Giving Back to Our Communities
Giving back to the communities we serve is a fundamental aspect of our culture. In 2018, we established the Yeo & Yeo Foundation, an employee-run organization dedicated to giving time, talent and financial support to charitable causes throughout Michigan. Fostering a culture of community service and volunteerism among all Yeo & Yeo employees firm-wide is at the core of the Foundation’s objectives. Through the Foundation, we support and serve organizations that Yeo & Yeo associates are personally involved in or passionate about.
“Our culture of giving back started with the Yeo family more than 90 years ago. They believed it was vital to give back to the communities in which we live, work and play. Today, we are proud to continue their legacy through the Yeo & Yeo Foundation. The Foundation gives each employee an opportunity to support organizations through volunteerism and financial gifts. We believe that we are only as strong as the communities we serve. Through the Foundation, we uplift our communities’ organizations and people, leading to a happier, healthier, stronger Michigan.”
Rebecca Millsap, CPA
Managing Principal, Flint Office
Yeo & Yeo Foundation Board President
Why We Give
Alex gives back to the Children’s Discovery Academy because he wants to help offer affordable, quality childcare to members of his community.
Supporting Affordable, Quality Childcare
My wife and I moved from Freeland to Alma in 2018, and we are both very passionate about childcare and supporting youth. We have three children, and my wife was an elementary school teacher before becoming a stay-at-home mom. After moving to Alma, we saw there was a need for more childcare and learning facilities. I also wanted to help give back to my new community, as I had been heavily involved, volunteering for many organizations in Saginaw.
So, I decided to join the board of the Children’s Discovery Academy (CDA) and help further the organization. I was able to lend my financial background and expertise to the board. We navigated through the pandemic, partnered with some local businesses, and finally began accepting students. Today, class sizes at the center range from 15 to 25 kids per day.
It has been really special to be a part of the CDA. They provide a valuable service to our community, offering play-based learning and quality childcare in an area that really needed it.
I give back because I want to help offer affordable, quality childcare to members of my community.
Taylor gives back to Big Brothers Big Sisters because she wants to help children discover that their potential is limitless.
Helping Children Discover That Their Potential is Limitless
In 2020, amidst the pandemic, I found myself in a slump. Instead of spending my time in lockdown watching TV or playing on my phone, I decided that I wanted to make a positive impact in the community. My father was heavily involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters. He had a Big when he was growing up and later became a Big. Mentoring a child in need and working with them one-on-one to achieve their personal, emotional, and educational goals seemed like it would be very rewarding.
Little did I know the full extent of what I would learn as a Big.
I’ve learned to talk less and listen more. I’ve learned to be patient and let things come naturally. And most importantly, I’ve learned never to take things for granted.
My husband and I spend as much time as possible with our Little. We go to all his basketball games and have even taken him for trips up north to my parents’ lake house. It is fun introducing him to new things and watching him learn and grow with each new experience. He is truly growing into a respectable young man, and I am proud to say that I had a hand in helping him get there.
I give back because I want to help children discover that their potential is limitless.
Zoey gives back to the Midland Community Orchestra because she want to show her appreciation for the arts.
Showing Appreciation for the Arts
Music has always been a big part of my family’s life. I sing in choirs, my sister writes her own music and plays the double bass, and my other sister played in her school’s jazz band – which is why I wanted to give back and donate to the Midland Community Orchestra (MCO).
MCO has hosted free concerts for the Midland community for more than 30 years. In 2015, my mom became the group’s conductor, and I’ve attended the concerts ever since.
These free performances allow families in our local community to enjoy the arts together. Many parents bring their young kids, who may not otherwise have a chance to hear live classical music.
The orchestra also goes beyond providing free concerts. At each performance, they sponsor a local charity and collect donations on its behalf. They also showcase pieces that aren’t likely to be played by other groups, such as music composed by women. The MCO is a great organization that provides an outlet for musicians to perform while hosting fun events for the community and supporting those in need.
I give back because I want to show my appreciation for the arts.
Kyle gives back to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer because he wants to offer a collective service opportunity to everyone at Yeo & Yeo.
Offering a Collective Service Project to Everyone at Yeo & Yeo
Each year, the Yeo Young Professionals group hosts a firm-wide service initiative. As the Yeo Young Professionals service chair for the Yeo & Yeo Foundation, I am leading this year’s service project to benefit Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
Participating in Making Strides walks has always been important for our employees. I was invited to the walks from the first year I joined the firm. Seeing our employees’ passion and hearing about their personal connections to the organization inspired me to make it our main event this year.
The Making Strides movement raises life-saving funds for breast cancer patients, survivors, thrivers, and caregivers. To show our support of the movement, all Yeo & Yeo employees have been encouraged to bring their friends and families to Making Strides walks across Michigan. Yeo & Yeo teams will participate in six walks – Making Strides of the Great Lakes Bay Region, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Oakland and Macomb Counties, and West Michigan. Our YPs will also do fundraising activities leading up to the walks and volunteering.
It has been a blast helping to coordinate the teams. I am excited to lead the Young Professionals service project and support such a great cause.
I give back because I want to offer a collective service opportunity to everyone at Yeo & Yeo.
Amy gives back to the Give-A-Kid Projects because she wants to support kids in our communities.
Supporting Kids in Our Community
The Give-A-Kid Projects have always been a large part of our community in Holt and the surrounding communities. When people here donate items, instead of taking them to Goodwill or the Volunteers of America, they take things to Give-A-Kid. The organization does a lot to help kids in our area, and they have different projects for different needs, like give-a-kid a coat, a backpack, and a Christmas.
Last year, the Lansing office sponsored a family with three children for Give-A-Kid a Christmas who asked for beds to sleep on as their gift. Seeing that request broke all our hearts. We thought, “These are our kids – kids in our school district – and all they asked for was a bed.” That hit home for all of us.
So, we decided to pull out all the stops. As an office, we raised funds to purchase beds for each kid. Then, we bought items to go with their bedrooms like bedding, pillows, and toys. It felt good to come together to support these kids and their families, and we plan to continue to sponsor more kids for future Christmases.
I give because I want to support kids in our community.
Meg gives back to Central Michigan Youth for Christ because she wants to help students feel loved and seen.
Helping Students Feel Loved and Seen
Growing up, I had a mentor through Youth for Christ. He had a huge impact on my life and is still someone I can go to today. I wanted to be a similar resource for students, so when I moved to Mount Pleasant for college, I started volunteering for Central Michigan Youth for Christ (CMYFC), and I’ve been a mentor for roughly seven years.
Once a week during the school year, I volunteer with high school students. We meet up and play games and discuss how their school and family life is going. As a CPA, I’ve been able to help students answer personal finance questions. I’ve also helped some fill out their application for Federal Student Aid and file tax returns. It’s really rewarding to teach kids and help empower them.
Especially today, I think it is increasingly easy for people to isolate themselves, which is why organizations like CMYFC are so important. They give kids resources and people who can help them by providing a listening ear and advice. Everyone who volunteers through CMYFC goes above and beyond to care for the students so they can feel loved and seen. It is a great organization to be a part of.
I give back because I want to help students feel loved and seen.
Zach gives back to Aid in Milan because he wants to support those struggling with hunger.
Supporting Those Who Are Struggling with Hunger
When I was in college, I saw people struggling to get food. I had some free time and decided I wanted to spend it volunteering at the local food pantry to help those in need.
I started volunteering at Aid in Milan and, for the next few years, spent nearly every Friday packing food. It was a small, local food pantry when I first started there. Now, they have updated facilities and offer programs for different occasions like Christmas and back-to-school to help those in need.
The staff and volunteers at Aid in Milan really care about the people who come through. They offer personalized options to fit everyone’s needs. If someone has a dietary restriction, certain foods can be substituted. If someone is having a tough time, the staff puts extra items in their food box. I am proud to support Aid in Milan. It is a great organization that provides a valuable service to those living in our small, rural community.
I give back because I want to support those who are struggling with hunger.
Denise gives back to Aaron's Gifts From Home because she wants to support those who serve our country.
Supporting Those Who Serve Our Country
My husband is in the Reserves, and he served overseas in 2004. From that experience, I know how much our troops appreciate care packages and mail, which is why I began volunteering with Aaron’s Gifts From Home more than three years ago.
Aaron’s Gifts was founded in 2012 by the parents of Aaron Ullom, a service member in the Navy who was killed in action in Afghanistan. In honor of Aaron’s memory, the organization sends care packages to soldiers stationed overseas. The packages include comic books, DVDs, snacks and games – anything a service member might enjoy.
Roughly three times a year, a group of us get together to pack hundreds of boxes for active-duty service members. I am proud that I have the opportunity to give back to those serving our country and protecting our freedoms. Aaron’s Gifts is truly a great organization, and I am so appreciative that I get to be part of it.
I give back because I want to support those who serve our country.
Ashley gives back to Friends of the Alley because she wants to help revitalize Flint and showcase everything the city offers.
Living in Flint and its surrounding areas all my life, I have grown very attached to the city. Before my job at Yeo & Yeo, I worked downtown serving and bartending, and my husband grew up playing music at many local venues.
This past January, I was drawn to join the board of Friends of the Alley (FOTA), a nonprofit in Flint, to help beautify the main two alleys in which many businesses are located. The board meets monthly to coordinate three events per year. Our largest event, Alley Fest, is an all-day festival that invites 15 artists to play on two stages in one of the alleys. In previous years, the event brought the Flint community together with food and entertainment.
Along with planning events, FOTA organizes at least two cleanups throughout the year, where we clear the alleys from litter and broken glass and make them safer for people to walk down and enjoy.
We also hung string lights down the entirety of Buckham and Brush Alleys to make them more inviting and safer at night. The work we do helps unify the community and draws attention to the great features Flint has to offer. I am proud to be part of this organization and to work to help revitalize my hometown.
I give back because I want to help revitalize Flint and showcase the great things the city offers.
Rose gives back to Major Cords for Minors because she wants all kids to have the same opportunities to learn and share their love of music and the arts.
Providing Opportunities for Kids to Share Their Love of Music
Major Chords for Minors (MCFM) was created and founded to provide one-on-one music lessons on piano, guitar and drums to at-risk kids whose families cannot afford to give their children lessons. Their mission is to build better children through music and create a community where all children have access to growth through music and mentorship, regardless of their families’ economic circumstances. The program also has a performance band that plays at various events throughout the community, including Party on McCarty, the Saginaw Art Fair, and Friday Night Live.
I love music and playing music. I have been a band kid since middle school and play clarinet, guitar, drums, piano and accordion. I think that being in band gave me a sense of belonging in school and taught me the value of having to practice something to get better at it. When I heard about the opportunity to join the board of MCFM, I decided to get involved. I loved the organization’s mission and purpose. Playing an instrument is expensive so having the opportunity to have free lessons is incredible.
I joined the organization in April 2021, and I am the current board treasurer. Seeing the dedication of the founders, director, instructors and support staff is amazing. They all have a great passion for music but also want to see kids be successful and have the opportunity to grow through music.
I give back because I want all kids to have the same opportunities to learn and share their love of music and the arts.
Marisa gives back to the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum because she wants to help provide a safe place for kids to play and learn.
Providing a Safe Place for Kids to Play and Learn
From an early age, my parents taught me to give back – especially my mom. She is one of the most caring and generous people; she always thinks of others before herself. I wanted to be a similar role model to my kids. So, when I was approached to serve as treasurer for the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, I readily agreed.
The Children’s Museum offers a safe and fun environment for children and their families to learn. They have many interactive exhibits, including a water table and air tunnel system. As a mom, I am always looking for different places to take my children, and we all enjoy going to the museum.
I am passionate about supporting the museum and its family-focused atmosphere. I am glad that, as treasurer, I can provide valuable insights by reviewing financial statements and budgets. Everyone I work with on the board is a leader in the Saginaw community, and I am proud to work for this great organization with them.
I give back because I want to help provide a safe place for kids to play and learn.
Christine gives back to the Saginaw County Veterans Memorial Plaza because she wants to support those who have lost a loved one who fought for our country.
Supporting Those Who Have Lost a Loved One Who Fought for Our Country
My husband was killed in action while deployed to Afghanistan in 2006. Shortly after, I was approached by the Saginaw County Veterans Memorial Plaza, which was in search of a treasurer. The Plaza is a beautiful place where you can go to honor and remember those who have passed away or who have served. I felt like it was the right organization to join and be a part of, as I had just lost someone very important to me.
Fourteen years later, I am on my fourth four-year term as treasurer, attending monthly meetings and continuing to support the organization. As a board member, I help plan free public ceremonies on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. When we aren’t putting on ceremonies, we maintain the grounds and the bricks people can buy for their loved ones.
The Plaza relies on its volunteers and donations from the Saginaw area and will put on fundraisers like 5k races to help provide adequate funding. We also hold appreciation lunches around Flag Day for the companies and individuals who have donated their services and time to help take care of the Plaza.
Through giving my time, I have realized that the more people you talk to, the more you understand that everyone has a story. Sometimes they might even have one that is similar to yours. Finding an organization that speaks to you and developing more of a connection by giving your time is key. It is very rewarding, and I think it is our duty to volunteer where we can.
I give back because I want to support those who have lost a loved one fighting for our country.
Jeff gives back to the READ Association because he wants to help improve literacy in Saginaw County.
Improving Literacy in Saginaw County
The READ Association of Saginaw County has been around for more than 70 years. They started as an organization focused on helping children across Saginaw County improve their reading skills. In the last few years, they have really expanded their mission and asked, “What else can we be doing?”
Today, they have mentorship programs where children meet with their mentors one-on-one and in groups to have lunch and discuss life skills, like how to tie a tie. They also have a nursing home program, where kids are transported to local nursing homes to read to the residents. There is a family literacy program where teachers help parents learn how to work with their children and improve their reading. Also, during COVID, the organization hosted book drives and dropped thousands of books off to kids who didn’t have access to libraries during the lockdown.
As a board member, finance committee chair, and an active volunteer with READ since 2008, it has been great to see how the organization has grown and adapted to the changing needs in our community. Saginaw County has truly embraced our organization and the work we do. We receive support and have partnered with many nonprofits in the area to make our programs possible. Seeing the Saginaw community come together to support our youth is inspiring, and I am proud to be a part of it.
I give back because I want to help improve literacy in Saginaw County.
Kellen gives back to Quality Living Systems because he wants to support those who selflessly care for others.
Supporting Those Who Selflessly Care for Others
Quality Living Systems (QLS) is an organization in Flint that houses and cares for individuals with mental disabilities. The organization helps those who need 24-hour care and those living independently who need help with grocery shopping and other tasks. I have been a part of QLS for around 20 years, and I volunteer whenever I can with fundraisers and other events.
My oldest brother, Jimmy, is a resident in one of their assisted living homes with 11 others. The staff have taken great care of him and even helped him get a job. They cook his meals, host different parties, and make sure to give him a comfortable life.
It is always great walking into QLS. The residents always have a smile on their faces when you show up. Even though they might not know who you are, they make you feel like the most special person in the world. And the staff are some of the most kind and patient people I know.
When I called to tell the staff at QLS that they had received a Yeo & Yeo Foundation grant, they were ecstatic. Through this experience and my time as the Foundation’s Grant Committee Representative for the Flint office, I have learned that no matter how small, donations of time and treasures go a long way.
I give back because I want to support those who selflessly care for others.
Fulfilling Our Mission
The Foundation supports organizations that our associates across all Yeo & Yeo companies are personally involved in or passionate about. Therefore, all donation requests are sponsored by Yeo & Yeo employees. When reviewing donation requests, the Grants Committee and the Foundation Board consider factors such as the mission and purpose of the requesting organization, the intended use of funds and the potential impact of the Foundation’s support. We are proud to say that our employees donate their time, talent and financial support to more than 200 different community service organizations throughout Michigan.
Yeo & Yeo Foundation 2021 Annual Report
At Yeo & Yeo, we challenge our people to give back purposefully to organizations they are
passionate about because we believe that we are only as strong as the communities we serve.
2021 marked the second fully operational year of financial giving for the Foundation, which
donated funds to 62 organizations across Michigan. Check out our Foundation Annual
Report to see how we are giving back.
Yeo & Yeo Foundation 2020 Annual Report
2020 marked the first fully operational year of financial giving for the Foundation, which
donated funds to 58 organizations across Michigan. 2020 proved the importance and value
of giving back, as many individuals and organizations were affected by the COVID-19
pandemic. We were proud to support our communities during those challenging times.
Check out our 2020 Foundation Annual Report to see our impact.