Since being founded just weeks after the unexpected death of Marshall High School graduate Isaac Loughrige last fall, the I've Got Your Backs Foundation has raised nearly $25,000 and helped children and families in the area as well as providing financial relief to Haiti.

The foundation, founded and operated by Marshall's tight-knit Loughrige family, has created and participated in many school- and church-related programs to help families in Calhoun County and Haiti over the past three months, including:

  • Donating Christmas presents to several needy families in Calhoun County.
  • Assisting with transportation expenses to help the young parents of two infants in Bronson Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
  • Purchasing new beds for needy Albion teens.
  • Providing more than $1,000 of financial relief to benefit children in Haiti through New World Mission, an organization the Loughrige family has been directly involved with for more than 20 years.
  • Providing holiday food baskets distributed through the Bread of Life Food Pantry
  • Assisted with hosting the Child Advocacy Center/Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County Holiday Party for families and an upcoming annual training event.
  • Donating blankets, bedding, groceries and hygiene items for children of the Battle Creek Mentor Program.

The foundation also donated winter coats, hats, gloves and boots to middle school children at Northwestern Middle School in Battle Creek.

"What a blessing it has been to see a child in need and to be able to provide for them," said Northwestern Assistant Principal Sherrie Schanzenbaker. The I've Got Your Backs Foundation truly covered the hands, heads, backs, and hearts of students in our school. The smiles were priceless."

Isaac, 21, passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 22 with complications associated with acute pneumonia and H1N1. Because Isaac had a passion for helping and working with children, many of the foundation programs are for kids. The scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors who plan to attend a trade school, community college or a four-year institution. Qualifying applicants should exemplify Isaac’s heart to educate, impact and inspire hope to youth in need.

The I've Got Your Backs Needs Box at Marshall High School is for students, friends and teachers to confidentially request assistance such as winter coats, gloves, shoes, backpacks or school supplies. Anyone can fill out a confidential "needs card" and put it in the box in the high school guidance office. The foundation plans to implement the Needs Box program at Marshall Middle School as well.

The I've Got Your Backs "jug campaign," with donation jugs in many area businesses, will end around Isaac's birthday in March. Other fund-raising efforts, including t-shirts designed by Isaac's sisters, are coming soon.

The foundation also is partnering with area high school and college service groups for volunteer activities such as yard work for the elderly and tutoring programs at area schools.

How to donate: or by sending donations directly to I’ve Got Your Backs, 16632 Sunset Hills Dr., Marshall, Mich. 49068. All donations are 100-percent tax-deductible.

For more information, please visit or email

By Jennifer Wezensky
JW Public Relations
February 2010


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