Michigan Education Association

MEA members reach out, teaching lessons beyond the classroom

EAST LANSING, Mich., December 3, 2008—In these tight economic times, more Michiganders than ever need a helping hand this holiday season. And chances are, the one coming to their aid could very well be a public school employee.

A survey of MEA members found that 83 percent volunteer their time every month, creating an army of 130,000 people ready, willing and able to step in to help out. That’s compared to a statewide average of 47 percent of all adults in Michigan.

MEA members from across the state serve meals in soup kitchens, walk to beat breast cancer and build houses for struggling families.

Teachers, bus drivers and secretaries spend their weekends visiting the sick in hospitals, coaching athletes for the Special Olympics and caring for kids in women’s shelters. Food service workers, custodians and paraprofessionals organize clothing drives, mentor teens in youth groups and deliver meals to the elderly.

But it’s not just time. Public school employees also give from their own wallets. Ninety-six percent of MEA members make contributions to charity, totaling $77 million a year. That money helps worthy nonprofits, including the Red Cross, Make A Wish Foundation and the United Way, serve countless families throughout Michigan.

And along the way, they also do what they do best: teach our children. The lesson this season is the power of giving, and with more than 650,000 hours a month, it’s a powerful lesson indeed.

The MEA is asking all Michiganders to join us this year, and do your part to make your neighbors’ holiday season a little brighter.

MEA is the state’s largest school employee union, representing approximately 160,000 members.


Contact:  Kerry Birmingham, MEA Communications, 517-337-5508.

Updated: February 19, 2009 6:22 PM