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MW Gives 2023: Building a safer tomorrow

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As 2023 draws to a close, our team is proud to once again announce our end-of-year give back initiative as we reflect on the year behind us and look forward at ways we can to continue bettering the communities around us.

One of Martin Waymire’s favorite traditions, MW Gives, demonstrates the true meaning of the season by giving back to organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of members of our communities. In previous years, we have supported groups that strengthen and beautify our community through creativity, feed the hungry, provide shelter to families in need, and deliver services to our military veterans – to name a few.

For MW Gives 2023, we’re supporting organizations that are working to reduce and prevent gun violence. Before we are public relations professionals, we are community members, parents, siblings, and friends – and each of us has seen the devastating impact that gun violence continues to have on the hearts and lives of those we care most about. . As the leading cause of death for children and teens in Michigan and nationally, firearms put all of our loved ones at risk. Protective, commonsense measures have been implemented statewide this year to prevent gun violence around Michigan, but we believe that more still must be done.

In our own backyard here in Lansing, we are grateful to have organizations that are diligently engaged in comprehensive efforts ranging from proactive gun violence research and prevention strategies to targeted interventions with high-risk individuals in the aftermath of such incidents. The work of The Village Lansing, End Gun Violence Michigan, Advance Peace Lansing, and the Mikey 23 Foundation underscores the critical role that community-focused initiatives play in fostering lasting change and keeping residents safe. As such, we’re proud to support these organizations for MW Gives 2023.

Learn more about each recipient below, and what you too can do to help them achieve their goals:

The Village Lansing:

The Village Lansing is a grassroots organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of gun violence by making a tangible difference in people’s lives. Their core mission is centered around providing guidance and resources for 18 to 25-year-olds in Lansing and their families through mentorship, distributing essential resources, and offering unwavering support. Their initiatives are designed to minimize potential harms associated with risky behaviors by equipping young people with the real-life skills, tools, and resources they need to navigate complex situations and make their own informed decisions. Ultimately, they strive to create a community where our Lansing youth can feel seen, supported, and free to pursue their dreams without fear of gun violence. You can support The Village Lansing through monetary donations, donating household supplies, volunteering at events, and more.

Mikey 23 Foundation:

The Mikey 23 Foundation stands as a tribute to Michael McKissic II, whose life was tragically cut short at the age of 23 by gun violence. The Mikey 23 Foundation’s mission is to equip young individuals in Lansing from diverse backgrounds with essential skills for lifelong careers in high-demand industries. Guided by licensed professionals in construction, electrical work, plumbing, HVAC systems, and more, the group drives positive change by offering innovative education and training in skilled trades, and by offering hands-on opportunities that nurture self-development and growth. Their ultimate aim is to empower youth to realize their fullest potential and build a better future. Along with monetary donations, the Mikey 23 Foundation accepts construction tools, construction clothing, and more. Learn more here.

Advance Peace Lansing:

Advance Peace, an organization dedicated to envisioning an America free from gun violence, took action in response to the troubling surge of firearm-related incidents in Lansing. Teaming up with the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) and the Ingham County Health Department, they established the Advance Peace Peacemaker Fellowship in the heart of Lansing – an 18-month opportunity where Fellows receive everyday mentorship from their assigned mentor and others within the Advance Lansing team. Fellows work to achieve their goals and avoid gun violence during this time, and Advance Peace Lansing mentors also work to interrupt street conflicts that might lead to gun violence. In the first year of the program, there were 15 individuals in the program, and in the coming year they’re expanding the program to include 60 residents. Overall, Advance Peace Lansing’s goal is to reduce gun-related incidents in Lansing by 40% within the next three years through community violence intervention strategies. To learn more about Advance Peace Lansing and get involved, click here.

End Gun Violence Michigan:

End Gun Violence Michigan stands as a regional advocacy force driven by individuals who have experienced the devastation caused by gun violence. This collective diligently champions Michigan residents by advocating for commonsense gun legislation and working with volunteers and field organizers to enact change. Collaboratively, they’ve taken strides toward enacting laws focused on secure firearm storage and universal background checks. They are unwaveringly committed to persisting in this work until every Michigan community is safe from gun violence. To donate or volunteer with End Gun Violence Michigan, click here.

Martin Waymire is making financial donations to each organization and  helping to promote how you too can participate in the continuation of this vital work. After a year of increased violence and hardships for many in our community, saying “thank you” to the organizations who are stepping up and helping those in need of support is more important than ever.

At Martin Waymire, we work hard every day to make Michigan a better place to live, work and play. THANK YOU to the  organizations we are supporting this year that are doing vital work in communities we care about that make this shared vision possible. MW Gives is our way of showing gratitude and appreciation for their tireless work.

Look for more information about these organizations in the coming weeks, and join us this holiday season by saying “thank you” to those in your network who have gone above and beyond to build a safer tomorrow for our communities. You can also learn more about past MW Gives initiatives here.