Lake County hosts drive for Open Arms CAC
BALDWIN — In what started off as a friendly challenge by the Lake County Treasurer’s Office to the Lake County Clerk’s Office and Equalization Office, has a finished product which warmed the hearts of all involved — an abundance of provisions raised by the community for Open Arms Child Advocacy Center.
The center recently opened in Big Rapids. It services families in Lake, Osceola, Mecosta and Newaygo counties, to provide a space for children and families who were victims and witnesses to crimes to be interviewed and receive support.
All of the donated items; from snacks to toys, cleaning supplies, office supplies, crafts, games and more, were raised in just one week.
“We had a donations wish list,” said Lake County Undersheriff Wesley Bierling, who is on the Open Arms CAC Board of Directors. “The treasurer’s office got in contact with the clerk’s office to reach out to the community. They deserve recognition. On behalf of the board of directors, I am humbled and astonished with the support from Lake County. We are blessed to have the community we have. “
Kellie Allen, deputy treasurer, thought the competition would be fun, but she said by the end, everyone was working together.
“I cannot say enough positive things about our community. It just warms my heart people are so willing to help with donations,” she said.
Lake County Clerk Patti Pacola said the treasurer’s office gets bragging rights because they raised the most.
“Toward the end, no one was competing any more. It is nice to have team spirit,” she said.
Officials thank the many businesses, courthouse employees, local officials and community members who donated to the cause.