UMHS employees earn A+ in generosity

September 21, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,


More than 1,300 of the most vulnerable students across Washtenaw County will be given much-needed school supplies thanks to the generosity of UMHS employees.

Last week, UMHS set a new record for school-supply donations that will directly assist local students, especially those experiencing homelessness or temporary living conditions.

The annual supply drive was designed to benefit the Education Project for Homeless Youth, a program that works closely with 10 school districts and public school academies across Washtenaw County to aid students living in shelters, motels, temporary foster homes, abandoned houses or staying temporarily with family and friends.

Employees this year donated 745 backpacks — more than double the previous record for the health system. There were donations of countless other items, including hundreds of spiral notebooks, binders, paper, pens, pencils, calculators, toiletries, socks and underwear. Altogether, the supplies filled 130 boxes.

“We were so successful that we are able to not only support the Education Project, but other local community agencies and a greater number of students as well,” said Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer for UMHS. “This whole campaign was an incredible demonstration of people helping people. I am quite proud of our UMHS team.”

In the coming days, UMHS staff members will take the supplies to each organization. Those agencies will be tasked with identifying children in need and the school supplies will then be distributed directly to each one.

The generosity of UMHS employees did not go unnoticed by those who will benefit the most.

“We can’t tell you how thankful we are for everyone at UMHS,” said Dawn Espy, the program manager of the Education Project. “The generosity shown year-after-year allows us to carry out our mission of supporting the educational experiences of vulnerable youth in our community.”