Last Thursday, June 28th, volunteers gathered in the Morningside neighborhood in the east side of Detroit for another community space rehab, a special project in coordination with S.A.Y. Detroit, Cooper Standard Foundation, The Dow Chemical Company, and the City of Detroit. Since 2016, Cooper Standard volunteers have, in concert with S.A.Y. Detroit’s Working Homes / Working Families, steadily rebuilt Morningside by removing blight and converting public spaces into playgrounds.
For more than six hours, volunteers built a new privacy fence, planted trees, laid mulch, and built a wall for a future mural.
The work of recovery is long-term, and rebuilding the neighborhood is a block-by-block mission. More than nine homes in the area now belong to families in the Working Homes / Working Families initiative, with one of last year’s recipients right down the street from this new park.
Several new homes to be refurbished in the program will also be in the Morningside neighborhood, and we’re gearing up with the Detroit Muscle Crew II for those builds in the coming fall.
S.A.Y. Detroit is thrilled to receive a $2,000 grant from Motown Soup in support of our meal service at the S.A.Y. Play Center
at Lipke Park.
Based in Utica, Motown Soup produces dry soup mixes and other goods, then markets them, giving away all of the profits.
The nonprofit has been sharing proceeds for the past 13 years with fellow charities who operate homeless shelters, soup kitchens and free clinics. This year’s distribution brings the total to over $900,000.
S.A.Y. Play feeds its members one hot meal a day, plus snacks, for free.
Motown Soup is no stranger to S.A.Y. Detroit. Our volunteer program, A Time to Help
, worked alongside Motown Soup volunteers at a project packaging soups this past January.
DETROIT, March 27, 2018 — Representatives from 22 area charities accepted checks totaling nearly $1.25 million on Tuesday from donations raised at Mitch Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon last December.
The ceremony at the Fisher Building, which included six first-time recipients, has become S.A.Y. Detroit’s favorite day of the year, said Albom, who distributed the funds to the benefitting charities with Dr. Chad Audi and representatives from major sponsor organizations, and supporters. Audi is president of the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, which is S.A.Y. Detroit’s operating partner.
“It’s really the generosity of the people who gave to our Radiothon — some even $5 or $10 contributions, all the way up to large corporate gifts — that we are sharing with worthy charities around Detroit,” said Albom, who founded the S.A.Y. Detroit nonprofit in 2006. “It’s our honor and pleasure to do so each year.”
Funds were distributed to the following charities:
- S.A.Y Detroit Play Center, $565,000
- S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic, $300,000;
- Working Homes Working Families, $100,000;
- S.A.Y. Detroit Tomorrow Fund (endowment), $100,000;
- College for Creative Studies/Detroit Dream Scholars, $30,000;
- Cass Community Social Services, $25,000;
- Bing Youth Institute, $10,000;
- Humble Design, $10,000;
- Westside Cultural & Athletic Club, $10,000;
- COTS/Bright Beginnings, $10,000;
- SASHA Center, $10,000;
- Michigan Veterans Foundation, $10,000;
- LA SED INC., $10,000;
- *Notes for Notes, $7,500;
- Real Life My Music, $7,500;
- *D2N/EVO Detroit, $7,500;
- United Sisters of Charity/Mother Batie’s Kitchen, $6,000;
- Hole in the Roof Foundation/*Grace Episcopal, $5,000;
- Veterans Matter, $5,000;
- *Art Road, $5,000;
- *Friendship Circle/Farber Soul Center, $5,000;
- JVS, $5,000;
- *Buckets of Rain, $3,000.
(* Denotes 1st-time recipient).
Albom also announced the expansion of S.A.Y. Detroit’s Board of Directors. The 11 members are: Dennis Archer, Cynthia Ford, Carmen Harlan, Judge Damon Keith, Rob Orley, Al Papa, David Provost, Charles Rothstein, Arn Tellem, Albom and Audi. A new advisory board will be announced soon.
“We’re so pleased to form the expanded board of S.A.Y. Detroit, which reflects a wide range of backgrounds, expertise and history,” Albom said. “I’m proud to be working with them and have great confidence that they will help steer S.A.Y. Detroit into the future and even greater level of effectiveness to help the needy in our city.’’
The 2018 Radiothon is Dec. 6 at the Somerset Collection in Troy.
S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic Receives Donated Coats
Highland Park, MI: Lisa Dunn’s act of charity was inspired by another charity that popped up, literally, right down the road from her popular Deja Vu, an upscale designer resale boutique in Franklin.
“When I saw the Detroit Water Ice Factory store in the Franklin Cider Mill parking lot this summer as a pop up, I decided to call to inquire who was behind this fun and great idea,” Dunn said. “Turns out it was Mitch Albom. This did not surprise me due to all his philanthropic work he does for Detroit, so I decided I would have a coat drive and donate all of the coats to S.A.Y. Detroit.”
Dunn collected nearly 30 coats during her two-month campaign, and last Friday (Dec. 15) the items found a home thanks to Dr. Peggy Richardson, medical director of the S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic in Highland Park. A “holiday store’’ was set up in a meeting room that was outfitted with a mirror and Christmas decorations so the clinic’s female patients can shop for their free coats in style.
Richardson and her staff, including Dr. Keyshia Covington, plan to distribute the coats in the coming days.
“The background of S.A.Y. Detroit really inspired me, and for our first event, I think it was a huge success!’’ Dunn said.
Of the nearly 30 skilled tradespeople who comprise the Detroit Muscle Crew II, Greg Peterson stands out in the crowd.
It’s not just his commitment to volunteerism; each and every member of the DMCII team donates their services.
It’s what Peterson does. His company — Eco-Sound Pest Management — is the only one among the group that’s devoted to pest-control management.
So when S.A.Y. Detroit reached out last month to see if he could assist our Working Homes/Working families charity, Peterson not only donated his time, but all the materials needed to complete the job. Eco-Sound is based in Birmingham.
Why the generous donation?
Peterson said it was simply because he was happy to get a call for help and be of assistance.
On behalf of Detroit Muscle Crew II founder Mitch Albom — and all of S.A.Y. Detroit — we thank you, Greg, for your services!
Broadcast live for fifteen hours from The Somerset Collection in Troy, MI, the annual tradition once again proved—with every call, guest interview, and click of the “donate” button—that giving truly is living.
The funds raised help the poor, the homeless, families without homes, children without medical care, students hoping to reach the college of their dreams and veterans who have hit hard times through a daycare center, a free clinic for homeless children and their mothers, a veterans center, a motivational learning center, scholarships, and a housing program for working families.
As Mitch Albom wrote in his recent column, “It’s easy to get cynical at the holidays. We mock how we can care so much a few weeks each December, and be so callous the rest of the year. I don’t see it that way. I see December as who we really are, and the rest of the year as the time we need to remind ourselves of it.”
Thank you for showing us who you are—generous donors, caring volunteers, and a grateful community who have a vested interest in seeing things improve in Detroit.