Button Up a great example of local people helping local people

With tightening social services and education budgets the new reality facing everyone, it’s fallen to local residents to find ways to support students without asking for new millages that voters may not approve.

One singular example of how to go about doing this was on display in the Marquette area last week. Button Up is the invention principally of Patty Kimber, who works at the Upper Peninsula Health Plan. About 3 1/2 years ago, she decided she wanted to help support local students.

“At the time, I thought I should be doing more than going to work and riding my bike, which is what I tell people,” Kimber said for a Mining Journal story on the matter.

What she came up with is a fundraising plan where the money would come from the sale of donated items, often from local artists. Items purchased from the fundraising — everything from bars of soap to pairs of socks — are distributed through the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency or MARESA.

“They were a way to reach the students in the schools who had needs,” said Kimber, who noted U.P. schools have homeless-student liaisons.

“They are aware or they try to be aware of which students are without their own homes and in need of some supplies or services.”

Now those liaisons are aware of Kimber’s project and reach out on their own, she said. Acting as fiscal agent for the effort is River Valley Bank, where about three times a year goods are displayed.

By all accounts, this is an outstanding effort that benefits untold numbers of students in so many ways. We wish them continued success. Anyone who wants to know more can contact them through their Facebook page.