News & Updates from S.A.Y. Detroit

S.A.Y. Detroit and Cooper Standard Join Forces Again at Morningside Community Park

S.A.Y. Detroit and Cooper Standard Join Forces Again at Morningside Community Park

S.A.Y. Detroit teamed up once again with the Cooper Standard Foundation to expand the playground it built back in 2016. It is the same eastside Detroit community where Working Homes/Working Families has rebuilt and given away 9 homes to needy families.

Dozens of employees from Cooper Standard returned to the Morningside neighborhood to add another section of playground equipment this afternoon. The playground is located on Three Mile Road, between Munich and Waveney streets. On hand were Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom.

Albom said: “This project is a shining example of our commitment to benefit families and beautify the neighborhood.”

S.A.Y. Detroit’s Working Homes/Working Families initiative places working families in need of housing into refurbished homes. In this neighborhood, it has been a collaborative effort involving S.A.Y. Detroit, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, Cooper Standard and Dow. Hundreds of Cooper Standard and Dow employees have volunteered in helping with the project.

“It is part of the long-term commitment we have to both the Working Homes/Working Families charity and this neighborhood”, said Keith Stephenson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Cooper Standard.

Highlight reel from last year’s build (created by Cooper Standard):

S.A.Y. Play Center Gets Spruced Up

S.A.Y. Play Center Gets Spruced Up

When the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park reopens after the Fourth of July, the students enrolled for the summer session will enjoy a fresh start — in more ways than one.

Nearly 40 A Time to Help volunteers spent last Saturday morning (June 24) giving the inside of the facility a scrub-down, while another group tackled the center’s vast campus, including weeding and picking up trash along the fence lines. (more…)

Pop-up DWIF Up & Running Thanks to DMCII

Pop-up DWIF Up & Running Thanks to DMCII

Bloomfield Hills — If you happen to stop by the Detroit Water Ice Factory’s new pop-up location this summer at the Franklin Cider Mill, you’ll see the handy work of your Detroit Muscle Crew II.

All you have to do is take a look around.

The scoop: A team of DMCII members came together shortly before Memorial Day and put up the large tent on the parking lot at the cider mill. It wasn’t as easy as it looks. There was some craftsmanship going on to make the whole thing come together, with volunteers Jack Galopin and a few member members of Scott Albaugh’s masonry team, combined with a huge assist from Richard Krus of Midas Shelby Township.

The pop-up location at the cider mill, which is closed for the summer, will be open through the third week of August.

The DWIF, founded by author and columnist Mitch Albom, opened in downtown Detroit in August 2015. All profits support Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit charity, which helps Detroiters in need. The cider mill’s picturesque scenery makes it the perfect spot for a pop-up, so come visit us this summer!

DMC Update 4 from St. Anthony’s: Phase 1 Completed;  Carpenters, painters needed for Phase 2

DMC Update 4 from St. Anthony’s: Phase 1 Completed; Carpenters, painters needed for Phase 2

DETROIT — It has been a few weeks since your last Detroit Muscle Crew II update about the work being done at the Cathedral of St. Anthony in Detroit, and it’s time to get you up to speed.

And give you major plaudits.

And ask for more help.

As you’ve been reading since mid-spring, the Cathedral of St. Anthony was the recipient of a $5,000 donation from S.A.Y. Detroit’s Hole in the Roof Foundation for window replacement as well as other repairs at its food and clothing pantry which serves thousands of homeless and impoverished residents each year.

Thanks to members of our volunteer Detroit Muscle Crew II, 18 new glass block window units were installed, along with a new door, while four others were adjusted throughout the rectory.

So many wonderful people stepped up to make this project a success thus far. In fact, they’re so good that St. Anthony reports that it has approximately $3,500 left from its donation, and would like your help to replace some of its 100-year-old doors on the other side of the building that might need to be custom-built (more on that in a bit).

But back to the first phase of the project.

Thanks to the leadership of Mike Stephanoff, who logged more than 40 volunteer hours on the project — from getting the best deal on 18 glass block units and organizing the crew, to fabricating and welding a steel grate himself for the pantry door — St. Anthony is now able to carry out its work in a much-improved setting.

New Door at St. Anthony's Church Donated by Jon Krebs of the Madison Heights Glass Company in Ferndale, MIThe topper? The door that you see in the photo was donated to Mike for the project by Jon Krebs of the Madison Heights Glass Company in Ferndale. The value of the door was $1,000. Thank you Jon!

In addition, John’s Lumber donated the plywood, rigid foam, caulk and shims purchased for the project (value: $208.23). Thank you Bill Brys and Chuck Diel!

Of course, the project couldn’t have come together without Scott Albaugh, owner of Albaugh Masonry. Scott sent over his team of masonry professionals to tackle the window mortar work on installation day. Their total number of hours logged was 34.

The other members of Mike Stephanoff’s crew: Ron LaBarge (33.5 hours), Al Colcernian (17.5), Joe Ferrara (15.5), Roy Seton (8.5) and Tom Stephanoff (4). Muscle Crew member Jim Primeau also came out a twice during the project to lend a hand.

Thank you all!

But we’re not done yet.

We’re looking for a few carpenters and painters to finish the project. The job would entail replacing rotted side doors at the church and painting or staining them. St. Anthony will pay you for the materials with the funding that remains from the donation. But they need help from the Muscle Crew with the physical part of the project.

Since we want to get this done quickly, please contact Jim Penrod directly at the church. He’s the clothing and food pantry coordinator at St. Anthony; his cell phone number is 586-206-3827. Just so you know, he will check with us first to make sure the volunteers are registered Muscle Crew II members before proceeding. If you haven’t yet signed up to volunteer, you can do so here.

Once again, thank you for your generosity! And don’t forget to visit your Detroit Muscle Crew II page at

DMC Update 3 from St. Anthony’s: Skilled Tradespeople Come Together

DMC Update 3 from St. Anthony’s: Skilled Tradespeople Come Together

DETROIT/MAY 12 – Only when the church bells rang out at noon did the Detroit Muscle Crew II team of volunteers take a break.

The crew spent the day on Friday volunteering their labor at the Cathedral of St. Anthony on Detroit’s east side replacing and installing more than a dozen glass block windows around the church’s food and clothing pantry.

The window installation was the first phase of the work that’s being done at the church that feeds and clothes hundreds of poor and homeless people each year. St. Anthony received a $5,000 donation from A Hole in the Roof Foundation from funds raised at the 2016 Mitch Albom S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon. Those funds are being used for materials; the Muscle Crew is supplying the labor.

The St. Anthony project is being led by Mike Stephanoff, president of One Step Home Solutions, who on Friday brought four colleagues: Allan Colcernian, Roy Seaton, Ron LaBarge and Tom Stephanoff. His team will return Saturday to install a new door and repair several others with the help of fellow volunteer Joe Ferrara.

Supplying a major assist replacing and installing the windows Friday was Albaugh Masonry. The company graciously donated the services of four of its employees: Ray Beebe, Simon Albaugh, Eric Sanderson and John Beebe.

Also lending a hand — err, make that some muscle — was Muscle Crew II volunteer Jim Primeau of Oxford.

The spirit of cooperation between the skilled trades professionals was evident throughout the day.

“We divided up the tasks and went to work,” Stephanoff said. “Their (Albaugh Masonry) skill with their trade, well, it’s making this job go exceptionally well.”

Ray Beebe, leader of the Albaugh group, said: “This is so rewarding for us helping out and giving back to the community.”

Bishop Karl Rodig of St. Anthony, said he has been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of the group. Because not all of the funds will be exhausted after the two-day first phase of the project, the Muscle Crew will return in the coming weeks with (he hopes) a painter and a roofer for a few more repairs.

“There’s no words,” Rodig said. “We save, May through October, to pay for our winter heating. What a good crew, good idea, this is. We are very thankful.”

Tent raising a success at Franklin Cider Mill

Tent raising a success at Franklin Cider Mill

On short notice on Monday, volunteers from the Detroit Muscle Crew II and the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries gathered to erect a tent that will be used this summer for S.A.Y. Detroit’s satellite location of the Detroit Water Ice Factory.

Special thanks go to Scott Albaugh of Albaugh Masonry, who sent three of his summer employees to the Franklin Cider Mill in Bloomfield Hills, where the tent was raised. Fellow Muscle Crew team member Jack Galopin drove in from Pinckney to help. Thanks Jack!

And, as always, big thanks go to Dr. Chad Audi, president of the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries — our operating partner — who sent three people over to lend a hand.

From start to finish, the job took two hours to complete. Thank you volunteers!

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