First State Banksgiving seeks to honor the charitable organizations who work so hard on a day-to-day basis to make change in our communities.  First State Bank will be awarding $30,000 this Banksgiving:

  • One Grand Gift Winner will receive a $10,000 donation

  • Four Gift Winners will each receive a $5,000 donation




Homes for Heroic Vets
Home for Heroic Veterans serves the forgotten veteran. Their purpose is to provide transitional housing for homeless veterans while connecting them with VA support and services needed to get back to becoming productive citizens again.

The funding will be used partially for the continued services that we provide. The other part of the funds will be used as a down payment for property geared specifically towards female veterans with children.  There is a large number of female veterans with children. Many of them are victims of (MST) Military Sexual Trauma and/or domestic violence.  


More than a Bus
More Than a Bus is a non-profit 501c3 organization that will serve the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the homeless, poor, underserved, oppressed, and mentally unstable persons (collectively the “hurting”) in communities throughout Macomb County where homelessness and hunger exist.  More Than a Bus will consistently provide food, personal hygiene items, and articles of clothing to the hurting in those communities by traveling to the same location weekly. This will be done primarily through the work of volunteers and funded through voluntary contributions from the general public and those persons interested in the goals and mission of More Than a Bus.

More than a Bus receives about half of the $6,000 necessary every month through regular monthly donations.  The rest is made up through grants or fundraisers. Having this money would help tremendously.


Gianna House
The Gianna House's mission is to provide support through education and life skills programming to pregnant women and mothers who are at-risk or lack safe housing to transition them to independence.

In the early morning of December 26, the day after Christmas, it was approximately 16 degrees outside. Due to the bitter cold, the PVC fire prevention pipes burst on the third floor of Gianna House’s historic building. The very old facility boiler is expected to be the cause; they have been having complications with our HVAC system and have been working on the update. The heat was unable to successfully reach the third floor adequately to keep the water within the sprinkler system pipes fluid. Consequently, the pipes burst. The water literally poured down, like a waterfall on the walls, and caused flooding, traveling down to the basement. The flooding affected all four floors which resulted in the damage of bathrooms, offices, kitchen, and the communal living spaces. Not only were rooms and furniture damaged, but most of their donations are housed in the basement because they use it for storage and their baby bucks store for the families of their programs. Their inventory includes items such as diapers, baby formula, wipes, clothing, baby furniture, car seats, and strollers.



Family Youth Interventions
Family Youth Interventions Basic Center(FYI-BC) is a short-term residential program that provides safe shelter for homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth, ages 12 through 17 years old. FYI-BC’s core mission is to reunify youths with their families, through improving communication and reducing conflict by utilizing a strength-based approach.

FYI-BC would apply the funds directly to its programming and critical infrastructure needs. There are many needs ranging from bedroom renovations, to purchasing a new AED, contracting with a pest control company that focuses on carpenter ants, as well as bringing in qualified instructors to hold trainings for staff to better understand how to work with the increased uptick of youth that are sexually abused, as well as many more.



Urban Seed 
The inception of the "Urban Seed" concept stemmed from the desire to foster local gardens in the area. The notion was to unite different community gardens under a common brand, facilitating the recruitment of more volunteers. Their vision is to grow into a network of urban gardens.

Urban Seed would be able to use the donation in multiple different ways. They have plans to expand their rental bed space which would allow more members from the community to learn and get hands-on experience while providing 'nature therapy' for those who need it. They would also be able to purchase new materials for the expansion of the Giving Garden, which would allow for additional space for growing more donation produce. This may allow us to provide fresh produce to another charity or nonprofit, and potentially reach more neighbors in need. The third option for the use of these funds would go to a revamp of a natural pond that is located on our property. Currently, they have a space that has been a water runoff, and they have dreams of being able to turn this area into a 'natural wetland/wildlife conservation area' with a water feature and provide a home for beneficial birds, insects, and other wildlife.

2023 Banksgiving Timeline

November 13 - 24, 2023 - Finalists announced and public voting period. 

November 28, 2023 - Giving Tuesday. 2023 Banksgiving Winners will be announced on Facebook.

Banksgiving winners are announced at noon. See our Facebook page for details!

Criteria for nomination:

  1. Must be a 501(c) non-profit organization.

  2. Must be located in Macomb or Oakland County or proceeds can be directed specifically to Macomb or Oakland County causes.

  3. Must be in good standing and compliance with the laws and regulations of the State of Michigan and be able to supply supporting documentation upon request.

2019 GRAND PRIZE WINNER — $10,000

LK St. Clair Soccer 

2019 CATEGORY WINNERS — $5,000

Goodbye Toys Charity (Arts/Education/Culture) 

Michigan Abolitionist Project (Human Supportive Services)

Sandcastles (Children & Families)

HEAL (Environment/Community Improvement) 

Learn more about the 2019 Banksgiving winners on


2020 GRAND PRIZE WINNER - $10,000

Hearts for Homes
Hearts for Homes (H4H) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization helping families of homeless children gain access to permanent housing in Macomb County, Michigan. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted low- and very low-income families with lost or reduced wages. This has resulted in many families becoming delinquent in rent payments which has put many families at risk of homelessness. Grant funds would be used to provide limited rent payment assistance to keep families in their homes, as well as help Hearts for Homes provide rent/security deposit assistance to help other homeless families get into their own homes.


Single Family Living (Arts/Education/Culture)
Single Family Living is working diligently to help as many children from single families as possible. Currently, we service these areas: Macomb, Wayne, Oakland Counties, and Port Huron. These funds will be applied to a program called 'Reading Heroes' for children K-6 fighting illiteracy. This money will specifically be used for a bookmobile that is used to travel to underprivileged areas without libraries in their neighborhoods.

Macomb Food Program (Human Supportive Services)
Feeding the hungry since 1975, the Macomb Food Program provides immediate relief to those
in need of food through a network of more than 50 pantries and hunger relief organizations.
The Macomb Food Program supplies food at no cost to ensure pantry shelves are stocked and operates as a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization. All funds will be used to purchase food to supplement the donated goods provided to our pantries.

Assistance League of Southeast Michigan (Children & Families)
Assistance League volunteers transform the lives of children and adults through community programs. The funds will be used for their Operation School Bell program. This program provides new school clothing and necessities to promote self-esteem and school attendance. Each student receives a new warm coat, hat, gloves, uniform pants, tops, underwear, socks, hygiene kit, and book, which they carry home in a new duffel bag.   

TCB Youth Mentoring (Environment/Community Improvement)
T.C.B. Youth Mentoring is an after-school work program designed to teach teens the importance of financial planning, money management, and personal responsibility. The goal of our program is to ensure that the teens involved are unaffected by the financial hardships that being born into a life of poverty might offer them. The teens are taught the value of hard work and the importance of becoming a financial contributor to their families. We strive to teach our students the importance of family, community, and social awareness. The funds will be used to rehabilitate a neglected portion of Shadyside Park in Mount Clemens. Through the improvements to the baseball diamond, we hope to offer after-school tee-ball, baseball, softball, and kickball for the children of Mount Clemens and neighboring cities. With the updated and safe field, we hope to offer no-cost sports camps, clinics, and leagues to the impoverished youth in the area. Our goal is to make it possible for youth to develop positive character traits through participation in team sports and give them a place to go after school that will provide structure and fun. We believe that the improvements to the city park will reinstate a sense of pride in the neighborhoods and surrounding communities. 

Learn more about 2020 Banksgiving winners at


2021 GRAND PRIZE WINNER - $10,000

Macomb Foster Closet
The Macomb Foster Closet provides much-needed clothing and other essential items free to children in foster care. Not receiving these funds will result in not being able to purchase items for children in foster care that are not donated to the organization through other means. In addition, they have recently expanded their physical location to better serve foster families that receive services which have resulted in higher operating costs including higher rent and utilities.


Kids on the Go (Arts/Education/Culture)
Kids on the Go is a free summer camp for special needs kids, which focuses on their IEP (special education) goals. They have many needs, but right now they are focusing on their Teens to Work Program, where teens with special needs learn the skills that they will need to be successful workers as adults.

Neighborhood House (Human Supportive Services)
Neighborhood House, a nonprofit human services agency, was founded by communities of faith in 1968. Touching over 3,000 individuals each year, Neighborhood House uses an approach built on compassion and inclusion for all neighbors experiencing hardships. Neighborhood House works from a holistic program called Strive to Thrive with the community and other social service providers to help their neighbors move toward a balanced budget and overall wellness. Their vision is a commYOUnity of neighbors helping neighbors thrive. The First State Banksgiving donation will provide grants to neighbors, living under the poverty level, with past due rent, and vulnerable to eviction. As of January 2021, Neighborhood House has processed 100 shelter grants benefitting 143 adults and 105 children allowing them to stay in their homes. The amount of each request averages $922.

Boys & Girls Clubs of SE MI (Children & Families)
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of SE MI is to ensure that our youth are career, start-up, and homeowner-ready. The funds will be used to ensure that the new Club in Eastpointe will be able to provide a world-class experience for the youth and families of Eastpointe.

SCOTS (Senior Center of the Shores (Environment/Community Improvement)
The SCOTS Board objective is to share information on health, education, and social services through planning with the Senior Center Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator. They also provide an outlet for leadership, creativity, and services for older adults. In addition, they solicit, collect, and raise funds to be used to support the Senior Center and its activities. The SCOTS Board continues to support the older adult population through expanding programs and improving the exterior atmosphere. The funds will be used for the enhancement of our outdoor patio to include a garden area with raised beds. This will allow for less weeds, a friendlier esthetic look, keep out critters, reduce soil contamination, offers early planting, great for beginners and reduces debilitating back and joint pain. In addition to the raised beds, we would like to further develop the area by adding brick pavers, shaded areas, and benches. To begin our venture included in our request would be rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, trowel, watering can, hose, and digging fork. Also, to provide a shed to store our equipment. Volunteers through the SCOTS Board and recruitments will oversee the projects' purchasing and development.

Learn more about 2021 Banksgiving winners at



2022 GRAND GIFT WINNER - $10,000

Blessings in a Backpack
Blessing in a Backpack program provides school-age children with food insecurities with a backpack containing enough food to provide six meals during the weekend. On Fridays, the filled bags are distributed to the children. Backpacks contain such foods as tuna, chicken, peanut butter, macaroni & cheese, beef ravioli, soups, vegetables, fruit, oatmeal, cereal, fruit juices, and chewy granola bars. By eliminating the barriers to learning caused by lack of food and food insecurities, the organization is providing these children with the same opportunities to succeed in school as their fellow students. This, in turn, will give these children a much better chance to take advantage of educational opportunities, graduate, succeed in the workforce, and become contributing members of the community. This builds strong communities.

Blessings in a Backpack engages the whole community.  As people become aware of the problem of childhood hunger, they become involved. Students and parents are assisting with packing.  Adults oversee packing, assist with food pickups, and serve on the steering committees.   Local businesses and organizations participate by providing volunteers, resources, and monetary contributions. A strong, vibrant, and engaged community can accomplish so much.  The purpose of Blessings in a Backpack-MI is three-fold:  Remove the barrier to learning for at-risk children caused by hunger; Raise awareness of the problem of childhood hunger; Expand the program to other communities within the State of Michigan (currently concentrating in southeastern Michigan).

They plan to apply their Banksgiving funds to:
Purchase food for children who participate on the Blessings in Backpack-MI programs in Oakland and Macomb Counties. Of the 21 communities where they have programs, 17 of them are in Oakland and Macomb. The communities are:  Avondale (Auburn Hills and portions of Troy, Rochester Hills, and Bloomfield Township), Clarkston, Feed the Shores (Saint Clair Shores), Holly, Mount Clemens, Northville, Oxford, Rochester/Rochester Hills, Romeo, Royal Oak, Southfield, Troy, Utica, Warren Con., Waterford, and West Bloomfield/Keego Harbor.  They are in the process of establishing a new program for the VanDyke community.



Inclusively Fit
If you’re a family member, teacher or friend, or someone with special needs, and struggled to find fitness programs or facilities that meet the specific needs of your child, you’re not alone. Inclusively Fit (IFF) was founded upon a very simple realization … many children, as well as adults with special needs, can greatly benefit from a personal exercise and fitness program.

Introducing Inclusively Fit, a place and approach to fitness and exercise as unique as the individuals it was created to serve. An organization where everyone understands a person’s physical well-being is strongly connected to their emotional well-being. And that physical accomplishment doesn’t just build stronger muscles, but a stronger sense of self.

They plan to apply their Banksgiving funds to:
The Special Kids Healthy & Fit program. This program seeks to improve the health of at least four area children with diverse abilities by subsidizing each hour of one-on-one adaptive fitness training (twice per week) for one year (600 sessions in total). The National Survey of Children’s Health found that Michigan youth with diverse abilities/special needs are at a greater risk for obesity and related diseases; 21.3% of the 10-17 age group compared to 13.6% of their peers without special needs. IFF strives to help children with diverse abilities meet their physical fitness needs (improve activity level, build healthy habits, & reduce obesity) and improve their overall quality of life (cognitive, emotional, psychological, & social) through twice weekly, customized exercise training aligned with health guidelines, and reducing the financial burden to these families.



Champ Life
When a dream of helping abused or neglected “at-risk” children became a reality, wonderful things were certain to happen. Champ Life continues to bring hope and encouragement to children who desperately need it. The organization’s core mission is to reach at-risk kids by helping to build their confidence self-esteem and character. The value they bring is to help these children to be better neighbors, citizens, and people when they grow up. 

They plan to apply their Banksgiving funds to:
Over 90% of funds given to the organization go directly to meeting the needs of the children.  They would use this money to send kids to summer camp which the organization puts on for foster and other at-risk children. The cost of sending each child is over $500 (free to them). Champ Life would also use the money to fund their weekly kids' club, backpack giveaways, Christmas presents for all the kids that participate in kids' club, and many other community outreach efforts. 



The Arc of Macomb
The Arc of Macomb County, Inc. (The Arc) is dedicated to securing for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to choose where and how they learn, live, and work throughout their lifetimes in the community we share. The Arc was created in 1953 when a group of parents in Macomb County wanted better lives for their children with disabilities. Almost 70 years later, The Arc continues to serve an under-represented population of people.  From the amazing services provided to individual people, to the advocacy efforts on a county, state, and federal level, The Arc is leading the way for people with disabilities to be fully included in their community. 

They plan to apply their Banksgiving funds to:
Daily skill-building services to individuals with disabilities through Macomb Community Mental Health.  Individuals come to The Arc Skills Center to learn pre-employment skills with the intention of working toward a competitive employment position in the community. The program allows individuals to work on soft skills such as communicating with coworkers, appropriate interpersonal skills, professionalism, and teamwork. Other skills their attendees learn are cooking, folding laundry, stocking shelves, and retail tasks to increase their independent living regardless of physical limitations. The organization also wishes to purchase the following items to upgrade the bathrooms: Six Zurn automatic toilets, two Zurn automatic urinals ($5,612), four automatic soap dispensers and two automatic towel dispensers ($388), Seven automatic faucets ($490), Four floor mounted grab bars to help with standing and sitting support ($448), Six wall-mounted grab bars ($120), 672 sq ft of waterproof vinyl plank flooring ($1538). Any excess funds would be used for additional rugs, toilet seat covers, and accessible items.



4 Paws 1 Heart
The mission of 4 Paws 1 Heart is to reduce the number of homeless cats and dogs by paying for needed medical treatment and assisting with the permanent placement of these animals through their partnerships with local rescue groups. 

They plan to apply their Banksgiving funds to:
Pay for medical treatment for injured, abused, homeless, stray and abandoned animals that are brought to vet clinics by the individual, caring citizens and rescue groups who cannot afford to pay for their care.