Mission: To improve the lives of Detroit's neediest citizens.
About the Organization: SAY Detroit began with A Time to Help, an initiative launched in 1997 by Mitch Albom — author of the best-selling memoir Tuesdays with Morrie — that supported monthly volunteer projects aimed at assisting those in need and promoting unity in the metropolitan Detroit area. In 2006, Albom established SAY Detroit in partnership with the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries; today the organization serves as an umbrella organization for initiatives that provide health care, afterschool programs, scholarships, housing, and other services for homeless and underserved families, seniors, and veterans.
Current Programs: SAY Detroit-supported initiatives for children include the Bright Beginnings Infant and Child Development Center, a free daycare program run jointly with COTS and Ilitch Charities; the SAY Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park, which features a digital learning and tutoring center, offers an integrated academic, arts, and athletic afterschool program, and encourages students to commit to earning a 3.0 GPA; and the Dream Scholars program, which awards four-year scholarships to talented students interested in studying at the College for Creative Studies. The SAY Detroit Family Health Clinic provides underinsured women with free preventive health care, physical therapy, nutrition assistance, and healthcare coaching; the Working Homes/Working Families program recruits volunteers to refurbish donated homes for homeless families; and the Hole in the Roof Foundation raises funds to help faith-based organizations serving the homeless and victims of disasters with building repairs.
COVID-19 Response: In response to the pandemic, the organization launched Detroit Beats COVID-19! and, though the initiative, has created a mobile testing center, delivered meals to two thousand home-bound seniors, provided members of the SAY Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park with meals and remote learning, supported a quarantine center for the homeless, and funded protective wear and supplies as well as meals for first-responders. One hundred percent of donations in support of the initiative are directed to COVID-19 response efforts.
Website: Visitors to the SAY Detroit site can learn more about the organization's many initiatives and projects; learn more about volunteering for a monthly project, becoming a coach, helping out at the clinic, and/or joining the Detroit Muscle Crew II, a group of tradespeople people who help refurbish houses and tackle other physical maintenance projects around the city. Visitors can also donate to the Detroit Beats COVID-19! fund, to the Tomorrow Fund, and/or to the organization itself.
Funding: SAY Detroit is supported by individuals, foundations, and corporations.