MENOMINEE—Youth leaders across Marinette and Menominee counties are giving back this holiday season. In an effort to support the community, the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) of the M&M Area Community Foundation has organized several service projects.

Students at Stephenson Area Public Schools have organized a canned food drive for the food pantry at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church. Donation boxes are available at Gary’s Quality Foods, Paidl’s Hardware, Rise and Shine Bakery and the Menominee Public Library. The project leader is Stephenson student Faith Putnam.

A winter clothes drive for Crivitz elementary students has been organized by YAC members who attend Crivitz High School. Donation boxes are available at Cousins Subs and Crivitz Elementary School. Community members may also purchase items online at and have them shipped directly to project leads Maggie Dama and McKenna Sellen.

The Menominee Animal Shelter is receiving support from YAC members at Menominee Area Public Schools. The shelter is in need of cleaning supplies and pet food. A donation box is available at Jack’s Fresh Market in Menominee. YAC President Marin Park is the project lead.

YAC members from Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy (STAA) and the Marinette School District have partnered on a project to support Rainbow Domestic Abuse Shelter. Food, as well as household items, are needed. Donation boxes are available at Marinette High School and STAA. Charlie Nowak and Maddy Fernstrum are project leads.

The Peshtigo Food Pantry has been chosen by students at Peshtigo High School to receive canned goods from their food drive. Donation boxes are available at Lee’s Family Foods, Peshtigo Middle/High School and Dollar General. Project leads are Adam and Grant Bauman, Christian Boyle and Muaz Salem.

For more information on these community service projects, call Lead YAC Adviser Paula Gruszynski at 715-340-6567.

Each year the Community Foundation offers thousands of dollars in grants from the Youth Advisory Council Endowment Fund to non-profit organizations to fund programs and projects which support area youth. This Fund, held at the Foundation, has awarded more than $360,000 in grants to nonprofits, schools, churches and government entities throughout Marinette and Menominee counties since its inception.

The Youth Advisory Committee was formed in 1996 by the M&M Area Community Foundation. YAC members are students, aged 12-21, from across Marinette and Menominee counties. Members award grants and participate in volunteer projects. Two YAC members are also elected to the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation with full voting rights and responsibilities. Students may contact Paula Gruszynski at for details about how to join.