On Saturday, February 25, 2017, the staff and students, along with family and friends, from the Port Huron, Michigan campus of Ross Medical Education Center were excited to participate in the 27th Annual Blue Water Walk for Warmth. The Ross team collected pledges and then joined over 150 other community members for a two mile trek through downtown Port Huron to raise awareness for a very important cause.
This annual event is sponsored by the Blue Water Community Action Agency (BWCA). The BWCA is a non-profit organization, providing services and assistance to those in need in the St. Clair County area. The BWCA has been in operation for over fifty years, working diligently to help people overcome challenges and rise out of poverty. Funds raised from the Walk for Warmth go towards helping such families, including senior citizens, who are having trouble paying their energy bills. The majority of these expenses are covered by federal and state dollars, however the additional monies raised either supplement when the state and federal funding runs out or can be used to assist families who don’t quite meet the qualifications but are still in great need.
The Walk for Warmth is purposely held in February during the chilly winter weather to serve as a reminder that some individuals in the community are suffering cold temperatures inside their homes due to their inability to pay their heating bills. As a passerby observing the walk, it would be difficult not to think about those in need who have don’t have heat during the winter months and are forced to stay warm using blankets, heavy clothing, kerosene space heaters or even candles. Mia Vargo, Campus Director shared, “Blue Water Community Action Agency is such an important resource in our community. We were grateful for the opportunity to participate in this annual event, which helps to create awareness and funds for those individuals in need of assistance with their heat during the cold winter months.”
After the walk through the downtown district, the participants were treated to a delicious hot breakfast at the Charles A. Hammond American Legion Hall. In addition to making pledges, individuals could buy tickets for a 50/50 drawing as well as a raffle for themed gift baskets. This year’s event proved to be a success, collecting over $13,000 for the cause. The Ross Medical Education Center team members enjoyed the event and are already planning on participating in next year’s walk.
It is easy to get involved in this worthy cause, along with other important events held by Community Action Agencies throughout the year. There are thirty Community Action Agencies in Michigan and approximately 1,100 nationwide, many of which sponsor similar events. To learn more about Blue Water Community Action Agency please check out their website at www.bwcaa.org. To find an agency in your area, go to The National Association Community Action Partnership website at www.communityactionpartnership.com.