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Giving Back—Our Guide to Local Organizations Around Ann Arbor

December 6, 2022

It's the season of giving, and at Norfolk Homes, there’s nothing we value more than uplifting the communities around us and doing our part in any way possible for those who need it most around the areas of Ann Arbor, Dexter, Chelsea, Saline, Jackson and Marshall. In honor of the Giving Season, our team wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the local organizations around our communities that never rest in helping those around them. Read on to see how you can contribute to your hometown during this season of giving. 

Ann Arbor 

As a city that is very community-oriented, Ann Arbor has plenty of opportunities for you to volunteer your time or give a monetary donation to various local organizations. The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County is an incredible local organization to look into this season. The center focuses on how to end homelessness in the area by serving nearly 1,300 adults each year, and they make it their mission to give those struggling in the community the help and support that they need to get back on their feet. Either through monetary donations, clothing and home item donations, or through volunteering at the shelter—especially with the center hosting an array of events November 13-19 for Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week—anything is appreciated. 

With an undying dedication to improving the quality of life for local military members, retirees, veterans, their families and caregivers—Fisher House Michigan is an amazing organization to donate to. The organization supports the construction and operations of comfort homes built near VA Medical Centers in Michigan, called “Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher Houses.” 92 of these homes are located at military and VA medical centers around the world, the newest of which is the VA Ann Arbor Fisher House, which opened in the spring of 2020. Whether you’re able to make a one-time payment or a recurring monthly donation, every little amount helps to show appreciation to these everyday heroes. 


In the heart of the city of Dexter, Michigan, the Faith in Action Food Pantry serves people within the Chelsea and Dexter school districts—aiding families who need additional food, clothing and household goods while also providing counseling, preschool scholarship programs, back-to-school funding and more to assist those in the community. With the upcoming holiday season in mind, you can donate your time on Thanksgiving and Christmas by helping with the free holiday meals the center helps provide.

If you’re looking for a way to contribute to the betterment of the local community as a whole, the Dexter Community Fund is a permanent endowment dedicated to addressing community needs and enriching the quality of life within the Dexter community. The Fund is a source of community capital that is available to invest in a wide range of initiatives, projects and organizations that enrich the quality of life in Dexter. It supports projects and nonprofit organizations across a number of areas—including arts and culture, education, the environment, youth, senior services, health and wellness, human services and/or community improvement. By donating to this community-focused fund, you’re supporting the families, friends and loved ones around you while leaving a legacy for future generations. 


The Saline Area Social Service helps feed those in the community and provides them with an array of essentials during times of need. In 2021, this fantastic organization provided over 120,000 meals, over $10,000 in school supplies and over 1,000 prescription co-pays—nearly all from funds donated by the local community. Whether you’re gifting old clothes, providing canned goods, volunteering at their frequent events, sponsoring holiday meals or providing a monetary donation—every contribution is meaningful and doesn’t go unnoticed by anyone in the Saline community.

After the devastating losses of their precious, fun-loving sons to pediatric brain cancer, two families of Saline joined forces to be even tougher together in the fight for a cure, resulting in ChadTough, a local organization with a mission beyond importance—to help advance research and find a cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) and Diffuse Midline Glioma (DMG). This foundation is built on the belief that collaboration will be the key to finding a cure, and they’re currently funding 8 projects this funding cycle—building on the 40+ already funded. With an array of volunteer opportunities and ways to donate, giving to this organization means you're giving to something beyond significant—and there’s no better time than now to do your part.


Looking at the city of Jackson, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to help those around you. If you’re searching for a constant way to help the children of Jackson County, the local Big Brothers Big Sisters club is a great place to devote your time. Becoming a big brother or big sister to a child in your community helps ensure that they gain a relationship with someone who truly wants to make a difference in their lives for the better. 

The Jackson Interfaith Shelter is another amazing organization in the community that provides temporary housing and additional resources to those experiencing homelessness and poverty around the area. This Christmas season, the shelter is holding a Christmas Adoption program where you can put your name in to “adopt” one or more persons to provide them with gifts on Christmas morning. 

Jackson is also the home of SOAR Cafe & Farms, a non-profit organization that provides housing, job opportunities and healing to those who are survivors of human trafficking, sexual abuse and trauma. See how you can volunteer, or take a look through the organization's store where you can purchase a #LoveRises candle, cookbook and more, and your proceeds will go toward furthering their incredible work within the community. 


Located in the heart of Marshall, the Fountain Clinic is a community-oriented healthcare provider that was established to help those who are uninsured, underinsured or cannot afford needed medical and/or dental care. Staffed primarily by their nurse practitioner, volunteer physicians, volunteer dentists and physician assistants—their minimal resources are used to provide physician services, diagnostic testing and medications for the patients they serve. Whether you’re shopping through Amazon Smile this holiday season or donating to them directly, any contribution to this wonderful organization can help perform miracles for Marshall residents in need.

The Marshall Community Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life in Marshall and Calhoun County. The Foundation holds permanently endowed funds from a range of donors, and serves as a conduit for special projects and the distribution of grants in support of innovative programs. Their Family of Funds includes nearly 160 endowed and non-endowed funds that reach every corner of the Marshall community. From the arts and environment to education and social services, the Community Foundation—in conjunction with donations from citizens—made an $884,505 impact last year through grants and scholarships. Join the large family of volunteers this holiday season, or provide a monetary donation to see the immense impact this phenomenal organization has on the Marshall community.


There are also great opportunities to give back within the city of Chelsea, Michigan. South of town lies the Barn Sanctuary, where workers and volunteers help rescue and take care of abused and neglected farm animals. By making a one-time donation or choosing an animal to sponsor monthly, you’ll be giving them the chance at a full and happy life. The organization also welcomes school field trips and other visitors to come interact with the animals and hear about their heartwarming rescue stories. 

Chelsea also has a great opportunity for you to bring a smile to a group of residents in the city at the Silver Maples of Chelsea retirement community. Taking time out of your busy schedule—especially around the holidays—to help decorate the retirement home for each season, go for walks with the residents, or simply spend an afternoon in great conversations can make all the difference in someone’s day. 

Celebrate the season of giving

This is what the season of giving is all about—taking time to truly take a step back and appreciate all that we have, and we hope that this list has given you an idea of how you can help those in your community. At Norfolk Homes, we are proud to build homes within these tight-knit communities that care deeply for their residents, and we hope that you and your family have a joyful holiday season!

For any additional information about our communities and quick move-in homes throughout these remarkable areas in Jackson, Washtenaw, Livingston and Calhoun counties, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (734) 336-1912 or contact us online.

I have been very impressed so far with how well organized Norfolk Homes is. Working with Laura in the Design Center and then Tim at MIProTechs - and of course Lisa over all- has been a very helpful and enjoyable process, and I look forward to everything else coming together as seamlessly.