June is a busy month, with calendars loaded up with graduations, pride month celebrations, community gatherings and more. This weekend (June 11 & 12) is also the ‘Three Free Weekend’!
This means it’s Free Fishing Weekend and Free ORV Weekend in Michigan’s state parks. Plus, a Recreation Passport is not required during these two days. This is a great opportunity to build state parks and boating access sites into your itinerary. Plenty of activities that are free for two days. See you out there!
$1.5 Million Tuition Giveaway
On Thursday, May 26, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the launch of the Michigan Education Trust (MET) 35th Anniversary $1.5 Million Giveaway. The giveaway is a random, statewide drawing that friends and family can enter on behalf of a child for a chance to win one of 100 $15,000 prepaid tuition prizes.
Under the MET’s giveaway, Michigan residents that are 18 years of age or older on Aug. 31, 2022, are eligible to enter on behalf of beneficiaries ages birth to 5 by the same date for a chance to win $15,000 in prepaid tuition. A person may enter only once, but multiple people may enter on behalf of the same child. The prepaid tuition prize may be used to pay for future tuition and mandatory fees at a community college, college, university or trade school in accordance with MET terms and conditions.
Giveaway entry began on May 26 and ends on Aug. 31. Winners will be announced in a series of drawings beginning Sept. 12. Michiganders can enter the giveaway and review the rules and eligibility criteria at www.METgiveaway.com.
Recovering Michigan’s American Woodcock Population
The American Woodcock is a migratory bird, but Michigan is known for producing more woodcock than any other state. Unfortunately, woodcock populations have been decreasing over the past two decades.
I introduced House Bill 5631 to make sure that we keep these beautiful birds thriving in Michigan. House Bill 5631 requires the Michigan Department of Natural Resources work with stakeholders like the American Woodcock Society or the United States Fish and Wildlife service, to develop a plan to restore populations of American woodcock.
Today, House Bill 5631 was voted out of the House Natural Resources committee and is now awaiting a vote on the House Floor.
Caring For MI Future
On Monday, May 16, Gov. Whitmer announced the Caring for Michigan’s Future plan, which hopes to open 1,000 new child care programs by the end of 2024. This will dramatically increase access to programs across the state. As part of the plan, existing child care businesses will receive grants to update their facilities to meet standards, new child care facilities will receive grants to support themselves and hire staff to expand their business, and child care facilities will also receive business development tools to create business plans.
If you would like to review Gov. Whitmer’s press release on the plan click here.
Home Repairs with State Emergency Relief
State Emergency Relief assists with home repairs to correct unsafe conditions and restore essential services. Eligible home repairs may include repair or replacement of a non-functioning furnace, hot water heaters or septic systems. Apply using the MI Bridges portal here.
Family Support Program
Families looking for assistance paying for childcare or summer care for children 0-14 can apply for scholarships through the Family Support Program.
Order Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order four free at home COVID-19 tests and are estimated to ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests here and have them when you need them.
Mental Health Resources
If you need to talk with someone because you are in crisis or having a bad day, you can call or visit the Genesee Health System Behavioral Health Urgent Care. They offer walk-in services Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight, and virtual services 24/7. All services offered at the urgent care are free of charge.
The number for the National Suicide Hotline is (800) 273-8255. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
View this document to see a list of other mental health resources in Genesee County.
The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan has plenty of mobile food sites — check them out here! They also offer summer food service, and you can view the service locations here.
Located at 735 E. Stewart Ave. in Flint, North End Soup Kitchen serves hot food Mondays through Saturdays from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and 4-5 p.m., and Sundays from 1-2 p.m. Call (810) 785-6911 for more information.
Flushing Christian Outreach Center’s Food Pantry is located at 5409 W. Pierson Rd. Call (810) 487-2223 to schedule an appointment and receive a grocery bag filled with enough food to feed a family for five days.
The Swartz Creek United Methodist Church offers a food pantry on Tuesdays from 3–5 p.m. and Fridays from 10–noon.
I Want to Hear from You
During this challenging time, I want to hear from you. What do you need? How can we help you? Please, reach out to me at JohnCherry@house.mi.gov or give my office a call at (517) 373-7515.
I hope this information has been helpful.
All the best,