What’s On Nonprofit Wish Lists This Year?


“There’s no harm in wishing,” as the song goes. Once again, for the TCBN’s annual focus on nonprofits, we asked a handful of area nonprofits to share some wishes – to name three things their organizations could really use from the community to further them along in their missions.

Just one caveat: No wishing for cash. Instead, we asked them to think small (less than $100), bigger (less than $500) and biggest (sky’s the limit).

Who knows? Sometimes wishes do come true …



Giving dogs and cats a second chance is the heart of AC PAW’s mission. First founded in 1995, it offers emergency rescues and also accepts animals that are owner relinquished for any number of reasons. Key to the success of the group is a network of volunteers who foster the dog and cats until new homes are found. So far, it has done just that for more than 8,000 such animals.

Less than $100: Sponsorship of a rescued dog or cat at a local vet’s office (vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery); gift certificates to Pets Naturally or PetSmart for supplies; gift certificates to Home Depot to help build feral cat shelters and dog houses; heavy duty cat traps for trapping feral cats for our TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) program.

Less than $500: Sponsorship of a dog or cat from rescue to adoption; sponsorship of a special needs animal that we might not normally be able to help due to costs; branded matching EZ-UP Tents with sides for events; branded banners with frames for events and special functions.

Sky’s the limit: A transport van branded with AC PAW’s logo with enclosed trailer. This has always been a dream of ours to have an actual AC PAW van for safely transporting our animals to and from the vet’s office or to and from adoption events; full sponsorship for the 20th Anniversary of AC PAW in 2015; mortgage-free shelter building and land in Traverse City with utilities and taxes covered for a year.



Linda Fletcher, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army Nurse Corps, had a father with military post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She didn’t realize it, though, until last year … long after his death. In his honor, Fletcher launched A Matter of Honor, a quest to better understand what happened to her father and to her family as a whole. Her goal? To educate and promote public awareness related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – the symptoms of PTSD, the impact it has on society as well as treatment methodologies and prevention strategies – all in an effort to improve the lives of all affected.

Less than $100: Office supplies (i.e. ink cartridges)

Less than $500: Two new aluminum-based vertical signs to post at our functions to let folks know who we are!

Sky’s the limit: We have an office area but it needs heat for the winter. There is a gas line to it but we need a gas heater installed so we can work without icicles forming on the ends of our noses!


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan

The local Big Brothers Big Sisters has a goal of 300 new matches – 300 kids who are facing challenges in their lives and would benefit from some one-on-one time with a mentor, and even better, a caring adult. It may be a pick-up game of basketball, a trip to the library or a favorite board game – what is most important is that it is time with someone who cares, and whose only focus is that “little” brother or sister.

Less than $100: Healthy Snacks and jump ropes for the kids during our Big Fit Club Program

Less than $500: Projector and screen for presentations

Sky’s the limit: Complete community awareness display package – two tents w/BBBS branding, table for display and all-weather display banners to help us increase visibility throughout the five counties during special events.


FLOW (For Love Of Water)

FLOW is the Great Lakes Basin’s only public trust policy and education nonprofit, based right here in Traverse City. Comprising 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water, the Great Lakes Basin faces numerous threats – privatization, diversion, climate change impacts, pollution and other abuses. The organization’s main mission is to build awareness and educate decision-makers on these issues as well as to be the voice for the Great Lakes – and save them for all for forever.

Less than $100: Cases of office paper

Less than $500: A new laptop computer (no software required), and IT consulting service to evaluate our existing computer systems needs

Sky’s the limit: Signage and banners – a large clear FLOW window decal for office signage and smaller one for door windows. And, for our events we would like one or two large pull-up banners with our FLOW logo (and storage cases), and a custom FLOW sign with an easel stand.


Grand Traverse Lighthouse

The original Grand Traverse Light Station was constructed by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1852. It was followed by the present lighthouse built in 1858 in a more visible location at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula for ships in the Manitou Passage of Lake Michigan. Today, the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum keeps all of that maritime past alive.

Less than $100: Two cases of white copy paper (20lb)

Less than $500: Eight Motorola Talkabout 2-Way Radios, Model #: MOT-352R (SKU:5402909)

Sky’s the limit: 5’x 8′ trailer with lift tailgate


Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes, Northwest Service Office

Inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy is the work of Junior Achievement. Led by people who take time out of their workdays to share what they know, the programs range from storybook lessons for kindergarteners to operation of a student founded and led company. No matter your profession, the message of opportunity and limitless potential is one every kid needs to hear.

Less than $100: Canon PowerShot Camera

Less than $500: HP Color Laser Printer all in one

Sky’s the limit: Dell laptop computer


Leelanau Outdoor Center

Celebrating 20 years this year, Leelanau Outdoor Center (LOC) was established in collaboration with local schoolteachers who saw a need for quality outdoor and character education. Today, nearly 3,000 students from across Michigan attend LOC programs every year. Leadership, self worth, respect and excellence are the core values rooted in the center’s programming and activities.

Less than $100: Five sling lines for our high ropes course

Less than $500: Three 2 or 3-burner portable camp stoves with legs

Sky’s the limit: Six-person tents for LOC’s expanded outdoor camping program


Northwest Michigan Supportive Housing

Providing independent living with services for individuals with mental health needs is the mission of Northwest Michigan Supportive Housing. It does this through partnerships with local landlords and developers – owning the housing units to provide secure, permanent and affordable housing to qualified applicants – and through partnerships with local agencies to provide supportive services.

Less than $100: Cleaning supplies/vacuums for tenant households, all of which are special needs

Less than $500: Push lawn mower for supportive housing units and/or a wet-dry carpet cleaner for housing facilities

Sky’s the limit: Land in the Grand Traverse region on which NMSH could develop more permanent supportive scattered-site housing.



SEEDS tackles global issues on a local scale. The acronym stands for Seeking Ecology Education and Design Solutions. Its services are wide-ranging – professional design services for ecosystems, a Youth Conservation Corps for service learning projects and development of green collar jobs, as well as after-school programming providing role models, mentors and community advisors.

Less than $100: Attractive set of “boxes” to convert a desk top to a standing desk situation (we’ve got a growing number of staff with cardboard contraptions!). DIY box-builders welcome!

Less than $500: Personal Protection Equipment and uniforms for our Youth Corps teams (e.g. hardhats, steel toed boots, work pants, organic cotton or recycled t-shirts and polo shirts, etc.)

Sky’s the limit: A website overhaul complete with Salesforce integration; or time with a sweet video editor.