Make an impact in the community by enhancing education and healthy nutrition

August 5, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees

Another school year will begin in just a few short weeks and the Michigan Medicine community will once again have the opportunity to make an impact on the 1,300 K-12 students in Washtenaw County who are currently experiencing homelessness.

For the eighth consecutive year, the organization plans to provide local children with the tools necessary to support their educational pursuits.

The annual school supply drive will benefit three local agencies:

  • Education Project for Homeless Youth, which works to ensure students experiencing homelessness and temporary living situations enroll, regularly attend and succeed in school.
  • Ozone House, a community-based, nonprofit agency that helps young people lead safe, healthy and productive lives through intensive intervention and prevention services.
  • Community Action Network, which partners with children, youth and families from under-resourced Washtenaw County neighborhoods to create better futures for themselves and improve the communities in which they live.

The school supply drive at Michigan Medicine began in 2012 with 238 backpacks and 10 boxes of supplies donated. In 2018, the collective enthusiasm and generosity resulted in record-setting donations of 402 backpacks and 161 cases of a variety of school supplies. In addition, hundreds of pairs of socks, underwear and personal care products were donated to meet an expressed need.

In total, from 2012 to 2018, the team has donated 2,221 backpacks and 655 cases of supplies.

“It is inspiring to see how caring members of our community can be,” said Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the U-M Health System. “If each of us makes a small donation, we can make a huge impact on those who need assistance right in our own neighborhoods.”

2019 school supply collection effort details:

  • The Sept. 9 Administrative Forum meeting (8 a.m.-10 a.m. in the Ford Auditorium) will serve as a final collection point for in-kind school supply contributions
  • Help grow this effort by reaching out to your teams to request their involvement and support
  • Off-site area teams are encouraged to coordinate their own collection drives. If needed, arrangements can be made to pick up off-site collections prior to Sept. 9. 
  • Please review the list of needed items to the right and consider making a donation.

Help provide healthy nutrition by support Maggie’s Marketplace

In May 2017, the Ypsilanti Health Center (YHC) opened Maggie’s Marketplace, a first-of-its-kind food pantry serving Michigan Medicine patients to improve nutrition and health. The marketplace is run by the YHC team and carries fresh fruit and vegetables, along with basic staples such as potatoes, milk, cheese and eggs. All the food is given for free to patients and community members. Thus far, an estimated 7,950 people have been served, providing more than 15,000 meals.

Last year, in addition to donations of school supplies, Michigan Medicine employees helped to reduce food insecurity by making monetary donations which funded support of Maggie’s Marketplace operation for more than two months.

“Studies show that proper nutrition positively influences health and prevention of diseases,” Denton said. “That’s why we’re once again offering the option to contribute monetary donations to Maggie’s Marketplace.”

If you are interested in supporting Maggie’s Marketplace, donations can be conveniently made by clicking here.

If  you have questions,  please contact Janet Martinez at 734-647-8161 or

On behalf of children and families in need, thank you for being leaders and best in supporting education, nutrition and health!