Students from Wiley Elementary School donated $301.20 to Woman’s Life Chapter 911’s 12 Dimes of Christmas fundraiser to provide seniors with gifts.

Students from Wiley Elementary School donated $301.20 to Woman’s Life Chapter 911’s 12 Dimes of Christmas fundraiser to provide seniors with gifts.

Photo provided by Terri Tyrer

Community makes 12 Dimes project a smashing success

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 22, 2019

 Donations were given in the form of coins or bills.

Donations were given in the form of coins or bills.

Photo provided by Lynn Karnes


UTICA — A local group is set to help those in need after receiving enormous help from the local community over the past couple of months.

Woman’s Life Chapter 911 asked the community for donations of $1.20 from at least 911 donors to provide seniors with gifts this Christmas through the chapter’s 12 Dimes of Christmas project. The members were hoping to raise at least $1,093 from those donations, but they were hoping that the community would help raise more to help out seniors.

The group received way more donations than their goal and couldn't be happier.

“So far there is about $2,605, but we are still working on figuring out the total amount with donations still coming in,” Lynn Karnes, the president of Woman’s Life Chapter 911, said in an email.

Some donations were in the form of change — 12 dimes — and some were cash.

The fundraiser began back in July and came to an end Oct. 31.

Karnes said she was surprised by the response.

“When I first came up with this idea, I had no clue that it would take off and so many people would want to help. We had business owners collecting, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops collecting, and even other senior citizens joined in on the collecting,” she said.

She said that if people would like to continue helping to raise funds, the group can still use donations toward the holiday to help seniors.

“If people would still like to donate, we will still use those funds into the new year to help with expenses for the seniors,” she said.

Once the donations are all collected and counted, the chapter will select seniors who have no family and ask for a list of their wants and needs, and the chapter will then go shopping for them and purchase the gifts.

Donations were collected at many locations throughout the community, including businesses and schools.

The student council at Wiley Elementary, in Shelby Township, even participated in the fundraising and collected $301.20.

“At Wiley Elementary, we are always looking for ways to help the community,” Ann-Marie Transki, a teacher at Wiley, said in an email.

She said that the kids were excited to be a part of 12 Dimes of Christmas.

“As teachers and sponsors of the student council, we are so happy that our school was able to raise so much money for such a wonderful cause! Also, a huge thank-you to the Woman’s Life Chapter 911 for coming to Wiley to collect the funds. This was wonderful for the kids to see their hard work paying off!” said Transki.

“The Wiley Student Council is feeling proud and thankful. Together over the past month, we raised just over $300 from children and families in our school to help seniors in need in our area. That shows our great community! We are thankful to the Woman’s Life Chapter 911 for starting something that benefits all of us," Wiley student council President Dominic Ligocki said in a prepared statement.

Already, the group has started to help those in need.

One senior received grab bars in his bathroom after suffering a stroke.

A couple seniors wanted help with their utility bills.

A senior needed a computer upgrade so she could stay in contact with out of state family.

Another senior just wanted warm pajamas, a robe, slippers, a bag of Lays potato chips and a Butterfingers.

One senior needs a new black stove. The group is working on that one, but also wanted someone to come help put her Christmas decorations up.

One senior just wanted bottled water because she lives where she has hard water.

Another senior needed some new clothes and a warm jacket and boots.

Other gifts like laundry soap, toilet paper and soap will be purchased for those in need.

Woman’s Life Chapter No. 911 Macomb Angels is a group of volunteers who do service projects and fundraisers for individuals and nonprofits in Macomb County.

The group is always looking for new ways to help out the community and chose 911 for the donation number because the chapter’s number is 911.

The group has held events such as meat raffles, junk in the trunk sales and fundraisers with the Shelby Township Police Department. 

For more information about the 12 Dimes of Christmas project or the group, visit