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Hope Alliance December Collection Drive

Our Alpena County Democratic Party chose Hope Alliance to be the recipient of our Annual December Collection Drive.  Hope Alliance is Alpena's local domestic abuse shelter.  They provide a safe haven for women, children & men to escape an abusive or unsafe home environment.  Pictured are 2 staff members from Hope Alliance with the donations we received from ACDP members, such as diapers, adult underwear, art kits, sweatshirts, markers, and coloring books.

Ukraine Christmas Collection Drive

By the time our Alpena County Democratic Party concluded our collection drive for One Box for Ukraine, there was a van load of boxes:  boots, blankets, coats, socks, mittens, sweatshirts, backpacks, toys, school, art & medical supplies, all being shipped to Ukraine in time for Christmas. 

This Christmas collection drive was really about Mr. Boyd Byelich, a member of the non-profit One Box, who is passionate about delivering whatever goods he can (other than food) to the Ukrainian people affected by the Russian invasion & destructive attacks on their country. 


It started when Boyd first volunteered at a refugee center in Poland shortly after the war began, as thousands of Ukrainians fled their homes with only a suitcase & the clothes on their backs.  Boyd returned to Rogers City & started collection drives for all those items you would consider important possessions to live in temporary quarters & chilling weather, often without electricity.  Boyd uses his home & garage to store & organize merchandise in large shipping boxes according to need.  Medical kits, toothbrushes, men’s coats & boots, flashlights/candles, playing cards, & socks get shipped to the Ukrainian army.  Women & children’s shoes, socks, underwear, coats, mittens, sweatshirts, pants, toys, backpacks, blankets, & art/school supplies are sent to orphanages, shelters, refugee centers or frontline villages. 

Boyd has been to Ukraine over 9 times since the war began & has learned the relief distribution network & met with their dedicated relief workers.  He drives to Detroit from Northeast Michigan nearly every week to deliver boxes for shipment by boat.  It costs about $50-60 to ship One Box to Ukraine.  Boyd uses Ukrainian shipping companies, & the goods take about 30 days to arrive there.  Boyd said shipping requires hands on involvement & trusted personal relationships to avoid goods ending up on the black market.  He makes sure his shipment deliveries arrive in Ukraine or Poland at their right destination.  When Boyd travels to Ukraine, he meets with local relief groups to assess needs & develop good relationships.  Sometimes with donated monies he will go shop in a large city & bring back whatever certain groups or families need, such as laundry or kitchen appliances.  Boyd wears a bulletproof vest near the front lines.  He communicates with sign language & Google Translate.

Anyone wishing to help can search the Facebook group “One Box for Ukraine” for Boyd Byelich’s contact information, more details about needed donations, as well as a link to their GoFundMe account.

Boyd Byelich received a standing ovation, & several hundred dollars in checks, after he spoke at the November Alpena Democratic Party membership meeting. 


Pictured is Boyd standing second from right holding an American/Ukrainian flag with members of the Alpena County Democratic Party, & a stack of the boxed goods handed over to One Box for Ukraine by them.

McRae Park Renewal



WHAT A DIFFERENCE!  These before & after photos of 2 wooden swings that were replaced, & the steel frames painted, demonstrate what a little money, bright-colored Rustoleum paint & 2 afternoons of volunteer labor can do.  This was a community service project to benefit users of McRae Park & Alpena's north side neighborhood, which was completed by volunteers from our Alpena County Democratic Party.  Also, an adjacent park bench was sanded & stained with protective weatherproofing, 3 child swing-set frames were painted, & a bouncy-ride received a bright blue facelift.  Almost $550 was donated by Alpena County Democrats to a GoFundMe account set up for this project.

The idea for this community project arose during a discussion at one of ACDP's occasional social dinners in early 2023.  This is why our gatherings are so important - they help us find ways to take positive action.

McRae Park is regularly used by summer baseball leagues, pickleball & basketball players, & families enjoying the playground equipment.  McRae Park has suffered from visible neglect over the years, but it's gotten recent attention this year from our local Democrats, the Lions Club & the City.  Our ACDP submitted a formal Adopt-A-Park application to the City of Alpena.

Next year we plan to help the McRae Park Association paint their Community Building (built in 1948) & hopefully incorporate a wished-for wall mural.  Small improvements like this, along with repaving Second Avenue beyond Miller Street, should help attract more visitors & small business development to Alpena's north side.

Attorney General Dana Nessel

In July 2023 we made wonderful plans to enjoy a shipwreck tour around Thunder Bay on Lady Michigan with Attorney General Dana Nessel.  But stormy seas made that impossible.  Instead we & Dana Nessel took shelter in our local pub, The Black Sheep.  Over a beer Dana spoke casually with our group of about 30 Dems & discussed some current issues on our minds:  Line 5 & upcoming oral arguments in Federal Court, prison reform, literacy, the Michigan State shooting & her twins in college, gun safety reform, LBGTQ rights, & the fake electors indictment.  

Michiganders are so fortunate to have Nessel as our lead prosecutor.

Line 5 Pipeline


In April 2023 the ACDP participated in a postcard campaign directed at President Biden, asking him to request the Department of Justice to send the Line 5 Federal Court case back to the State Court here in Michigan.  Several thousand postcards were sent to President Biden from northeast Michigan counties.

For up-to-date information concerning the lawsuit against Enbridge, click on the website link below.

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