More than 2,500 GM volunteers put on work gloves, work boots and safety glasses and headed for the Cody Rouge community for the company’s week-long volunteer event July 24-28.
Volunteers came from all levels of GM’s Detroit operation including Chairman Mary Barra, who spent time working in the community.
Besides painting, cleaning, gardening and doing some rehabbing, TeamGM Cares volunteers also donated their time and talent at a new STEM Camp for 2nd-5th graders that will help spark curiosity in science, technology and math education. The program was created in partnership with the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) and Michigan Science Center in the effort.
“Strong schools and neighborhoods are crucial to Detroit’s continued turnaround and the Cody Rouge community is a model to emulate,” says Heidi Magyar, director of GM community outreach. “Our employees are passionate and committed to working with residents to create a safer, sustainable neighborhood where families and businesses can thrive.”
GM employees also tackled the following:
- Painting and refreshing two murals at Dixon Elementary and Mann Elementary schools
- Building improvements, cleaning and painting at Cody High School, Dixon, Mann and Henderson elementary schools
- Bike path, trail and bridge clean-up and gardening at Rouge Park, the neighborhood jewel. Employees are also creating a non-invasive walking path through a 40-acre butterfly sanctuary and prairie
- Home rehabilitation projects, including board-ups/clean-ups and backyard landscaping
- Joy Road clean-up to enhance Cody’s primary business corridor (from Southfield to Evergreen)
In addition, staffing supplier Aerotek hosted a job fair for Cody residents, featuring mock interviews and coaching, resume critiquing, career advice and more. Aerotek fills job openings in engineering, skilled trades, customer service and general labor
The GM volunteers were joined by volunteers from Quicken Loans and DTE Energy.
Two hundred Quicken Loans team members participated in the STEM Camp, and an additional 200 Title Source team members assisted in Cody High School’s clean up and restoration.
DTE Energy deployed its Mobile Customer Care Unit to answer questions from volunteers and residents regarding home energy service on vacant and occupied homes targeted for clean-up efforts throughout the week. In addition, DTE sent its company mascot “Louie the Lightning Bug” to greet children participating in the STEAM Camp and share electrical safety messages.
The Cody Rouge community, under the leadership of the Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance (CRCAA), developed a 10-year vision to transform in several key areas including neighborhood stabilization, safety and security and youth development.
Continuing to support this vision, in May, GM, The Skillman Foundation, Quicken Loans and DTE Energy teamed up with the CRCAA to announce a unique community engagement model in Cody Rouge – a private-public partnership. Businesses, non-profit, philanthropy and residents are collaborating to create a stronger, more sustainable impact. While sharing a passion for Detroit, each brings different specialties and expertise to the table.
Also this year volunteers from Herman Miller and Green Standard, GM’s partners in the rePurpose office transformation program, are renovating classrooms with furniture, equipment and supplies recycled from GM’s Global Technical Center renovation in Warren, Mich.
Other partners include SPE Detroit, PlastiVan, SAE International and OakPointe Church in Novi.
The CRCAA and Skillman Foundation supported all aspects of the event, and continue to serve a vital role as the link to the residents.
Lead photo: GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra volunteers with employees in Detroit’s Cody community. Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors