SAY Play Prepares for School Year with Volunteer Help

September 10, 2023

Fall semester at the SAY Detroit Play Center doesn’t start until mid-September, but it doesn’t mean the building has been devoid of activity.

Far from it.

Out on Stafford Field on Saturday morning, one of SAY Play’s youth football teams was on the field, while inside — and out — volunteers from A Time to Help were scrubbing, sorting, cleaning, mopping, weeding, and much more, helping to prepare the building for its after-school programming.

The morning featured a prolonged visit from SAY Detroit founder Mitch Albom, who welcomed the group and toured the new Kelly and Matthew Stafford & Friends Education Center, which is nearing the end of construction. Scheduled to open in late 2023 or early 2024, the center will allow SAY Play to welcome additional participants and expand its educational and enrichment services.

For Lisa Schmansky, who began volunteering with ATTH a few years ago, the project was fulfilling because of the people SAY Play benefits — Detroit’s underserved youth.

“If I could volunteer every week, I could,’’ she said. “I first got involved after reading Mitch (Albom)’s column, and then started learning more about it. Now that I’m retired, volunteering is something I like to do and (ATTH) exposes you to so many different things and projects.’’ ATTH’s next project is Oct. 14 at Motown Soup. Although the event is listed as full, please join our waiting list and register at