MI Life in Numbers hosts inaugural Community Engagement Fair

Published 7:00 pm Saturday, July 22, 2023

LAGRANGE TOWNSHIP — A local nonprofit hosted an event that provided local residents with information about education, wellness and community resources in the area.

MI Life in Numbers — a nonprofit organization created by Dowagiac resident Heather Olson to support and empower people living with type one diabetes – hosted its first Community Engagement Fair Friday, July 21, at Marion Magnolia Farms, 57376 Twin Lakes Rd., Cassopolis.

The free event featured several local nonprofits and organizations – including Hidden Acres, Niles Service League, Outcenter of Southwest Michigan, The Fallen Outdoors and more – hosting booths at the event. Visitors were able to meet local vendors and get involved with their programs, volunteer or make connections.

“I think it went really well,” Olson said. “It was very consistent, we had a good amount of people coming in. One thing that has really opened our eyes is the fact that all these organizations are really networking as well, so that’s been great for everyone here.”

Scotty Lee of Stevensville was on hand representing The Fallen Outdoors, a veteran-based hunting and fishing organization aiming to help veterans who suffer from physical or mental disabilities. 

“This program has helped save my life,” Lee said. “I’m fully disabled, I was injured in the line of duty. This program has really helped me to gain confidence back… I feel very proud to be (at this event) because I want to get my brothers and sisters out here to do this as well.”

Olson hopes the event helped to lay foundations for long-term partnerships with local organizations and community members. 

“You can fill other people’s pockets without taking anything from yours and I think that’s exactly what we’re doing,” she said. “We’re just trying to spread love and kindness. We’re all on one team and we all want the same thing – to make good in the community. I’d say it’s been really great.”

“There’s so much that goes on in the community that not a lot of people know about or hear about, so I fully support Heather and MI Life In Numbers,” said Devon Floor of the Niles Service League. “I love that this event isn’t just for MI Life In Numbers, It’s for all the other non-profits in our community. It’s outreach and it’s support and all the connections we make here, it goes very far.”