Helping people get back on their feet
A severe loss can occasionally lead to the discovery of a new purpose, as Chris Casteel discovered. One accident changed his life forever, pushing him into a life of service to others. Award-winning journalist Mitch Albom shared how Chris helps individuals get back on their feet in the heart of Detroit.
The mission to help the Motor City’s most vulnerable population
For today’s “Heart of Detroit” series, Mitch Albom showcased Motor City Mitten Mission. He first visited the charity two years ago when they were primarily focused on providing mats and pillows to our city’s homeless population. On top of that, Motor City Mitten Mission is now helping unsheltered people transition into housing. The challenges for Detroit’s homeless population have changed and Motor City Mission is trying to meet them. It is because of their tireless outreach efforts, that Motor City Mitten Mission is constantly in need for volunteer drivers as well as financial support.
The Detroit organization helping kids discover their brilliant selves
There is an organization here in Detroit that is working in neighborhoods to help local kids discover their brilliant selves. Brilliant Detroit works with local youths to help better their education and opportunities. Mitch Albom profiled the organization back in 2018 for his Heart of Detroit Series. It is now in 13 neighborhoods in the Detroit area and that feat is in no small part due to Cindy Eggleton, the founder of Brilliant Detroit. In the video above, Eggleton spoke to Tati Amare about her organization’s growth and their mission to make sure a zip code does not determine a child’s success.
Bringing the gift of music to Detroit
Music is something that fills and enriches our lives, but not everyone has the opportunity to learn how to create music themselves. Here in Detroit, Crescendo Detroit saw that need and has been working for years to provide that need to inner-city students further education and experience with music. Crescendo Detroit has grown over the years and the program is now in its 4th year with the University of Michigan School Music theatre and dance. Usually the students have an opportunity to travel to Ann Arbor and take lessons and see concerts. Watch the video above to see how Crescendo Detroit is helping in the Heart Of Detroit.
How graffiti is being transformed into beautiful jewelry
Mitch Albom first met with Rebel Nell in 2014, a company that makes the majority of their products out of graffiti. Albom says he was drawn to the company because of their mission to provide employment opportunities to underserved women in Detroit. Since the pandemic began, Rebel Nell started a nonprofit wing of their organization to protect their employees. Each piece from Rebel Nell is one of a kind, and is made out of recycled materials. For more information on Rebel Nell watch the video above.
Heart of Detroit: Rebel Nell jewelry
Back in 2014, we sat down with Amy Peterson and Diana Russell of rebel Nell, the Detroit centric jewelry company that uses graffiti to make beautiful jewelry. What resonated with me is their mission to provide employment opportunities for underserved women in Detroit, many of whom are homeless. Watch the story above. For more information Rebel Nell, visit their website here. More: Heart of Detroit stories
One nurse is helping hundreds of thousands of people in the Heart of Detroit
Her work here in Metro Detroit and around the world has gotten her recognized by outlets like CNN and People Magazine. Najah Bazzy is a woman who saw a need and is now impacting hundreds of thousands of lives. She started a Zaman International out of the back of her van in 1996 and now it has grown to a 40,000 square foot facility in Inkster. Through a voucher program, women have access to free basic needs like food and clothing. Watch the video to see how Mitch Albom shows us exactly how Najah is helping others in the Heart of Detroit.
Heart of Detroit: Najah Bazzy
Najah Bazzy is a nurse who was doing transcultural work at a local hospital after the Gulf War when she met a refugee family living in extreme poverty. “A baby in a laundry basket, hat was dying in a laundry basket,” she said. Food, Clothing, Shelter,” Bazzy said. Through a voucher program, women have access to free basic needs like food and clothing. “I see the human family you know the totality of the human family and if God made somebody the way he made them skin color you know shape,” she said.
What is The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative?
DETROIT The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative is a nonprofit organization in Detroit that works toward social justice and is dedicated to urban agriculture. Mitch Albom reports on the initiative and shows how theyre growing food to feed the community. Watch the video above for the full reportClick here for more Heart of Detroit reports
Bill Birndorf helps serve up thousands of free meals for those in need
DETROIT It started with a simple idea, but now its turned into a juggernaut. Bill Birndorf is helping serve up thousands of free meals for those who need it the most. In 2014, Birndorf volunteered to work at the Say Detroit Radiothon, along with Detroit Rescue Mission. Birndorf had always been charitable with donations but not as charitable with his time. But he partnered with Gleaners to create a mobile program to distribute meals throughout the year at organizations like Focus Hope.
The bags that provide Detroiters with many blessings
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how important basic hygiene products are and how difficult it can be to get them. There is a husband and wife team right here in the heart of Detroit making sure every Detroiter gets these essential. Greg and Sharon Monbleu are the creators of the Blessings Bag Brigade, an organization that delivers bags full of hygiene products for the underprivileged and homeless in Detroit. Greg and Sharon Monbleu spoke to Mitch Albom about their organization. Greg and Sharon say the bags do more than help people in need.
Motown Soup is working to end homelessness in the heart of Detroit
For 15 years Motown soup has been working to end homelessness across the state with their soup and food mixes. Host Kim DeGiulio spoke to Zak and Dan Kennedy two Motown soup volunteers aboutA group of volunteers works to create Motown soup. Most volunteers work full-time jobs, but come together twice a week to prepare and package Motown Soup. This goes along with their overall mission to end homelessness and hunger in the state of Michigan. To learn more visit motownsoup.comWatch the video to see how Motown soup is helping communities around you.
This woman is empowering girls to find their most beautiful selves
This one features a woman who empowers girls to find their most beautiful selves in the Heart of Detroit. Her after-school workshops focus on empowerment topics to help the self-esteem and self-worth of girls in third grade grade and older. Palka said she watches the girls grow before her eyes and knows the classes give them the ability to handle different situations. With the help of partners and 30 volunteers each year, "A Beautiful Me" reaches 1,000 girls. Palka said these classes will not only affect the girls' self-esteem it has helped some improve their grades and promote healthy life habits.
Caring For Cats in the Heart of Detroit
Emily goes out of her way to save the lives of animals that might not make it. Emily has been fostering cats for three years with the Tigerlily Cat Rescue Foundation and around 50 cats have been rescued through her care. For more information on how you can help rescue cats visit www.tigerlilyrescue.com.
Group meets to review local charities in need of funding
DETROIT – What happens when you put more than 100 women in a single room? You get a brilliantly simple way to raise money for local charities. So Nancy Sullivan, Karen Rashid-Balow and Williams started 100+ Women Who Care Motown, a group, 185 strong now, that meets four times a year to review local charities that are in need of funding. So we encourage our members to learn as much as they can about local charities that need funding, because we want to make sure we have good charities to look at that night." As individuals, they make a small impact, but as a group, 100+ Women Who Care Motown is major force in the heart of Detroit.
Program helps create positive school experience for children with autism
DETROIT – Knowing numbers, letters and colors are things that many children with autism excel at, but the social aspect of school is much more difficult. It makes it hard for them on the playground," Stephanie Naberhaus said. "Just when a parent comes to you and says, 'I don't know what we would have done without the Bridges program,'" Stephanie Naberhaus said. It's a path that both Stephanie and Brad Naberhaus hope that all of their students will follow. By creating that first positive school experience for children with autism, Stephanie and Brad Naberhaus are making school cool again in the heart of Detroit.
Heart of Detroit: Detroit Creativity Project
DETROIT – You may not think of Detroit when you think of improv, but Detroit has a thriving improv scene and now Detroit area schools are getting in on the action. The Detroit Creativity Project was founded by working artists who believe that art education is critical for all students. Now running in 10 Detroit-area locations, the project is introducing Detroit youth to a little un-scripted fun. Watch Mitch Albom's report on the project above. Video: Live in the D interview on the Detroit Creativity Project
Bound Together tutoring program caters to 'at risk' Oakland County students
PONTIAC, Mich. – Several parishioners from All Saints Church in Pontiac saw a need for tutoring at a local elementary school 21 years ago. We'll work on their academic skills,'" said Jane Porter, executive director of Bound Together. Tutoring program Bound Together meets three days a week and caters to "at risk" students in Oakland County in first through sixth grades. You know, you give an hour once a week and you see a big difference in a child," Porter said. Carrying on a tradition, Bound Together is creating a world of learning in the heart of Detroit.
Heart of Detroit: Ed Parks of University Prep
Today, University Prep graduates 90 percent of its high schoolers and sends 90 percent of them to college. Ed Parks is the board president of University Prep and a beloved figure around campus. Thanks to a huge grant from a Plymouth couple named Bob and Ellen Thompson, University Prep could focus its resources and teachers and talent. "Small class sizes, college prep type curriculum and obviously teachers with passion," Parks said. He, this and University Prep prove that educational ideals can still fly high in the heart of Detroit.
Heart of Detroit: Martha Goode
DETROIT – Martha Goode could have walked away. What are most of the young girls who come to the Alternatives for Girls looking for? "Really life," said Goode. Week after week, Martha Goode shows young women that such a promise is not empty. And in doing so Martha reveals to them, the heart of Detroit.