Twelve years ago, Kimberly Buffington was on a mission trip to feed the hungry in Lima, Peru when she had an “ah-ha” moment.
Kimberly: We just came 6,000 miles and met these amazing wonderful people and fed them and there is people that are hungry 20 minutes from where I live. So I came back and said I’ve got to find a way to have some impact in my own town.
So Kimberly moved into the city and educated herself on what families really needed – food security.
Mitch: What does food security mean?
Kimberly: There is enough food for everyone to eat which usually means that there is food creation happening within a community.
Seeing the lack of security, Kimberly needed to find a solution. She discovered a grocery partner to support the efforts and Eden Gives was born.
Kimberly: What came into my hands to give away was food from a local Trader Joe’s store. Instead of throwing food away that is about to expire they have built processes into their store functions that allows them to donate safely to nonprofits like ours. So I pick up from Trader Joe’s and deliver food into the city. We feed 400 families isn’t that crazy?
Mitch: And healthy food
But Kimberly couldn’t just do food delivery. Today Eden Gives is providing food sustainability through local gardens and Abundance Farming.
Kimberly: And I realized if I teach them to grow then the possibility of them never being hungry again exists.
It may have taken a trip to another country to spark her mission but Kimberly Buffington and Eden Gives is creating an abundance of food for families, right here in the heart of Detroit.
SAY Detroit is a proud recipient of a Bank of America Charitable Foundation award this year. Today during Bank of America’s Detroit Give 2018 charity tour, we welcomed members of their group at our SAY Play Center at Lipke Park, where they spent time learning more about our academic enrichment center and how Bank of America can be involved in what we do. Terrific partnership is in the works! Thank you #MiBofA
Jimmy Mills has an admiration for horses that began as a child.
Jimmy: There was a gentleman that used to pick up metal and stuff and he had a horse and cart and that was back when I was about 7 years old.
Mitch: What is it that you love about horses so much?
Jimmy: They have a spirit about them. They can feel what you feel.
At the old Mounted Police station in Rouge Park, Jimmy uses his passion for horses to re-enact and enlighten people about the history of the U.S. Calvary’s Buffalo Soldiers.
Jimmy: Without the Buffalo Soldiers there would have been lots more chaos of the settlers going West. These are ex slaves so they made excellent well-disciplined soldiers. They were given all the worst of the worst from the military the horses were the worst the weaponry were old they were given most of the stuff from the Civil War but they excelled at everything that they did.
From 1866 to the early 1890s, the Buffalo Soldiers served in the Southwest and the Great Plains. They had a distinguished record in fact thirteen enlisted men and six Officers earned the Medal of Honor.
Mitch: And they served for a country that didn’t always respect them back?
Jimmy: They built towns they couldn’t go in they protected the railroads they protected the stagecoach. Once we understood their involvement in our country what we wanted to be a part of this.
Bringing the long history of the early west to the city’s youth, Jimmy Mills and the modern day Buffalo Soldiers are riding proud, here in the heart of Detroit.
The NOAH Project has been inside Central United Methodist Church for over 40 years. The mission of the original church members was simple – provide their community with food.
Amy: It stands for Networking Organizing Advocating for the Homeless and what we do is provide a bag lunch 4 days a week for anyone who is homeless or experiencing the need of food and works to provide also connect individuals with social services and get into housing and different basic needs.
Mitch: That lunch is really a stepping stone if I am guessing right?
Amy: Right you know when you are hungry you can’t really think about much else you cant think about getting a job or getting into housing or anything like that so lets meet the basic need of food and really begin to build a relationship.
On any given day Amy Brown and the team at The NOAH Project serve 250 bag lunches, they provide medical and dental care and they see over 3000 people per year for casework services.
Amy: Meeting one on one with a case worker to begin to address whatever is going on with them. A lot of times people are eligible to get into housing they just don’t know what steps to take to get into housing.
It is success stories like Leah’s – once homeless and now looking for her new home all thanks to The NOAH Project’s help.
Leah: It has made it possible for people who are going through a hard time who are homeless to have a centralized kind of like homeless headquarters in order to get to where you need to go.
Amy: And that’s what we really try and be for the people who come to the NOAH Project. It takes a lot of time but the fact that we’re willing to journey alongside each other to get that home and to get that place is amazing.
Providing a stepping-stone to self-sufficiency, The NOAH Project is committed to ending homelessness here in the heart of Detroit.
A Time to Help is in need of volunteers to host our annual holiday party for shelter residents and their children at The Salvation Army Harbor Light in Detroit.
With your help, the ATTH party gives needy Detroiters a heartwarming and memory-making experience. We will provide the mothers an opportunity to “shop’’ at a gift store stocked with donated new clothing, towels and toiletries, along with toys and children’s clothing for Santa to distribute. The morning will be filled with fun activities for the children — supervised by ATTH volunteers — including face painting, dancing, children’s crafts, games and more, including a magician. The popular “Relaxation Zone’’ returns for mothers to receive free manicures and massages. All guests will be treated to snacks and a pizza luncheon sponsored by Shield’s Pizza. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will make a surprise visit and distribute gifts to the children.
Please join SAY Detroit founder Mitch Albom for this annual holiday tradition of giving.
* This is a registration-only event; all volunteers are required to sign up at here.
Date: Saturday, December 1, 2018
Time: 9 am – 12:30 p.m.
Volunteers are asked to arrive by 9 am to check in, drop off their donated gifts, finish any last-minute decorating and sign-up for their assignment. The party will start at 9:30 am for residents on campus; guests from The Salvation Army’s other core locations will begin arriving around 10 am
Where: Ellen A. Thompson Center at The Salvation Army Harbor Light, 3737 Humboldt, Detroit, 48208. Map
Volunteers Needed: 55
What to Bring: All volunteers are asked to bring items to donate to stock the holiday store. This is where the residents will shop for gifts for their children and themselves. We encourage each volunteer to purchase at least one new, unwrapped toy or game, and one clothing or toiletry item. Gifts are to be new and unwrapped to ensure that each child and parent receives the appropriate gift.
Wish List/Moms: The shelter is requesting nighttime clothing such as nightgowns or two-piece PJs or sweat suits. Size range is small to 3X. Other items to consider donating include undergarments (bras and underwear), body wash, deodorant and pump-body spray (no aerosol sprays, please). The center is also in need of bath towels and wash cloths. All items must be purchased new.
Wish List/Children: Toys — New and unwrapped age-appropriate toys and games; no stuffed animals. Electronics for the older children, including ear phones, are OK. Clothing request includes pajamas and sweats (or comfy tops and bottoms). Age groups are infants to age 3; children ages 4 to 7; 8 to 11; and 12 to 15. All toys will be sorted by age group in “Santa’s Workshop’’ near the holiday store, and then bundled and taken to Santa for distribution after his arrival.
Other Important Information: We request that all volunteers refrain from taking photos at the party to protect the privacy of the shelter residents and their children.
It was called “An Evening With Mitch Albom’’ but it was really all about SAY Detroit.
The Ladies Philoptochos Society of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Troy held a fundraiser on Saturday night to benefit SAY Detroit’s umbrella of programs and projects to help Detroit’s neediest citizens.
The event featured food, wine, music, fellowship — and plenty of fun and games, such as a silent auction, wine and spirits grab, and strings of “SAY to Play Beads” that were sold for participation in a heads-or-tails game on the stage floor.
SAY Detroit founder Mitch Albom signed books and thanked sponsors at a VIP reception prior to giving a presentation about the 12-year-old nonprofit, which drew a standing ovation. He also shared stories about his time as a young musician living on the island of Crete in Greece in the 1970s.
Among the silent auction items was a package donated by Albom and Marc Rosenthal that fetched $1,075: An opportunity for the winner and up to three guests to sit in during a live broadcast of The Mitch Albom Show on WJR-760AM and receive a tour of the studio.
Jennifer Hammond of FOX 2 Detroit emceed the evening. SAY Detroit would like to thank the organizing committee that staged the event, including Andrea Feles-Katsimbaris, Melanie Feles, Laurel Kalkanis, Angelique Chengelis, Tina Robert and Katina Cloutier, as well as Fr. Stratton, Father Mike and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit.
Representatives from St. Nicholas will appear with Albom during SAY Detroit’s annual Radiothon on Dec. 6 at Somerset Collection in Troy, where the group will present the nonprofit with a check from proceeds from the fundraiser.
S.A.Y. Detroit (which stands for Super All Year Detroit) is a fully formed 501(c) (3) charity and operates as an umbrella organization for charities dedicating to improving the lives of the neediest, Click here to learn more.
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