In the News

The inaugural Saline Charity Ball and Black Tie Masquerade was deemed a great success.

Thousands of dollars were raised for Saline Area Social Service at the event, held March 10 at LaFontaine Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep in Saline. Saline Area Social Service helps individuals and families with low incomes by providing a food pantry and other assistance.

The event was organized by Maureen White-Goeman, organizers of Maureen’s Designs flower shop in downtown Saline.
“The great thing about wearing a mask at a masquerade ball is you can invent a persona for the night if you want to,” White-Goeman said. “You can present a side of yourself that you normally don’t.”

Food was prepared by Salt Springs Brewery, Mac’s Acadian Seafood Shack, Brecon Grille and others. Students from the culinary arts program at Saline High School baked cakes for the event. They also served guests throughout the evening.

Saline High School Principal David Raft was the keynote speaker. Raft has lived in Saline virtually all his life. Raft said that many in Saline don’t understand the pressures faced by the less fortunate in the community.
“I’ve talked with a mother with tears in her eyes because she didn’t know how she was going to make ends meet. I’ve talked with a dad who was living out of his car,” Raft said. “I’ve talked with families who didn’t want to go on winter break because they’re kids wouldn’t have access to the free and reduced lunch program at the school.”
Raft said there are more low-income families in Saline than people realize. He credited Saline Area Social Service for helping these families meet basic needs.

Meijer Pledges to Match Donations to Saline Area Social Service

Saline Area Social Service is proud to announce a partnership with Meijer this spring to provide much-needed hunger relief to local families through the retailer’s customer-driven food pantry donation program, Simply Give.  As part of this partnership, Saline Area Social Service is the sole recipient of all Simply Give program donations purchased at the Meijer store at 3145 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd in Ann Arbor.

This campaign, which begins Sunday, March 29 and runs through Monday, May 11, encourages customers to purchase $10 or more Meijer Food Pantry Donation Cards upon checkout.  Donations cards are then converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and then given to Saline Area Social Service at the end of the campaign.

“Spring is usually a tough time for us and our food pantry inventory is dwindling — this program couldn’t be taking place at a better time for us,” said Saline Area Social Service Executive Director, Jamail Aikens.  “Meijer’s Simply Give program will be a huge help in fulfilling our pantry and could provide us enough food to feed our community for the next three months.”

What makes this program particularly valuable to Saline Area Social Service, is that not only does Meijer match every dollar that is donated, but on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18, Meijer will double match the amount of donation cards purchased on those specific days. That means, for every $10 gift card that is purchased on April 17th and April 18th, Saline Area Social Service will receive $30.

“We encourage community members to help us fulfill our mission of helping feed the hungry in the Saline area by purchasing a Meijer Simply Give food donation cards during their next shopping trip,” said Anne Cummings, Saline Area Social Service communications volunteer.

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer began its Simply Give program as a way to help local food pantries throughout the Midwest achieve their missions of feeding hungry families and has generated nearly $14 million since it started in 2008. The Simply Give program runs three times a year when pantries need it the most: spring, fall and during the holiday season.

“Today’s food pantries are in a desperate struggle to keep up with the flood of requests they receive daily,” said Janet Emerson, executive vice president of retail operation for Meijer. “TheSimply Give program is a way for Meijer customers to partner with Meijer and support the food banks and pantries that provide food to the hungry families in the communities we serve.  We certainly couldn’t do it without the support and commitment of our generous customers and team members, who stand beside us in this effort.”

How does it work?

  1. The drive runs from March 29 – May 11. SASS will supply you with Meijer Simply Give cards or you may pick one up at the store. They will be located in the kiosks by the checkout lanes. SASS invites you to take a card to any checkout at the Ann Arbor-Saline Road store to make a contribution.  Although the cards say $10, you may contribute any amount in multiples of $10.  Each contribution is matched by Meijer, making a $10 purchase worth $20 in buying power for SASS.  You will receive a receipt at the checkout for your contribution.
  2. There are two dates that are especially important – Friday, April 17,  and Saturday, April 18.  On those dates Meijer does a double match making a $10 contribution worth $30 in buying power, a $100 contribution worth $300, etc.
  3. When the drive is over, Meijer will notify SASS of the amount of money contributed by customers and matched by Meijer.  They will convert the amount to Meijer Food-Only Gift Cards which our agency can use at their store. Diapers and baby formula are included.

About Saline Area Social Service

Saline Area Social Service (SASS) is a private, tax-exempt non-profit organization that plays a central role in assisting members of the Saline community in need.  With 4% of the Saline area families living below poverty level, and 470 students receiving free or reduced lunch every day, SASS is the only organization in Saline that provides comprehensive services to its neighbors that not only include obtaining food and household goods, but also informational services, referrals and short or long term aid.  For over 50 years, SASS has assisted families and individuals living within the Saline Area School District who fall within the financial guidelines of the District.  It provides service to 300-400 people every month — including children that account for 35-40 percent its families.  Seniors living on meager fixed incomes represent another 25 percent. Website: Phone:  (734) 429-4570 ;

About Meijer Philanthropy

Meijer is a family-owned retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich. with a fundamental philosophy aimed at strengthening the communities it serves. Meijer proudly donates more than six percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives. For additional information on Meijer philanthropy, please Follow Meijer on Twitter and or become a fan at

See article in The Saline Post

Saint Joseph Mercy Health Donates Donates Property to Saline Area Social Service

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is donating the white house and surrounding property, located at 224 W. Michigan Avenue in Saline, to Saline Area Social Service (SASS) to serve as its new headquarters.

Previously located at 131 E. Michigan Ave. in Saline, SASS is a nonprofit organization which maintains a food pantry, helps people in need with assistance such as job placement and Medicaid registration, and connects people with resources beyond the agency.

This relocation is the successful result of a group effort made up of several community organizations, including City of Saline Mayor Brian Marl who reached out to St. Joe’s to inquire if the health system had space available in Saline at reduced rent that would accommodate SASS.

“As we evaluated their needs, the white house seemed to be the perfect location for their work given its high visibility and accessibility,” said Robin Damschroder, chief operating officer, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea and St. Joseph MercyLivingston.  “We opted to gift the house to them to enable them to continue their important work providing critical access to social services for community residents.”

This community effort began last fall when the United Way of Washtenaw County provided funding to SASS for strategic planning efforts, which included management transition and community conversations that helped determine local community needs.  In addition, the city of Saline is working with SASS to assist them in applying for HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding through the Washtenaw Urban County to be used to complete necessary renovations to the house.

“This is a great example of the community coming together, with each stakeholder playing a critical role to support SASS’ important work, but more generally, to ensure that Saline families have the resources they need,” said Marl.

The house has been under Saint Joseph Mercy Health System ownership for more than 25 years since it was originally purchased by the Saline Community Hospital.  It originally housed the hospital’s marketing department and women’s health services. Later, the space was leased for many years to Migrant Health Promotion Inc. which provided healthcare services to migrant workers.  Since that organization relocated, the space has been available.

In addition to the house, the arrangement will include the three-car garage and adjacent parcels of land.  The space will be used to house the food pantry and food storage, and provide office space for client meetings.

“We are excited about the opportunity this new building brings which will allow us to expand our services and hours to continue to help hundreds of families a month,” said Jamail Aikens, executive director, SASS. “We see this building as a community asset for years to come.”

SASS plans to engage the local community, including youth groups and churches, to volunteer service to complete the upcoming renovations.

The new headquarters is projected to open in the fall.

Link to article in The Saline Post

4/11 Bowling for a Cause Fundraising Event


Join us for an evening of bowling to support a great cause in our community!

Saturday, April 11, 2015 at Maplewood Lanes @ 8 p.m.

$20 per person

  • 2 Games of 9-Pin Bowling
  • Pizza & Non-Alcoholic drinks
  • Silent Auction
  • 50/50 Raffle
We need sponsors!
  • Presenting Sponsors: $500
  • Patron Sponsors: $250
  • Lane Sponsors: $50 – $100
Donations needed

We’re seeking donors to provide themed gift baskets to be included in a Silent Auction.  Contact Jamail Aikens at 734-646-0172 if you’re able to help.

Please contact Jamail Aikens at 734-646-0172 for any questions or if you’d like to purchase a sponsorship or tickets.