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Marquette County kicks off Five Days of Caring with Take Action Day

Donations given to the Offender Success Program to help former prison inmates get a second chance.
Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 4:09 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Today marked the first day of United Way of Marquette County’s inaugural Five Days of Caring, a five-day stretch that asks people to be supportive of each other to become a more united community.

Campaign Co-Chair Melissa Holmquist explains this week is important to the public.

“This year, more than ever, so many of our community members have been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic," Holmquist said. "It’s really important to continue to support our nonprofits and local community-based organizations.”

The first of the five days is Take Action Day, where Yoopers can donate clothes, cleaning materials, and any other supplies to those who need them the most.

Today, people donated to the Offender Success Program, an initiative that helps those who get out of prison get a chance to rebound their lives.

The program’s community coordinator, Jason Sides, says the idea to take part in United Way’s plan stemmed from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“With a lot of different thrift stores and things that weren’t accessible during the pandemic,” Sides explained, "we came up with an idea of a way to be more self-sufficient in providing some basic needs for our returning citizens.

Support could be given at the Great Lakes Recovery Centers in both Marquette and Ishpeming, as well as downtown Marquette’s Janzen House.

Sides says these contributions will give former inmates the boost they need.

“A lot of times," he said, "they come off their transport or their bus with just their prison clothing that they had on when they left their facility. So, this will be able to help us provide immediate necessities to them.”

Program organizers say donations will be accepted until September 25th, and that all donated items are not only appreciated -- but go a long way in helping those recently released from prison get a second chance.

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