Eagle Village’s mission is to equip families and children with the tools necessary for success, but they are turning to the community for support. Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles to provide a caring presence. Learn how you can support this project and additional Northern Michigan nonprofits featured in our 2021 GIVE issue.


The onset of COVID highlighted Eagle Village’s strengths—a Northern Michigan organization in its 53rd year, committed to providing hope and healing for abused and neglected boys and girls. The essential frontline staff, from food service to executive leadership, continued to serve children in need with creativity and care, all while progressing the organization’s goals.

However, COVID also meant that valued volunteers, who were always there with friendly faces and enhanced the students’ lives by sharing their time and talents, could not participate. Many thoughtful people still stepped up in 2020, giving monetary gifts to the Eagle Fund or dropping off items for Christmas, allowing Eagle Village to provide “12 Days of Christmas” for kids in their program. This was especially welcomed as Eagle Village serves struggling children and their families who are working hard toward a better future. The youth live on campus in five residential homes, attend school and receive support, structure and help working through past trauma.

The staff used the time without volunteers to completely revamp their volunteer program, creating opportunities ranging from two-hour single visits serving a meal to kids and staff, to bigger projects for families, businesses, groups and churches, such as painting houses or decorating the kids’ residences for Christmas.

The need for volunteers is ongoing and as varied as the people who choose to give their time. “It’s totally customizable,” says Chad Saxton, director of outreach and engagement. He remembers one group of women who volunteered to teach the children to make a meal—only to realize that when asking a girl to cut an onion, she didn’t know what it was. With a quick pivot, they taught the kids how to chop, prep and cook. “Volunteers provide a lot of ‘firsts’ for our kids. ”

Volunteer mentors are able to call and visit regularly with a child and provide a caring presence. “Many of our youth would qualify as orphans,” Saxton explains. “When some kids get calls from family, others feel alone; having a mentor gives them a way to feel connected to a caring, responsible adult. “For a lot of these kids, this is the most love they’ve ever received,” Saxton adds. “The smallest thing you can do makes such a big difference.”

To volunteer, fill out an online form at eaglevillage.org or call 231.305.6512 to talk about ways to get involved. Monetary gifts are also welcome; donations to the Eagle Fund go directly to providing help for children.

Northern Michigan GIVE 2021 by MyNorth

Photo by MyNorth Media

This Article Was First Featured in Northern Michigan GIVE 2021

Read more Northern Michigan nonprofit stories and learn how to donate and volunteer in the free edition of MyNorth GIVE 2021. You can also preview and purchase our digital issues Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine or subscribe and get Traverse delivered to your door each month.

Photo(s) by Eagle Village