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Porter Hills Foundation Receives Grant from Heart of West Michigan United Way Coronavirus Response Fund

GRAND RAPIDS, MI–The Porter Hills Foundation is excited to announce that it has received $20,000 from the Heart of West Michigan United Way Coronavirus Response Fund. This gift will support Porter Hills Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund for frontline caregivers, a special support fund for team members caring for older adults served at Porter Hills, with headquarters in Grand Rapids.

“We are grateful to receive this gift from the Heart of West Michigan United Way to support the healthcare needs of older adults and the brave service of our direct care teammates,” said Wendy Brightman, President of the UMRC Foundation and Porter Hills Foundation. “Their calling leads them toward the danger of this virus in order to provide outstanding care for older adults. They have children who are out of school, spouses who are laid off, older parents who rely on them.  Yet, they put aside these burdens to provide love and care for the older adults at UMRC.”

Porter Hills has acted swiftly to launch several initiatives to assist its frontline team members, including supplemental sick leave and pay, food pantries, babysitting services, and more. “This generous grant from the Heart of West Michigan United Way provides welcome assistance for these efforts in support of Porter Hills’ frontline Healthcare Heroes,” said Brightman.

“Our world is experiencing a crisis unlike any other in recent memory,” adds Joanna Hogan, Vice President of Philanthropy for the Porter Hills Foundation. “As we strive to protect the health and wellbeing of the older adults we serve, we must remember the dedicated, compassionate team members who are working hard in our communities each and every day. They deserve every bit of support we can provide.”

The Porter Hills Foundation created a COVID-19 Emergency Fund to meet the urgent needs of Porter Hills direct care workers.  These include rent, groceries, childcare, transportation, and more, explains Hogan. “Our direct care team members are working tirelessly at the front lines to ensure that the older adults we serve stay safe and healthy. We are thrilled to receive this grant from Heart of West Michigan United Way to support the needs of these caregivers providing love and care for the older adults we serve.”

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020, the mission of Porter Hills is to be trusted experts serving seniors with grace. Its vision is to be nationally recognized as an unparalleled leader and partner in senior services. In March 2019, Porter Hills affiliated, under shared governance and leadership, with United Methodist Retirement Communities, based in Chelsea, Michigan. Together, UMRC & Porter Hills represent the second largest nonprofit senior living organization in Michigan.  With a tradition of exceptional quality and a commitment to cutting-edge care, these faith-based organizations and their affiliates combine to serve more than 6,700 older adults each year, from 24 locations and service lines, across 22 counties in Michigan’s lower peninsula. UMRC and Porter Hills make up one of the state’s leading providers of PACE services, serving approximately 1,000 older adults across 15 Michigan counties.

Porter Hills Foundation is the charitable arm for Porter Hills, with headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1995, the Porter Hills Foundation was officially established as a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Its mission is to raise, invest, and monitor the funds that support Porter Hills in providing a continuum of high-quality communities and services.  With a focus on the health and well-being of older adults, and education and retention of our outstanding staff team members, the Porter Hills Foundation’s four priority initiatives include benevolent care, employee support services, capital improvements, and life enrichment for older adults.

For over a century, Heart of West Michigan United Way has raised money to support poverty-fighting initiatives at agencies across Kent County. Complementing that critical work, Heart of West Michigan United Way provides services directly through three internal programs: The Volunteer Center at United Way, 211, and Kent County Tax Credit Coalition.