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Communities In Schools works to address social barriers that stand between Kalamazoo kids and school success.

From tutors and college visits to food assistance and health services, Communities In Schools (CIS) Kalamazoo works hard so kids can start strong and be prepared for life. Since 2013, we’ve supported them in that mission in several ways.

Building community together

All children should be able to enjoy a safe, warm, and happy winter season. We devoted our time to throwing a Winter Festival for the CIS after-school program at Lincoln Elementary, where we shopped the students’ wish lists and surprised them with a day of games, activities, and gifts. We did it for the kids, but we had a blast too!

We’ve also supported CIS Kalamazoo with donations to their Kids’ Closet—we collected over $5K worth of hats, coats, and gloves during the winter season.

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Website & marketing

Outreach is a crucial part of getting CIS Kalamazoo the support they need to make their mission a reality. We’ve supported them over the years by designing their website, helping refine their brand messaging, and designing their annual reports, newsletters, and marketing materials.

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Student engagement

Making post–high school plans is an important part of crafting a student’s future. We love CIS and we love design, so naturally we invited a group of CIS Kalamazoo students to our office for a workshop field trip with our creative teams. We’ve also visited Kalamazoo Central High School to talk with students about careers in design. Our involvement with CIS has encouraged many of our team members to volunteer with them too!

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Taking our turn for Scott Matzka

When one of our former team members, Scott Matzka, was diagnosed with ALS, we made it a priority to support his desire to leave a legacy. Scott’s mission was to raise awareness of ALS through his “My Turn” campaign. He fought hard until his passing in December of 2018, and the work we did together lives on.

Brand identity & website design

We partnered with Scott to create the logo and tagline for My Turn, and we took it a step further by executing some of his social media strategy.

To boost his awareness campaign, our team designed and built Scott’s custom website, which still acts as a resource for people to learn more about ALS and get involved.

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Capturing Scott’s story

Our stories are everything to us—they’re what make us human. Our writers worked with Scott to capture his story while he was still able to tell it. In the old days, before we had our own media team at Maestro, we sent Scott over to our friends at Rhino Media to produce a documentary about Scott’s journey with ALS.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan helps children realize their potential and build their futures through mentorship programs. We partnered with them to get the word out by consulting with them on voice-of-customer work, content strategy, storytelling consulting, and social media strategy.

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Open Roads

Open Roads Bike Program is a Kalamazoo-based nonprofit that uses bicycles to engage, empower, and teach youth practical life skills for their futures. When our office moved downtown, we partnered with them to purchase and build bikes for their youth programs. And we partnered on some design work, too!

Pecha Kucha

Many members of our team have worked hard to bring the storytelling event Pecha Kucha to life in Kalamazoo since 2017, in partnership with Intersect Studio and Rhino Media.

Upcoming events

SPCA

Our Design team regularly hosts a challenge where each designer creates a unique training on a topic of their choice. One of our designers is an animal-rescue advocate and she designed an animated and modern digital course on the volunteer onboarding process for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Southwest Michigan. It turned out so well that when she asked if they wanted to use it for real, their answer was a resounding yes!

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Fostering entrepreneurship

As a small business ourself, using our resources to support and grow Southwest Michigan’s local creative and entrepreneurial scene is near to our heart. Over the years, we’ve been involved with such initiatives as MIX Southwest Michigan, Startup Grind, and WMU’s Starting Gate to foster entrepreneurship in our community.

Supporting our community during COVID-19

When Kalamazoo families were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked ourselves, what can we do to help? We acted quickly to deliver tangible support to our community by creating a website to connect people to donation and volunteer opportunities at food pantries and support centers, like Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes. We also put our digital learning talents to work by creating a free informational PPE course to promote safe face-covering and handwashing techniques.

Chicago Loot Drop

Chicago Loot Drop seeks to develop an inclusive gamer community and share their love of games throughout the city of Chicago. Additionally, their volunteer events enable them to raise funds and donate toys and games to communities across the city. We loved the work they were doing and wanted to support them, so we rebranded the organization to better reach the gaming community.

Kalamazoo County Ready 4s (KC Ready 4s)

The mission of KC Ready 4s is “to advance fully accessible, high-quality pre-kindergarten education for every 3 and 4-year-old in Kalamazoo County through collaborative leadership with public and private providers.” In an effort to increase awareness about the program, we partnered with KC Ready 4s to create a series of 10 videos that spoke to the impact that the organization has on our local community.

Let’s work
together

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If your mission is to serve your community, we want to support you

Each quarter, we make it a priority to use our time and talents to boost organizations, individuals, and causes that are dedicated to making their communities stronger and more beautiful.

We select projects based on the following criteria:

We want to support projects that have potential to create a positive impact in your community.

We look forward to working on projects that align with our skills and values.

We agree to projects based on our teams’ availability.

We love our communities, so we’re especially excited to partner with organizations that serve the areas where we live and work.

Not sure if you’re a good fit? We encourage you to apply anyway! Please fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you soon.