News & Updates from S.A.Y. Detroit Play

(Motown Soup)ing Up Meals at S.A.Y. Play!

(Motown Soup)ing Up Meals at S.A.Y. Play!

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.
Sharing the Giving: More than $1 Million Given to Detroit Charities

Sharing the Giving: More than $1 Million Given to Detroit Charities

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.

Michigan Masons Strengthens Commitment To S.A.Y. Detroit

Michigan Masons Strengthens Commitment To S.A.Y. Detroit

Charity in, charity out.

Proving its commitment is stronger than ever, members of the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation presented S.A.Y. Detroit its second installment check of $500,000 on Wednesday (Nov. 8).

Led by Michigan Masons Grand Master Josh Woodwyk, a team of Masons representatives — including past Grand Master Bill Finkel, and Walt Wheeler, executive director of the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation — spent part of the afternoon visiting the S.A.Y. Play Center at Lipke Park, one of S.A.Y. Detroit’s major programs.

The group met many members of the center, including a trio of young women who debuted a song that they helped write called “Let’s Love’’ accompanied by Notes for Notes program director Dustin Slater on the keyboard.

S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom and S.A.Y. Play executive director Mike Tenbusch guided the Michigan Masons — who are in the second-year of a long-term partnership with the nonprofit — on a tour of the facility, and updated the group on S.A.Y. Detroit’s progress during the past year. The group was also presented with an autographed Matthew Stafford football.

“It was terrific hearing the students tell their personal stories about what the center means to them,” Woodwyk said.

Woodwyk and Wheeler later joined Mitch Albom’s radio show as guests, broadcasted live on Wednesday night from the S.A.Y. Play Center.

Thank you Michigan Masons!

It Was a Summer of Success at S.A.Y. Play

It Was a Summer of Success at S.A.Y. Play

S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center‘s “Summer of Success” was an application-only summer camp devoted to promoting campers’ social and emotional learning and physical health. The morning health and wellness programming addressed the building of five core competencies —

  • self-awareness
  • social awareness
  • self-direction
  • decision-making
  • relationship building

around S.A.Y. Play’s  4 core values: LOVING, HARD WORK, EXCELLENCE, RELATIONSHIPS. Each day we worked the soul and worked the body, and events included a family team olympics, mini robotics camp, writing workshops, large and small discussion groups, and field trips to community pools, activity centers, museums, and the Detroit Zoo.

Counselors were employed by Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT), a citywide summer jobs program that employs young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 across the city. Programming for our GDYT counselors and older Summer of Success campers included college prep sessions, visits to startup hubs in the heart of Detroit, and college tours in the state and a weekend trip to Washington, D.C. to visit Howard and Georgetown universities.

Check out the highlights at Part 1 |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4 | Part 5 | DC Tour


S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center Awarded FIRST Grant

S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center Awarded FIRST Grant

S.A.Y. Detroit is proud to announce that the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center has again been chosen as a recipient of a FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant. The annual grants are given to underserved and underrepresented communities to support the development of new, innovative approaches to address equity, inclusion and diversity inequalities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). The grants are directed to facilitate hands-on learning and problem-solving opportunities

One of 17 winners, S.A.Y. Play will expand its robotics programs to include its first FIRST LEGO League Jr. team and add additional FIRST® Tech Challenge teams. The grant will also allow S.A.Y. Play to recruit additional coaches and host robotics competitions in its community.

S.A.Y Play initiated its first robotics program in September 2016 with five teams: Steam Team, Robot Warriors, Panthers, Jaguars, and Huskies. Steam Team and Robot Warriors are FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams are middle and high school-aged students (grades 7-12) challenged to design, build, program, and operate a robot to play a floor game against other teams’ creations in an alliance format to develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles. Their participation grants them access to college scholarships. Our three FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams range grades 4-8 and are tasked with researching a real-world problem and design, build, and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a table-top playing field.

Volunteers from Frog Force 503 of Novi High School provide invaluable FIRST program and technical expertise as mentors and coaches. Drawing from our experience as a partner with Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Frog Force helped design a build space, purchase tools and equipment, register teams and apply for grants. Frog Force also provided pre-season workshops, an open house, coach training, mentor support and team mentorship., work collaboratively with other organizations to add STEM learning as a natural extension of the center’s mission to help at-risk students graduate from high school, go on to college, and ultimately compete for great jobs.

In addition to participating in their first qualifying events in the Fall of 2016, our FIRST teams hosted “Warriors Revenge,” their first invitational at S.A.Y. Play in May of 2017. S.A.Y. Play will join Frog Force 503 in hosting the 2017-2018 Detroit Kickoff event on September 9th. FTC teams will learn the challenge game and attend key workshops. Details and registration here.

FIRST®, which stands for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology was founded by Dean Kamen in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people.

TV Donation to S.A.Y. Play Center Spearheaded by Michigan Masons

TV Donation to S.A.Y. Play Center Spearheaded by Michigan Masons

S.A.Y. Detroit is proud of its partnership with the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation. That’s why a friend of the Michigan Masons is a friend of S.A.Y. Detroit!The staff and students at the S.A.Y. Play Center at Lipke Park this week were thrilled to receive a flat screen television and sound system that was donated by retired U.S. Navy Capt. Doug McDonald and his wife Kathy. McDonald is president of the Motor City Veteran’s Village. Check out the full story at » 

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