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When we think back on the last year, there’s an overwhelming sense of goodwill and support from the Inland Northwest community that seems to only increase as the months go by. It’s as if there’s a collective effort to remind one another that there is hope. People do care. As we reflect at the start of this new year, we want to honor the many hands and hearts that contributed to the life change taking place every day within our shelters and programs. Every gift, every hour, every dollar you’ve offered to UGM is paving a pathway out of brokenness for your neighbors in need. It’s impossible to acknowledge each gift in this space, but here is a collection of some unique ways you’ve made 2023 a year of kindness and intentionality. Thank you.

Steve-RobinsonThe Spiritual Impact of a Volunteer

Steve Robinson, a UGM High-Impact Volunteer, has been going above and beyond in ministering to several Men's Shelter guests who are considering entering LIFE Recovery. He's invited them to his church in Liberty Lake where three of them recently decided to get baptized! We’re thankful for those investing their time, relationally and spiritually, in those we serve.

Books and blessings

Chelsea Moore and her team at PaperPie did a “Cards for a Cause” book drive for the UGM Women and Children’s Shelter and UGM Women’s Recovery! 126 social and emotional books were donated to our children's departments at both facilities! Thank you, Chelsea, for being a good friend to our guests, and playing a role in this community to support those in need. 


A Labor of Love

When the need for a new parking lot between our Men’s Shelter and Recovery Center became a top priority last year, our friends at Copenhaver Construction stepped up in a big way. In addition to their top-notch excavation and utility work, they acted as the lead contractor of the project, drawing in other partners like Poe Asphalt and Winkler Concrete to renovate the space. Copenhaver’s commitment to UGM has not only made our campus safer, increased parking space, and improved functionality, they also saved us thousands of dollars on the overall cost. Now, with this parking lot in place, it allows us to pursue a larger campus renovation that will begin in 2024.


Easter Egg Hunt

Thank you to Kalico Kitchen for collecting donations from the community and providing an Easter egg hunt for the children of UGM Women's Recovery in Spokane. Kalico Kitchen was kind enough to supply eggs filled with candy, bags, and bunny ears, and to bring “the Easter Bunny” himself. These compassionate efforts help our families create new memories in our programs and show them they’re not alone.

Thank you, Kalico Kitchen!


Wilbur-CommunityYard-sales for Camp

Wilbur Community Church hosted a yard sale in the spring and raised over $4000 for UGM Camp sponsorships! The amount was matched by another donor making the total contribution more than $8,000. That's at least 53 sponsorships! In addition, they donated new sleeping bags, pillows, beach towels, and other items for campers who need them! 

Pickleball and volunteers

Doug Grace, a High-Impact Volunteer at UGM, set up a pickleball event at Peak Health Hayden for staff and residents from UGM Women's Recovery in Coeur d'Alene. He and five other volunteers taught everyone how to play for some clean, healthy fun. Many of the residents loved it so much that they said they want to play regularly going forward! We’re grateful to those who offer our residents new, positive experiences and support them on their journey of recovery.


Music, service, and fun

Southside Christian Church hosted an outdoor concert featuring Dave Long (a local Christian artist) for the women, kids, and staff at UGM Women’s Recovery in Spokane. Their Women’s Ministry provided an Italian soda bar, popcorn bar, and childcare. 

Additionally, several teams also spent a Saturday at multiple UGM locations working on numerous projects: a gazebo, raised garden beds, lawn work, and indoor cleanup!


K9-Country-ClubA fun way to give

When a business gets involved, it impacts the whole community. K9 Country Club hosted a car wash and BBQ fundraiser for UGM! They rallied their customers and neighbors to show up and support the work we do. We enjoyed this high-spirited and creative idea that not only raised funds but awareness in the community as well. Thank you! 



Kids helping kids

During the summer, First Presbyterian Church in Clarkston, WA, put on a wonderful Vacation Bible School for their community. Together, the children gave an offering that provided more than four UGM Camp sponsorships! This precious donation will allow some of Spokane's low-income kids to enjoy a week of gospel teaching and outdoor adventures at UGM Camp. We can't wait to be your next-door neighbor when the new Union Gospel Mission LC Valley Shelter opens!


Sober summer fun

Once again, our friends at Chapter & Verse provided staff and residents from UGM Women's Recovery a day of healthy fun at Silverwood. Many of the men and women we serve have never learned how to have fun without the use of drugs or alcohol. That's why we like to give our residents many different opportunities like this. We’re grateful to our partners who value this aspect of recovery and offer unique ways to support those pursuing life change.


RaspberriesFirst fruits

Many gardeners and farmers in the region dropped off donations this year and every gift means something to those who partake. David and his wife, Patricia, donated the first fruits of their raspberry crop to the women and children at UGM Women’s Recovery in Spokane. Residents enjoyed them immediately and reflected with staff on Psalm 34:8: “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”


Goods used for good

Every in-kind donation (food, clothing, furniture, electronics, etc.) you made this year to UGM is used in one of three ways. It's either 1) sent directly to our shelters to meet the needs of guests right away, 2) put out for sale at one of our enterprisesUGM Motors, UGM Thrift Stores, or UGM Warehouse—and turned into a financial blessing for the ministry, or 3) allocated for the men and women in our recovery programs to shop with vouchers and select needed items at our stores. We strive to honor your gifts and make a positive impact.


The gift of a smile 

We had so many amazing groups come to serve at our shelters this year! One of these was a crew from various local Dutch Bros locations who served lunch at our Men’s Shelter. They definitely brought their well-known customer service skills and blessed us with their outgoing personalities. Thank you, Dutch Bros!


Community-GardenGrowing compassion

Shared Harvest Community Garden reached out to our Women’s Recovery in Coeur d’Alene, inviting staff and residents to come help them tend the garden or adopt a plot to take care of. They also donated organically grown produce. The garden (and the Community that grows it) is amazing! 


Bikes for change 

Tracy, Mark, Stan, and Don committed to giving their time, once or twice a week, to build the Roketa motorcycles & scooters at UGM Motors. When asked why they come in, they said, We just want to help. And we were told that we would like the other guys we're working with.” Based on the frequent jokes and laughter in the shop, we'd say that's accurate.

Together, they built over twenty bikes and repaired many as well. Every hour in the shop is a service to our residents, providing funds for food, shelter, and recovery services.


Thanksgiving necessities

American Behavioral Health Systems came by with 24 turkeys, 48 pies, 15 cases of canned green beans, and 5 fifty-pound bags of potatoes. What a huge blessing, just in time for our Thanksgiving meal. Thank you, friends, for this meaningful gift to our ministry.


KeelieSupplies for School

When Keelie's mom passed away, she and her family decided to honor her mother's legacy by organizing a back-to-school drive for UGM. Her mom, Dena Ward, was a dedicated teacher who loved children and used to volunteer for UGM. The school supplies from the drive were given to the UGM Crisis Shelter and UGM Women's Recovery at Anna Ogden Hall. Keelie says, “She was an amazing teacher. [She] loved all her students so much and her students loved her so much!...I didn't want my mother's love for teaching and students to end just because her time on earth did, so my family decided to keep her love going through doing this drive.”


Dogs can help, too

Heidi and her service dog, Grace, volunteer their time once a week at our Coeur d'Alene Women's Recovery. “[Grace] has been a big part of my healing, and I wanted to share that.” Heidi went to the effort to have Grace certified as a therapy dog, and the two of them are also licensed to serve in crisis situations, should the need ever arise. 


Time, talent, and treasure

Not only has Eclipse Excavation supported UGM financially this year, they also gave their time, tools, and skills to improve the UGM Camp grounds. They felled some troublesome trees, prepped the ground at the construction site of a work crew cabin, and dug all the holes for the footings in about 4 hours; something that would have taken us days to do, even if we had had the proper equipment.

In addition to this project, they once again provided funds for our Youth Outreach holiday lunches in connection with Spokane Public Schools.



What a year! We look forward to seeing many of you again and forming new friendships within the community. If you're interested in getting involved with UGM, visit our Ways to give page or click below to learn about volunteering! 

Click here to sign up for a volunteer overview. >>

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