What a way to start 2018: Approaching its second year, the Detroit Muscle Crew II is pleased to announce that seven new members have joined our team.
Please welcome the following volunteers to our crew of dedicated skilled trades people and do-gooders: Ken Peterson, Tabitha Mendez, Lonnie Ware, Rich Dixon, Jacklyn Carrico, Kimberly Johnson and Mary Deridder.
Created by S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom in March 2017, the DMCII is a group of volunteers who give their time to support structural and physical maintenance projects for S.A.Y. Detroit’s umbrella of nonprofits.
Last year’s projects included repairing and replacing windows and doors at the Cathedral of St. Anthony’s food and clothing pantry in Detroit; installing trim at the Detroit Water Ice Factory in downtown Detroit (and helping construct its summer pop-up location in Franklin); performing maintenance work on several transportation vehicles used at the S.A.Y. Play Center; landscaping a fence line at the S.A.Y. Play Center, and donating pest control services for Working Homes/Working Families.
This year’s projects will be begin this spring, so please watch your inbox for messages.
Of the nearly 30 skilled tradespeople who comprise the Detroit Muscle Crew II, Greg Peterson stands out in the crowd.
It’s not just his commitment to volunteerism; each and every member of the DMCII team donates their services.
It’s what Peterson does. His company — Eco-Sound Pest Management — is the only one among the group that’s devoted to pest-control management.
So when S.A.Y. Detroit reached out last month to see if he could assist our Working Homes/Working families charity, Peterson not only donated his time, but all the materials needed to complete the job. Eco-Sound is based in Birmingham.
Why the generous donation?
Peterson said it was simply because he was happy to get a call for help and be of assistance.
On behalf of Detroit Muscle Crew II founder Mitch Albom — and all of S.A.Y. Detroit — we thank you, Greg, for your services!
But in the eyes of Mike Stephanoff, finished didn’t necessarily mean completed.
The DMCII volunteer and owner of One-Step Home Solutions, learned after the project that the front doors to the church desperately needed to be replaced. They were rotting, unsightly — and 115 years old.
So he contacted Bishop Karl Rodig and Jim Penrod, who directs St. Anthony’s food and clothing pantry, and delivered three simple but golden words: “I’ll help you.”
Foundation funds depleted, Stephanoff developed his own fundraising plan and began spreading the story about a small church on Sheridan Street in Detroit that does big work, assisting thousands of residents each year.
In just under two months, Stephanoff had raised a total $9,609 in donations. And on Sept. 29 the possible happened: four new front doors to the church were installed. Thanks to Stephanoff’s generous heart, he and his crew once again donated their time and services to St. Anthony for free.
How’d he do it?
“Well, I started contacting customers and one thing led to another,” he said. “Through their kindness, and the kindness of my friends, we were able to get it done.”
Jim Penrod said: “Mike and his crew are amazing, and they do such excellent work.”
Stephanoff isn’t new to volunteering. As a younger man, he frequently donated his time to others in need when he served in the Navy.
“When I answered the call to Mitch Albom’s article (last spring) to join the Muscle Crew, well, it just feels good,” he said.
DETROIT — Doug Watson isn’t a carpenter by trade—he’s a longtime electrician at The Conti Corporation—but he raised his hand anyway when he heard that S.A.Y. Detroit needed some work done at its Detroit Water Ice Factory in downtown Detroit.
The request: Install a third row of trim designed to hold a slew of celebrity photographs at the frozen dessert store at Campus Martius, where all profits benefit Detroit’s neediest citizens under Mitch Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit umbrella of charities.
“I’ve been in the business long enough that I know how to do a lot of different things,” Watson said. “I’m glad that you contacted me, but I’m especially glad that it worked out well.”
The project, which was completed last week, was Watson’s first since joining the Detroit Muscle Crew II last spring after Albom formed the all-volunteer team of skilled tradespeople to help with S.A.Y. Detroit’s physical projects and endeavors. (You can sign up to become a member here.)
Watson said that he had so much fun, and that Albom was so grateful, that he decided to donate the materials for the project himself, a value of $143.
“It was great teamwork all the way around,” Watson said. “Bedrock (which provides the DWIF space for the store) even sent a guy over to help me, because it was a two-person job.”