Back-to-School: Are You Ready?

Here comes another time of the year that you need to shop for your kids and prepare a fresh start for them. Clothing, shoes, backpacks, notebooks… They just want them all! Back-to-school supplies can get expensive quickly, but there is a smart way to make both you and your kids happy to face the new school year.

Opportunity House has everything for back-to-school, from clothing to shoes and backpacks to pencils. The sooner you stop by, the more choices you will have. Plus, they are all super cheap! While you are shopping for your kids, you can also have a look at our great collection of household supplies and other goodies.

Come visit Opportunity House Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Spoil yourself and your kids with great quality items at bargain prices and get ready for the new school year! If you get a steal, don’t forget share it with all your friends! Like the Opportunity House’s Facebook page and share it with your friends to be the first to hear about surprise sales and discounts.

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MCUM and Opp House Step in to Help

Jake first visited MCUM in early 2013 to request socks and a clothing voucher to
Opportunity House. At that time, he was staying at the winter shelter and seeking
a job in construction or dish washing, in which he had experience. He was storing
his belongings at his mother’s house in Owen County but was unable to visit often,
and his mother could not drive due to a medical condition. He had just applied for
food stamps, and was trying to get back on his feet after a couple of run-ins with
the law. MCUM provided the requested socks and voucher to Opportunity House.

About a year later, Jake returned to MCUM to request temporary assistance with
food, cleaning items, and an Opportunity House voucher. He had moved into
his own place, thanks to a small loan from his step-father, and had been working
about 30 hours per week as a custodian since September. He had begun receiving
food stamps and was back on track toward self-sufficiency, thanks to a helping
hand from MCUM and Opportunity House.

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Community Voices Gallery Exhibit

In honor of its 75th Anniversary, MCUM has been featured in the Community Voices Gallery at the Monroe County History Center since the beginning of April. The Community Voices Gallery is a designated space for community organizations to express their history, mission, and activities. MCUM’s exhibit includes a timeline highlighting important milestones, displays of historical documents and artifacts, and an interactive simulation related to MCUM’s current services.

MCUM encourages you to visit the exhibit before it closes at the end of June! The Monroe County History Center is located in the heart of downtown Bloomington on the corner of 6th St. and Washington St. The museum is open from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and admission is free for members. For non-members, admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children ages six through 18, and free for children five and under. MCUM will host a reception for supporters at 6 pm on Friday, June 6 – we hope to see you there!

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Grow MCUM’s Future with Matchstick

MCUM’s endowmeJoe Lee Endowment Cartoonnt at the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County provides a stable source of revenue that ensures MCUM’s long-term ability to provide high-quality childcare and emergency services to those in need.

The Community Foundation’s Matchstick Endowment Matching Program helps your contribution to this fund go further. From now until March 31, 2015, the foundation will add an additional dollar for every two dollars donated by community members until MCUM reaches its goal amount. So, when MCUM reaches its goal of $6,667, the Community Foundation will contribute$3,333, for a grand total of $10,000!

Matchstick donations must be made directly to the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, 101 W. Kirkwood Ave., Suite 321, Bloomington, IN, 47404. Please note that your contribution is for MCUM’s endowment. For more information about this opportunity, contact Katie Broadfoot at or (812) 339-3429 x18.

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Up for a Challenge?

For the seventeenth consecutive year, philanthropist Alan Feinstein will provide a unique incentive to help nonprofit hunger-fighting agencies raise funds this spring. Between March 1 and April 30, all food and financial contributions MCUM receives will qualify for the Feinstein Challenge, which divides $1 million proportionately to participating agencies nationwide based on the amount of donations they collect.

In the past, many agencies have been able to boost their donations by two or three times what they would normally receive during this period in the absence of this incentive. Last year, MCUM supporters generously contributed more than $125,000 dollars (including support from Opportunity House) and 6,088 pounds of food during the challenge.CannedGoods

You can be a part of one of the most successful ongoing grassroots efforts to fight hunger by participating in this one-of-a-kind opportunity. By participating in the Feinstein Challenge, your gift will go further in helping MCUM provide high-quality, affordable childcare and emergency services to the Monroe County community. For more information about  organizing a food drive, contact Justin Smith at or (812) 339-3429 x24.

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Calling on You to Support MCUM

Have you or someone you know recently upgraded to a new cell or smart phone? Wondering what to do with your old one? MCUM can help! We’ll make sure it’s probably disposed of and contributes to programs that benefit vulnerable community members!

MCUM earns money from each phone and has the opportunity to motudo-mobile-phone-with-big-screen-clip-art_423339receive additional funds from phones collected between now and April 30.  For every 20 phones donated during this time, MCUM will be entered in a drawing for $500. The more phones MCUM collects, the better its changes to win!

Help provide high-quality childcare and emergency services to your neighbors in need by dropping off your old phone at MCUM today!

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Back on Track to Self-Sufficiency

Theresa takes pride in being able to provide for herself and her two children through her employment at a local manufacturing company. However, she was recently forced to reduce her work hours due to her son’s chronic respiratory condition. Although she has been able to keep her job through the Family and Medical Leave Act, her monthly expenses now exceed her monthly income.

Despite this hardship, Theresa obtained a money order for her rent and stashed it in the usual spot until she was able to drop it off at the rental office. However, when she went to retrieve it the following day, the money order was gone. She sought assistance from her township trustee but was denied since she lives in subsidized housing.

Unable to recover from the loss, Theresa reached out to MCUM, which agreed to cover the cost of one month’s rent. After receiving valuable advice from a caseworker, she feels better prepared to handle her financial situation going forward. Having avoided costly late fees and possible eviction, Theresa is back on the path toward self-sufficiency.

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