Altrusa International of

Branch County, Michigan


Altrusa's newest service project continues to grow and grow and grow. Altrusa's newest community service project has been named "Happy Feet" because that is the intent of the project - to make sure children in Branch County have warm and comfortable shoes and boots. The committee members are working with Branch County Head Start teachers and Branch County Public school teachers to identify children in need. The committee members then supply the shoes or boots either from their inventory or from a purchase.

From left: Altrusans Patti Rockey, Carol Hodson, Chairperson Connie Winbigler, President Evelyn Grimes, Patt Sampsel and Linda Schafer of Hauska's.

Once a year, all 329 Altrusa clubs worldwide submit a service project for the Mamie L. Bass Service Award. Each district then selects the best project and submits this to Altrusa International. Once a biennium, a panel of judges selects the three most outstanding international projects.

This year, at Altrusa’s 54th International Convention held in Kansas City, Missouri, Altrusa International of Branch County was awarded third place for their “Happy Feet” project.

Our organization founded:

  • The Shelterhouse for Domestic Violence
  • TeenSHARE supported housing for homeless teens

Teen Share continues to be an active and busy place for homeless teens in this county. Currently there are six girls being housed in this shelter. The Altrusa Club of Branch County is continuing their support of the students and recently went shopping at Sav-a-Lot for paper products, cleaning supplies, and boxed and canned foods. Alliance Foods, Inc. of Coldwater helped support this endeavor by providing $100 worth of coupons at the store. This is the second year Alliance has joined with the Altrusa Club to provide needed food and household items. Shown above left to right are Mary Feller, Sandy Mancino, and Connie Winbigler of the Hands On Committee for Altrusa, delivering the items out to the Teen Share Home.

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Happy Feet Shoes on Happy Kids
Altrusans surrounded by some of the shoes collected for their Happy Feet Project
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