Do you need help? Write us!

November 16, 2017

By Mike Wilcox

It’s time again for this newspaper’s annual Christmas Wish program. In the next few weeks we are asking readers that find themselves or their family in a dire situation to write us and in detail, tell us what you or your family would like to make Christmas a happy occasion.

Despite what many experts say is an improving economy, I believe that improvement has been felt much in this area. Clare County is still Michigan’s second poorest county with a median household income of just over $33,000 (Lake is the worst at $30,000). Osceola County fares better at $38,000.

Another indicator is persons below poverty level. Clare can claim nearly 25% of its residents in this category. In Osceola, 20% don’t make enough income to make this threshold. Neither is the worst county in the state. Isabella holds that distinction with 28% of its residents considered in poverty.

These statistics simply accentuate the fact that many of us are going to have difficulty providing for our families this Christmas. That’s where this newspaper, with the help of area businesses and more fortunate individuals step forward.
If you need help we ask that you write a letter to us explaining exactly why. You can mail the letter- for Clare County or Osceola/Missaukee to the Clare County Review at 105 W. Fourth St., Clare, 48617. Better yet send it by email to or DEADLINE for all letters is DECEMBER 10.

We in turn will take the best letters to area businesses, who will provide money and donations to see that your Christmas Wish is fulfilled. We have literally helped hundreds of families in past years. Last year alone, we gathered over $10,000 in cash and gifts to help over 50 families.

Interestingly enough we had a couple donors provide $1,000 to help disadvantaged families. In one instance I was vacuuming our new offices when I came upon an envelope lying on the floor. I opened the envelope to find ten $100 bills. An anonymous person had simply thrown the money in to our office without anyone having seen him or her.

Another person sent $1000. Three others sent $500. For a closet Scrooge, like myself, I couldn’t believe the generosity of some of our businesspeople and more well-to-do residents in this area. The adage “we take care of our own” certainly applies to this area.

Your letters in previous years have motivated us to find an apartment for a homeless couple, purchase a gravestone for a distraught wife, provide a vehicle and gas money for a family to travel downstate for Christmas; as well as provide countless dinners, articles of clothing and thousands of toys for children in our communities.

Certainly we expect to continue that tradition of giving again this year. We have set a lofty goal of helping at least 100 local families this Christmas. Thus if you legitimately need help, and I stress LEGITIMATELY, write us a letter. We could be at your door with a truckload of gifts. All you have to do is write or email to the addresses above.

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