Lighthouse, a Pontiac-based nonprofit building equitable communities that alleviate poverty, is pleased to announce a partnership with Genisys Credit Union to renovate and restore a commercial kitchen at Lighthouse’s headquarters, located at 46156 Woodward Avenue in Pontiac.
The kitchen, which has not been used in more than a decade, will be brought up to code with a new layout and new appliances to provide meals for emergency shelter residents. Since Lighthouse does not currently have a commercial kitchen, all meals for the shelter are being brought in or cooked off site at other commercial kitchens.
An open house to showcase renovation plans will take place Wednesday, October 19 from 8 – 10:30 a.m. at the Lighthouse Community Room (Door C), 46156 Woodward Avenue in Pontiac. Speakers from Lighthouse and Genisys Credit Union will be on hand to talk about next steps and the importance of this project.
"With the drive and passion to do so, Lighthouse is making fundamental change possible in our communities through their commitment to partnership and advocacy," said Jackie Buchanan, President and CEO of Genisys Credit Union. "Standing alongside them, we share in their mission of eliminating homelessness in our communities with projects like the commercial kitchen and we are grateful to offer support to move their mission forward."
Genisys Credit Union provided an initial $60,000 gift to support the kitchen project. They have since raised additional funds with their employees and are working to raise another $25,000 to purchase appliances, food, and other equipment needed for the kitchen.
This latest project is an extension of Genisys Credit Union’s ongoing support and partnership with Lighthouse. Over the last three years, the credit union has donated $164,000 to Lighthouse including financial support for its Thanksgiving program which distributes turkeys to more than 2,000 households annually, sponsorships, and more.
Genisys employees have also rolled up their sleeves and put in more than 140 hours volunteering to pack and deliver food and renovate a smaller kitchen at Lighthouse’s new Family Emergency Shelter. In addition, Genisys has engaged its partners to give financially, including acting as a catalyst for the Michigan Credit Union League to support Lighthouse through their annual golf outing.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the need for emergency food and shelter in our community has skyrocketed and that need always escalates during the holiday season and the cold winter months,” said Lighthouse CEO Ryan Hertz. “Having committed partners like Genisys Credit Union is what it will take to alleviate homelessness and tackle this massive problem in our community – we cannot do it alone. Restoring our commercial kitchen so groups and congregation volunteers can prepare meals for our shelter guests, and even teach cooking classes, will enable us to better serve the community. We are truly grateful to the dedicated team at Genisys Credit Union for providing the support needed to make it happen.”
A timeline and other details for the commercial kitchen project are still being finalized. Anyone who would like to contribute to the renovation effort can do so at: https://my.lighthousemi.org/lighthouse-open-house/Donate