Wishing Time: What Seven Nonprofit Organizations Would Love to Receive

No harm in wishing, right? Just ask these seven area nonprofits. That’s exactly what the TCBN did in the spirit of the upcoming season of good cheer and giving. Specifically, we asked these local organizations to dream up three wishes at three different value levels that will either help the organization in meeting its mission or give a little love to the group itself. The only caveat? No wishes for cold hard cash. Read on to see what these seven groups would be delighted to receive from community members, businesses and corporate givers.


Animal Welfare League of Benzie County (awlobc.org)

The Animal Welfare League of Benzie County (AWL) was established in 1976 with the ultimate goal of a loving home for every animal in Benzie County. To help reduce the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens, the AWL offers vouchers for Benzie County residents toward neuter and spay costs for pets adopted from the county shelter. It averages about 300 procedures per year, assisting with more than 9,000 since the program started. The AWL also assists with emergency medical care and helps the Benzie County Animal Shelter. All AWL activities are supervised by four officers and a six-member board of directors and are implemented entirely by volunteers.

Less than $100: Forever U.S. postage stamps.

Less than $500: Cat litter.

Sky’s the limit: Canned cat and dog food.

Want to grant a wish? Email animalwelfarebenzie@gmail.com.


Arts for All of Northern Michigan (artsforallnmi.org)

The work of Arts for All of Northern Michigan is dedicated to providing children and adults with disabilities with artistic and cultural experiences while providing opportunities for personal growth and development. This is accomplished through its ACCESS program, which offers events such as community dances at the Traverse City Elks Lodge, a Corkscrew and Canvas painting gathering and an outing to Jacob’s Corn Maze. Arts for All also coordinates local Kids on the Block programs, a traveling puppet show that presents skits on issues of disability awareness, social concerns and medical conditions for elementary-aged children.

Less than $100: Community art project supplies including gallons of washable paint, plain white ceramic 4×4-inch tiles and large pieces of canvas or vinyl; or a supply of Forever stamps.

Less than $500: DJ services for one dance with Mr. Music DJ Services or silent auction software.

Sky’s the limit: PACER Puppets from the Pacer Center, Champion for Children with Disabilities; or donor database software.

Want to grant a wish? Contact Executive Director Grace Hudson at grace@artsforallnmi.org or (231) 947-1278.


Bay Area Music Foundation (bayareamusicfoundation.org)

The Bay Area Music Foundation’s mission is to provide every child in northern Michigan an opportunity to play music and receive music instruction. Benefit concerts (such as the one pictured at the Grand Traverse Pavilions) provide educational opportunities, funding, and cultural outreach in rural communities throughout the region. The organization provides scholarship funding for music camps, private instruction and continuing music education. Its gifting program has provided instruments to gifted and underprivileged students.

Less than $100: Sponsor one child for four private music lessons.

Less than $500: Used alto saxophone, trumpet, or flute to aid an underprivileged child so he or she can participate in a school band program.

Sky’s the limit: A new baritone sax, tuba, euphonium, or French horn to present to one of the area school music programs.

Want to grant a wish? Contact Chris Bickley, founder/board chair, at chris@bayareamusicfoundation.org.


Conservation Resource Alliance (rivercare.org)

Nearly 50 years ago, the Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) was created with the goal to preserve and protect the region’s waterways, wildlife and forests for generations to come. To date, that includes more than 700 miles of rivers, 5,000 miles of tributaries and forest in four million acres across northwest lower Michigan. With a commitment to “sensible stewardship,” CRA is recognized for its collaborative solutions among private landowners, government agencies and businesses to preserve or develop land in a manner that is positive for all.

Less than $100: Plants for the office.

Less than $500: NIKON Forestry Pro laser rangefinder/hypsometer.

Sky’s the limit: Catering for a fundraising house party for 20 guests.

Want to grant a wish? Contact Development Coordinator Matt Thomas at matt@rivercare.org or (231) 946-6817.


Girls on the Run Northwest Michigan (nwmigirlsontherun.com)

Girls on the Run is dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to confidently pursue her dreams. Certified coaches teach life skills to girls in third through eighth grades through interactive lessons and running games. Running is used to inspire and motivate, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. The curriculum is focused on three areas: understanding oneself, valuing relationships and teamwork, and understanding how one connects with and shapes the world at large. At each season’s conclusion, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5K running event which gives them a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.

Less than $100: One pair of appropriate running shoes for a girl in need.

Less than $500: Five pairs of appropriate running shoes for five girls in need.

Sky’s the limit: A pair of appropriate running shoes for every girl in the Northwest Michigan Girls on the Run program and every coach.

Want to grant a wish? Call Therese Larson at (231) 256-9803.


HomeStretch Nonprofit Housing Corporation (homestretchhousing.org)

HomeStretch Nonprofit Housing Corporation was specifically organized to provide decent, affordable housing for persons of low and moderate income. It is also tasked with preserving the quality and affordability of housing for present and future low and moderate income residents of the community. Pictured are recently completed affordable housing units at the Depot Neighborhood off Eighth Street in Traverse City.

Less than $100: Office supplies and equipment including divider/hanging files, wireless printer, Staples gift card, file storage boxes, flash drives; or items for the new development, including energy efficient light bulbs or a bush or tree for landscaping.

Less than $500: An energy efficient washer/dryer unit upgrade for one of the new affordable housing units.

Sky’s the limit: Land for development of more affordable apartments or condominiums or houses. Either vacant or encumbered, can be blighted or adaptive reuse.

Want to grant a wish? Call the office at (231) 947-6001.


Student Veterans of America (nmc.edu/admissions/military-veterans/student-veterans-of-america)

Student Veterans of America (SVA) is a coalition of student veterans groups on college campuses around the world. This Northwestern Michigan College chapter is one of the “boots on the ground” groups that help veterans engage with college life and find academic success. Among the obstacles that can stand in the way: feeling like an outsider among younger traditional students and a missing sense of camaraderie following military service. The peer-to-peer network meets monthly to provide both academic and social support, as the veterans work toward academic goals and meaningful employment.

Less than $100: K-cups for a Keurig coffee machine.

Less than $500: A Keurig coffee machine.

Sky’s the limit: Refrigerator/freezer.

Want to grant a wish? Contact Chapter President Lucas Clark at (231) 350-1757 or lucasclark19d@gmail.com.