News & Updates from A Time to Help

Backyard Fun at Angels’ Place

Backyard Fun at Angels’ Place

Southfield — The project was special from the start.

More than a half-dozen residents from Angels’ Place — the nonprofit that A Time to Help supported Saturday in Southfield — welcomed the volunteers and stayed until the end, working alongside the group constructing games and painting banners.

For 25 years, Angels’ Place has provided residential homes, community living, support and day programs for persons with developmental disabilities. The nonprofit was founded by five mothers concerned about the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and the needs of their families.

It was ATTH’s first project at Angels’ Place in two years.

“This is one of the most important projects I’ve done this year,” said longtime ATTH volunteer John Boyda. “We have the charity we’re working for, working with us.”

Led by S.A.Y. Detroit and ATTH founder Mitch Albom, and Albom’s radio show co-host Ken Brown, the group worked in the backyard of one of Angels’ Place’s residential homes. It was ATTH’s last project of the summer before resuming in September. The date and location of the next project will be announced in mid-August.

“I really admire the way that he uses his voice to find the people to go to where the most help is needed,” Angels’ Place volunteer coordinator Dawn Bradley said of Albom. “Seeking out need is really what he does, and figuring out how to get it done. We appreciate all the you did for us today.”

More photos:

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…)

Spreading Rocks – And Fellowship – At The Detroit Zoo

Spreading Rocks – And Fellowship – At The Detroit Zoo

Royal Oak — As scores of patrons waited in line Saturday (May 20) to visit the Polk Penguin Conservation Center, more than two dozen A Time to Help Volunteers made their way behind the building to face the project that awaited them at the Detroit Zoo: Spreading thousands of pounds of landscaping rocks.

How’s that song go? Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Led by S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom and his radio show co-host, Ken Brown, the crew worked diligently for nearly three hours clearing debris, shoveling rocks into wheel barrels and, finally, spreading the rocks around shrubs and trees to beautify the area behind the center.

“This group is awesome,” said Matthew Lapshan, who leads the Detroit Zoo’s landscaping staff. “I can’t believe how much they can get done in a short period of time. They went right to work.”

The fellowship among the volunteers is one of the reasons Donna Mesyn of Clinton Township has been supporting ATTH for the last 15 years.

“Of all my experiences, volunteer people are the greatest to be around,” Mesyn said. “I love ATTH. I love we’re getting something accomplished, and the friendships I’ve made. But the best thing is that we don’t have to look for the work to do; it’s assigned to us because of Mitch and his great organization, and the time they put in. It’s a fun way to spend a Saturday.”

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…)

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.

Breaking Records, Helping Others at Gleaners

Breaking Records, Helping Others at Gleaners

Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan has been feeding hungry people and nourishing communities for years. On Saturday (Feb. 18), more than 30 volunteers with Mitch Albom’s A Time to Help initiative contributed to the effort.

The volunteers — which included nearly a dozen National Honor Society students from nearby Fitzgerald High — gathered at Gleaners in Warren to spend the morning repackaging donated frozen carrots into two-pound bags.

Albom divided the group into three teams for a friendly competition to see which one could package the most. By the end of the two-hour shift, all combined, 3,480 pounds of carrots were packaged and boxed. According to Gleaners, the effort will impact nearly 3,000 lives. Working alongside the teams was Ken Brown, Albom’s radio show co-host on WJR (760AM)

“Last year we distributed 35.9 million pounds of food, and we have less than 100 employees,” said Sherree Gerzanics, who works Gleaners as a volunteer coordinator. “If not for the over 48,000 volunteers who came through our doors at all five sites, we couldn’t exist.

“What your group did today was great. We couldn’t do it without you.”

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