By Olivia Rau
The Mitten Brewing Company is a vintage baseball themed microbrewery located in a historic firehouse, Engine House #9, in Grand Rapids’ West Side. Since its opening in 2012, the Mitten has built a unique reputation for pairing high-quality craft beers and gourmet pizzas with community involvement. Giving back to the local community is a core value of the Mitten—they have given more than $300,000 in charitable gifts to local nonprofits since 2012. While the brewery’s commitment to their community through volunteerism and charitable giving has been evident from the beginning, the organization further bolstered their philanthropic capacity by forming their own nonprofit foundation in 2017, Mitten Foundation.
The mission of the foundation reads, “Mitten Foundation exists to enhance and elevate our community by utilizing the resources of The Mitten Brewing Co. and partners.” The simplicity of this mission feeds into the foundation’s criteria for selecting its nonprofit partners: 1) it must be a local organization, and 2) it must be small enough that the donation will make a measurable difference. The foundation’s care in selecting truly local organizations that are in the greatest need helps them to connect each dollar donated to the effect it has in the community.
In 2019 alone, Mitten Foundation gave $10,000 to offset in shelter costs for survivors of domestic abuse, $4,100 in sports equipment for inner city youth, $2,266 in classroom supply grants for teachers, and much more. They also utilized their resources to help alleviate the burden of local food insecurity by supporting 60,000 meals through Feeding America in West Michigan food pantries, 10,000 meals through Kids’ Food Basket, and by providing and serving over 2,000 slices of pizza. Given the Mitten Brewing Co. and Mitten Foundation’s impressive philanthropic track record and community involvement accomplishments of 2019, we are excited to see what’s in store for 2020!
This article was featured in the 2020 Michigan Giving Issue