Char-Em Alternative Gifts is a collaboration of area nonprofits to raise awareness of community needs, provide financial support to address those needs and offer a meaningful option for those who wish to make a difference with their holiday gift-giving. Choose to give a purposeful gift to someone on your holiday list by selecting one or more of the links, below, and making a donation in that person’s name.  Alternative Gift donations made by Friday, December 18, will likely make it onto Santa's sleigh for holiday delivery to your special gift recipient.  Alternative Gifts will also be available for giving through December 31, 2015. 

HOW IT WORKS…when you make your gift through any of these organizations, a holiday greeting card will be sent to your gift recipient sharing that you have made a gift on their behalf and the impact that gift will have. Please include a mailing address for the recipient in the available field ("In Honor of" , "in whose name will the donation be made?" or "Gift in the name of").

Gift Card

Char-Em United Way

We envision a community where individuals and families achieve their highest human potential through education, income stability and healthy lives.

Every dollar donated makes a difference and is greatly appreciated.

$10:  Help Others Succeed — Basic school supplies for a student in need

$25:  Providing Essentials — Provide one week of healthy food for a family or parent education classes aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect

$50:  Promote Health and Wellness:  Secure three safe rides to doctor appointments or shopping for a senior citizen
Supports funds for emergency assistance for utilities and rent

$100:  Increase Independence and Self-Sufficiency — Four counseling sessions for family or individual or a full day of Project Connect services for an individual: hot meal, haircut, chair massage; help in locating employment, housing, child care, health care, education services, and more

$250:  Improve Financial Stability — Provide learning and development classes such as financial management and career and technology training

Click to donate to the Char-Em United Way

Friendship Centers of Emmet County

Please consider giving a gift to some of our community’s most vulnerable members.  Since 1967, Friendship Centers of Emmet County has been striving to ensure that seniors in our area have the opportunities, information, and services necessary to live healthy, safe, and active lives in dignity.

$10:   Helps transport seniors to medical appointments

$25  Provides personal care in the homes of older adults

$50:   Provides Meals on Wheels for one homebound senior for a month

$100:  Provides foot care for five seniors

$250:  Provides congregate meals for 100 seniors

Click to donate to the Friendship Centers

Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity

NW Michigan Habitat for Humanity builds safe, affordable homes for lower income families in Charlevoix and Emmet Counties. Qualified families have earned income at only 30-60% of the county Adjusted Median Income. Habitat homes are typically a modest 1100 sq ft depending on family size, but are built to meet Energy Star and handicap accessibility standards which improve the affordability of the home and allow for aging-in-place in the long term. Every Habitat Partner family puts their own sweat equity into building their home — a home they can afford and which provides a secure environment for their children. Currently the need has reached a substantial level in the Char-Em area.  Your gifts support additional new homes and home repair services which help more and more families, year after year.  Please help give Habitat families a Hand Up with safe, affordable housing!

$10:    Provides a bible for a Habitat Partner family, so they can learn about God’s enduring love, the value of serving others, and hope.

$25:    Provides paint for a child’s room — often the first room they will have to call their own

$50:    Provides 50 sq ft of roofing shingles

$100:  Helps build a fully handicap-accessible home

$250:  Helps Habitat build energy efficient homes, providing for Energy Star rated appliances and insulation

Click to donate to Habitat for Humanity

Hospice of Northwest Michigan

On average insurance only covers about 88% of Hospice care costs!  Hospice of Northwest Michigan makes it a priority to make sure that all unfunded needs of our patients and families relating to comfort, care and support are covered 100% but we need your help.  Your support can make a difference right away.  Here are some unfunded examples:

$10:   Volunteer Program Supplies to assist them in making Life Moments Happen 

$25:   Bereavement Program – Free Open to the Community Grief/Loss Support Services for any type of loss

$50:   Medical Equipment, Supplies, Gaps in Insurance Coverage, Large Deductibles, Large Spend downs

$100:  We Honor Veteran's Program Pins, Ceremonies & Services

$250:  A day of Hospice Professional Services (Nursing, Medical Social Worker, Aide) for an Uninsured Individual

These dollar figures can also be dedicated as unrestricted funds to be used as needed by our organization to serve our patients immediate otherwise unfunded needs.

Click to donate to Hospice of Northwest Michigan

The Manna Food Project

Feeding the Hungry of Northern Michigan:  Manna, with its partner agencies, serves over 50,000 families each year. The “Food 4 Kids Backpack” program provides food for needy pre-school and elementary children in Emmet, Antrim and Charlevoix Counties.  Children who qualify for the National School Lunch Program receive kid-friendly, shelf-stable food for the weekend. Manna delivers over 1,800 backpacks each week.

$10:    Purchases 4 backpacks of food for the weekend =  55 pounds of food or 41 meals

$25:    Purchases 10 backpacks of food for the weekend = 138 pounds of food or 82 meals

$50:    Purchases 20 backpacks of food for the weekend = 277 pounds of food or 206 meals

$100:  Purchases 40 backpacks of food for the weekend = 555 pounds of food or 412 meals

$250:  Purchases 100 backpacks of food for the weekend = 1,388 pounds of food or 1,043 meals

Click to donate to The Manna Food Project

Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan, Inc.

Heal. Empower. Hope.

Your donations have the power to heal and transform lives throughout our local communities. During the past year, 2,502 nights of refuge were provided to survivors of domestic abuse and 7,500 meals were provided to shelter residents along with all their daily needs.  During the same time, 52 child sexual assault survivors were provided counseling, support and advocacy to help them on their journey of healing. Educational and career guidance was also provided to 277 individuals to help them secure a better future. These are just a few ways your donations help provide thousands of people, each year, healing, empowerment and hope for a better life.

$10:    Provides a woman with essentials when she arrives at Safe Home without personal belongings

$25:    Provides one domestic abuse survivor with an interview outfit to re-enter the workforce and become self-sufficient

$50:    Provides a week of diapers for two toddlers residing at the Safe Home

$100:  Assists in providing a month of supportive services to enable child sexual assault survivors the chance to heal

$250:  Provides survivors of domestic abuse and their children at the Safe Home with three meals a day for two weeks

Click to donate to the Women's Resource Center