlowski said. “Sterling Heights has initiated this service sharing effort for decades and it is more important than ever to deliver volunteer aid services in the most efficient manner possible.”
While each organization will add its family requests into the master list, those needing assistance, and those who are not presently on a holiday assistance list, can also request that their information be placed onto the city’s master list. Individuals seeking assistance for the upcoming holiday season can come to the Community Relations office (lower level of City Hall) on Tuesdays & Thursdays in October from 9-11 a.m. to have their name added to the master list. First day of registration is Tuesday, October 3rd, with registration concluding on Thursday, October 26th. Proof of Sterling Heights residency along with a picture I.D., birth certificates of dependents, current statements from Family Independence Agency (if applicable) and last year’s W-2 and/or state assistance form MUST be provided and is required.
Because verification materials must be presented, names will not be added via phone, mail or e-mail.
The city’s Holiday Assistance Program, coordinated by the city’s Community Relations Department, provided gifts, food and clothing to 580 families in 2016. Dozens of businesses, youth sports teams, schools, churches, city employees and individual residents participated in the program last year, providing individual sponsorship of families and program gift card donations.
Those companies, families and individuals interested in providing holiday assistance to less fortunate Sterling Heights families are encouraged to contact Karen Kazmer, Management Services Specialist with the city’s Community Relations Department, at (586) 446-2470.