When the Traverse City State Hospital closed in 1989, Father Edwin “Fred” Frederick, the Hospital’s Catholic chaplain, was concerned that many of the residents were without a place to go and would end up lost, homeless and with little hope. Father Fred invited myself and a handful of supporters to form the Father Fred Foundation with the mission “to simply help the helpless, the homeless, and the distressed in the Traverse City area.”
The Foundation, with the help of many in our community, has listened to and cared for tens of thousands of people in need, and has shared the equivalent of approximately $25,000,000 worth of food, clothing, and financial support.
As the Foundation approaches its 25th year, I am reminded of the words Father Fred spoke to me while standing in the Foundation’s lobby, “You know, we just need to listen, care, and share. We just have to keep that in mind.” These words became the Foundation’s guiding principal and they will lead the Foundation, its dedicated volunteers, and the community, into the future.
Daniel J. Dingeman, Father Fred Foundation Co-Founder and Board Member