WEST MICHIGAN — March of Dimes has confirmed with Fox 17 that they have laid off all 4 of it's paid fundraising employees in West Michigan.
These former employees' jobs included being in charge of 500+ volunteers and coordinating events all over West Michigan, with events taking place as far north as Traverse City and as far south as Kalamazoo.
"The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been far-reaching and wide, especially for pregnant women who are navigating the challenges of delivering their babies during this health emergency. They need us now more than ever and we remain steadfast in our commitment to support them," March of Dimes said in a statement Friday. "To best serve Michigan families in this new normal, we are centralizing our work in Detroit and continuing our NICU Family Support program at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, which is essential to so many. Unfortunately, these changes required us to layoff some employees. While no organization wants to take such measures, we must maximize our resources during this economic downturn to do our best work for Michigan’s pregnant women, babies and families who need us the most right now."
Former employees loved working with March of Dimes, as Ginger Feldman, the former executive director of March of Dimes West Michigan, told Fox 17.
"I have always loved working to improve the lives of my community members," Feldman said. "I am heart broken for the moms and babies of west Michigan as well as the staff, Board Members, volunteers and long time donors. My hope is that March of Dimes can find financial stability and soon be able to continue to provide support in West Michigan. "
Executive Leadership Board Volunteer, Brittany Hausmann said that the news has been tough to process, considering March of Dimes was critical in funding research that helped her premature son five years ago.
Hausmann said, "It was gut-wrenching. I cried instantly. Not only are these people my friends and partners in preventing premature birth and all of the other wonderful things that the March of Dimes does, so I think about it on a personal level. These are talented women that have dedicated their lives to an organization and now they’re looking at avenues on how to support their families.”
March of Dimes is keeping one paid employee on staff as part of the NICU Family Support program at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.