A Family’s Legacy to Give Back

During her childhood, Elaine Putvin had the chance to visit Highfields’ Onondaga campus with her family. As annual supporters, her parents Dave and Irene Johnson believed in the vision Highfields strived to build within communities.

“My parents were always very service-oriented people, helping others wherever they could,” said Elaine.

After graduating high school, Elaine moved out of state to finish college. She married her husband, Allen, before finally returning to Michigan.

Though she was aware of Highfields’ presence in mid-Michigan, it wasn’t until she was invited to the Annual Strengthening Families Fundraising Breakfast in 2019 that she truly began to understand the impact the organization has on the lives of children and families.

“I believe we were put on earth to help others, and that’s what Highfields does with the work they do,” said Elaine.

When her husband passed away five years ago, Elaine began volunteering for organizations ranging from cleaning the environment to participating in a production which bridged the gap between veterans and the community. Because of her dedication to helping others, Elaine also decided to become more connected to Highfields as a new donor.

Like Highfields’ vision for strengthening families, Elaine’s own vision aligns with continued dedication to serving others. Through annual donations, she recognizes the importance of keeping families together and building stronger relationships by providing them with support for brighter futures.

The more Elaine learns about Highfields’ programs, the more she wants to share with others.

“I encourage everyone to learn more about Highfields, and to give with their hearts,” said Elaine.

Today, she believes families have constant reminders hanging over their heads that they can’t do things. They can’t make money to provide for their family or make ends meet. They can’t provide proper care for their children. They can’t get a job because of their past mishaps.

Elaine believes that the negative reminders are just stepping stones to better opportunities. She trusts resetting the mind and reflecting on actions as building blocks to creating positive affirmations for a beautiful future, something Highfields has done for families for over 59 years.

“Keeping families together and keeping them from despairing is the most important job anyone can have,” said Elaine. “Highfields gives families hope and empowers them to be strong and independent together without judgement.”

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