The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is asking for donations to help support its ongoing project, Blanket the City: Detroit. Announced in August, the foundation hopes to raise $200,000 nationally and encourage 3,000 volunteer hours in service by Dec. 31, 2009, to support charities serving the Detroit area.
As evidence of the pressure charitable organizations in the Detroit area are experiencing given the current economic conditions, one of the charities CIF originally chose to support has already succumbed to the declining economy. After 172 years in operation, the Children’s Home of Detroit closed its doors at the end of November. Several factors contributed to the closing of the organization, among them a decline in donations.
However, two charities are still being helped by donations from the collision repair industry, Gleaner’s Food Bank and the Downtown Detroit Project.
“Gleaner’s Food Bank is busier than ever,” said Gerald Brisson, executive director of Gleaner’s. “Our food distribution is up 22 percent over last year and last year was a record. We distributed 2.8 million pounds of food in November and will likely top 3 million pounds of food in December.”
The Downtown Detroit Project is called Clean Downtown, which was founded by Roger Penske, chairman of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. The program is staffed by workers from Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit and puts uniformed cleanup crews on downtown streets seven days a week to sweep and power-wash sidewalks, clear trash and remove graffiti. In tandem with this, a homeless outreach program is providing shelter, workforce training and jobs for the less fortunate.
“If every shop in our industry pledged $5, the entire $200,000 goal could be met in one day,” said Jeanne Silver, Gleaner’s Food Bank project chair. “If that effort is duplicated by individuals, suppliers and insurers, the results are limitless.”
To make a tax-deductible donation to the Collision Industry Foundation’s Blanket the City: Detroit Campaign, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation.org and click on “Donations.” Donations marked “Blanket the City” can also be sent by mail to: CIF, P.O. Box 3007, Mechanicsville, VA 23116.