As the director of community impact at the United Way of Greater Battle Creek, Matt Lynn is no stranger to heartbreaking stories of families struggling to make ends meet, especially in these tough economic times. But even Matt was taken aback after hearing one woman’s story about trying to put food on the table for her and her daughter on a mere $25 a week budget.
“I had to stop her and say, ‘Can you tell me that one more time? I don’t think I heard you,’” Matt said. He added that despite seeing her annual income cut in half over the past five years as she bounced from one temporary position to another, the single mother said, “You know, it’s really tight, (but) we make it.”
The story really struck a chord with Matt when he returned home that night to have dinner with his family and realized what they had spent on one simple meal.
The United Way of Greater Battle Creek is dedicated to mobilizing the caring power of the community to support the building blocks for a good life – a quality education that leads to stable jobs, income to support a family, good health and access to basic human needs. That’s why the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is partnering with this organization to make sure that this mother and other families across Michigan have the support they need to achieve success as individuals and active members of their communities.
“If we really want to create change in our community, it has to start with trust,” Matt said. “I believe in a Michigan where people take care of each other – it’s not about me first, everybody else second.”