LAFCU organizes toiletries, food drive to help Eaton Rapids community
in wake of Meridian Magnesium Products disaster

Donations collected at nine LAFCU branches during June

The public is invited to drop off donations of toiletries and food at LAFCU branches to benefit those impacted by the recent fire and series of explosions at Meridian Magnesium Products of America, an auto parts manufacturing plant in Eaton Rapids.

The donated goods will be delivered to Heart and Hands Inc., a charity that helps meet emergency needs of those living within the Eaton Rapids Public Schools district.

“We’re extremely grateful for LAFCU’s leadership in initiating this community response effort,” said Paul Malewski, Eaton Rapids mayor. “Meridian Magnesium Products of America is Eaton Rapids’ largest employer, so what happens there creates a ripple effect felt by all, including businesses that serve the plant or provide services to plant employees and their families. We’ve already seen an increase in requests for assistance that indicates Heart and Hands will be under pressure to meet potential future needs.”

Donations can be dropped off at any LAFCU branch June 1-30, weekdays, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK is donating collection boxes.

Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, LAFCU chief marketing officer, said, “The Eaton Rapids community – our community – is hurting. We just knew we needed to step up and be a catalyst for an outreach initiative to benefit those impacted by this unfortunate event. This is what credit unions are based upon … people helping people.”

Malewski emphasizes donations of toiletries for men, women and children, such as personal grooming items like soaps, shampoos, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and baby toiletries like diapers and wipes.

Desired non-perishable, healthy foods include peanut butter and kid-friendly summer meal items, such as snack packs and fruits canned in their own juices.

LAFCU branches are located at:

  • Charlotte, 1553 Lansing Road.
  • Corunna, 2665 E. M-21.
  • DeWitt, 12850 S. U.S. 27.
  • Eaton Rapids, 1505 Kyle St.
  • Mason, 750 Cedar St.
  • Owosso, 1720 W. M-21.
  • South Lansing, 1121 Keystone Ave.
  • St. Johns, 2317 S. U.S. 27.
  • West Lansing, 106 N. Marketplace Blvd.

A list of branch locations is also available at

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