Tecumseh Service Club continues mission of care


Tecumseh Arbor of Gleaner Life Insurance Society member Linda Hewlett (left, front row) presented a $1,000 check on Tuesday to Tecumseh Service Club secretary Colleen Sunderland to support this year’s services. Also pictured (l-r, back row) are society members Joann Lockhardt, Willard and Frances Cleland, and Service Club volunteer Mike Sunderland. Photo by Jim Lincoln.

As the holidays approach, Tecumseh Service Club is once again working hard to give a helping hand to families in need. Families are adopted by community organizations and individuals to provide food and gifts for those struggling to get by on a daily basis.

We are a local organization so all donations to the Tecumseh Service Club are used for families in the Tecumseh, Clinton, Tipton and Britton areas,” said Colleen Sunderland, Christmas Program Coordinator/Corresponding Secretary for Tecumseh Service Club. “We need to work together to be sure no local child is left behind during the holidays.”

There are a variety of ways to help Tecumseh Service Club make the holidays a happy time for families in need. “At this time of year families are thinking about what they are buying each other,” Sunderland said. “They may not realize how many people in our community don’t have the means to provide food for their families, let alone get presents.  No matter how large or small the donation, Tecumseh Service Club is a way to give back to our less fortunate neighbors.”

The Adopt-a-Family program is one way many businesses, churches and families participate. Participants are given the ages, sizes and interests for each child in the family, and are asked to purchase a one new outfit, socks, underwear and at least one new toy for each child.

The Service Club takes care of the food. One change for this year is all gifts should be left unwrapped. For more details or to sign up to adopt a family, call Jennifer Shearer at 517.423.7662.

Tecumseh Public Schools is holding its canned food drive November 16-20. The elementary schools and middle school collect cans while Tecumseh High School does “coins for cans.” Under the direction of Carl Harsh, the Tecumseh High School Varsity Club will pick up the food on Friday and bring it to the Tecumseh Service Club’s pantry.

The Daily Grind will have a Christmas tree with ornaments listing items needed for the kids. People pull a tag from the tree then deliver the items back to the Grind to be given away at Christmas.

The Gift of Reading program is coordinated at the Tecumseh District Library. People can drop off new books for kids of all ages at the library.

Those books will then be donated to the Service Club. The goal is to be sure each child receives a new book for Christmas.

New toys, pajamas, socks, hats or gloves can be dropped off at Sunderland Insurance at 123 N. Ottawa or any local Marine Toys for Tots box.

This year on Friday, Dec. 11 during Tecumseh Moonlight Madness there will be a canned food drive held downtown. Visitors can placed canned food items in a van decorated especially for the food drive. The goal is to fill van with non-perishable food items for Tecumseh Service Club to distribute.

For those unable to shop, but who want to help financially, donations can be sent to Tecumseh Service Club at 9466 Stone Highway in Tecumseh, Michigan 49286. Donations will be used towards grocery store gift cards for the seniors and smaller families, as well as towards the large amount of food purchased for family food boxes.

The public is invited to help fill food boxes on Friday, Dec. 18, beginning at 6:15 p.m. at the Tecumseh Masonic Hall. Members of St. Elizabeth’s Knights of Columbus and Tecumseh Kiwanis Club will help to distribute to the families on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Families selected for assisted are chosen from referrals from Associated Charities, local churches, schools, Social Services, individuals and Tecumseh Service Club records. A November enrollment was held at United Methodist Church in Tecumseh.

In 2014 gift baskets were provided to 177 families, which included 379 children. Each family received more than $150 of food, with every child gifted with a new outfit, pajamas, socks, hat and mittens, and several new toys.

Tecumseh District Library distributed 335 books through its Gift of Reading program. For area seniors and those households without school-age children, Tecumseh Service Club provided 40 food gift certificates from Jerry’s Market totaling $1,600.

“My hope is that when families are able, they come back and help other families,” Sunderland said. “Every year we have people donate or call to adopt a family and say it is because they remember the Service Club helping their family. To me, that is what we are all about.”

Beyond Christmas, Tecumseh Service Club serves those in need all year long, supported by local churches, business and individuals in the community. The organization has 36 members, a board of directors and several committees.

“The members meet regularly,” said Sunderland, “There is a group of investigators who work closely with clients.

In 2014 cash donations to the organization added up to $35,095.47. Area churches and church groups donated $2,861.52. Individual donations were $17,475.67 with clubs and groups donating $6,853. United Way donated $7,018.16, and Tecumseh Service Club was also supported with donations from Tecumseh Arbor of Gleaner Life Insurance Society, DiggyPOD, Tecumseh Township Lilley Foundation, the golf outing, and Crop Walk.

Food distribution is a big part of how Tecumseh Service Club supports families and individuals in need. The total grocery bill for 2014 was $8,646. 89. St. Elizabeth Knights of Columbus donated meat for pantry distribution, and the parish donated space for the operation of a food pantry.

The pantry is also supported by donations from food drives sponsored by area churches and organizations.

In 2014 helped area families with $17, 484.16 for utility payments, $12,735.50 in rent and housing payments, as well as $476.98 for clothing assistance, and $200 for medical assistance.

Administration expenses for 2014 were $202.55. They charges were for paper, stamps, and having a CPA complete tax preparation.

“The Tecumseh Service Club is a group of very dedicated volunteers that work with families throughout the year,” Sunderland said. “We are fortunate to live in a community that continues to support us in that mission year after year. If we are running low on particular items in the pantry, one of the churches will hold a collection. The Knights of Columbus continue to keep our meat freezer filled. Busch’s customers purchase prepackaged bags of groceries. Many individuals buy new coats or make knitted items and blankets to give out. This year the Muk Open golf outing raised over $7,000. These are just a few of the acts of kindness that allow us to continue and I am grateful to be a part of this organization.”


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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