News & Updates from S.A.Y. Detroit

Tiny Homes, Big Hearts at Cass Community

Tiny Homes, Big Hearts at Cass Community

The painters were on rooftops and ladders. The other crew members filled a dumpster with debris that had been littering a two-block area around Cass Community Social Services’ campus in Highland Park.

The common thread was that they were all volunteers — more than two dozen strong — and all members of Mitch Albom’s A Time to Help team that answered the call to service last Saturday (April 8) to help Cass Community’s Tiny Homes neighborhood. (more…)

S.A.Y. Detroit Stands with Women and Survivors of Sexual Assault

S.A.Y. Detroit Stands with Women and Survivors of Sexual Assault

Today marks the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a campaign to increase S.A.Y. Detroit has taken to raise public awareness about the realities of sexual assault and violence, and to educate about how to prevent it.

Mitch Albom and S.A.Y. Detroit have taken a very visible stand on this and support organizations that help survivors of rape and sexual assault, and take active measures in the education about and prevention of such crime. At last month’s press conference distributing the funds raised during the 2016 Radiothon, three organizations were featured that directly work in this area. While many of the issues surrounding rape and sexual assault are intersectional, it is vital to fund and support programs that are particularly focused on supporting survivors.

SASHA Center

A first time recipient, the SASHA Center is a sexual assault services center for rape survivors in Detroit. A former adjunct professor at Marygrove College — and a sexual assault awareness consultant to the NBA — Kalimah Johnson opened the SASHA Center in 2010 after working for 15 years in the Detroit Police Department’s victim assistance program. She noticed there was a big difference in how women got serviced based on how they looked and what their background was. Kalimah created SASHA in part to take shame and guilt away for survivors of sexual assault.

“This gift of $10,000 will assist us in creating sacred and safe spaces for survivors of sexual assault throughout Detroit and add more sessions to our calendar for survivors of sexual assault,” Kalimah explained.

“Particularly, this funding will go towards helping us run our peer educational support groups including transportation to and from group locations, snacks for our meetings, space rental, facilitator training and payment, art supplies for group, and group programs for survivors to learn the significant historical relevance for the full integration of the traumatic experiences they have had as a result of sexual assault. The possibilities are endless!”

Vista Maria

For the second-straight year, S.A.Y. Detroit is supporting Vista Maria, which has been helping young people for more than 130 years. This year we’re pledging funds to help support their Lost Voices program, which offers girls in Vista Maria’s residential care the support to express themselves through music, songwriting and performance. Eminem kick-started their fundraising with a $2,500.00 donation. S.A.Y. Detroit doubled that amount with a $5,000.00 grant.

According to Nicole Lewis, chief marketing and fund development officer at Vista Maria: The Lost Voices program offers two, five-day expressive therapy workshops for approximately 40 girls receiving residential treatment and care at Vista Maria. Many of the youth served in Vista Maria’s residential treatment programs come from impoverished backgrounds and have limited exposure to fine arts and musical education. Most of them are there to escape lives of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Bringing the Lost Voices program to Vista Maria’s campus vastly expands their ability to work through their prior trauma and express themselves through music.

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries’ Dignity Project

Just over two years ago, the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries launched an important program called The Dignity Project to help victims of human trafficking. This program provides safe shelter and loving care to victims, giving them time to address their legal, medical and emotional needs. They received a gift of $10,000.

Detroit Muscle Crew II Ready for Lift Off

Detroit Muscle Crew II Ready for Lift Off

In advance of Saturday’s “official’’ launch of S.A.Y. Detroit’s Detroit Muscle Crew II,  Mitch Albom hosted a pizza party on Thursday night at Emagine Royal Oak to thank the nearly two dozen skilled tradespeople who have embraced his call to volunteer service.

“Because of you, we’re going to make a difference in our community,” Albom said. (more…)

Fun and Games at COTS

Fun and Games at COTS

A Time to Help’s third project of the year on Saturday (March 25) benefited a group that needed a morning to relax and have fun: Women and children involved with COTS and its Bright Beginning Child Development Center.

For more than two hours, more than two dozen A Time To Help volunteers played games with the children during a “Family Fun Day’’ in the cafeteria at COTS’ family-only emergency shelter.

The event was hosted and kicked off by S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom and Ken Brown, Albom’s radio show co-host.

“We thank Mitch Albom and his volunteers who came in for our Family Fun Day,” said Konah Kolleh, COTS volunteer and stewardship coordinator. “Because of your giving back, our families were able to focus on having fun and not on what they’re going through in their transition. This gave the parents a break.

“I was talking to one mom, and she said she hadn’t seen her child since she got here – and that’s a good thing because her child was playing a game with one of your volunteers. Today was a day where the parents could sit back, relax, and breathe — and for the kids to be kids.

ATTH’s next project will be held April 8 at Cass Community Social Services.

Pin It on Pinterest