The City of Detroit is gearing up for their annual MotorCity Makeover event, when volunteers from all over the metro area come together to help clean up and beautify the city’s seven districts.
This year, the event is being taken one step further, emphasizing year-round efforts. Themed “MotorCity Makeover 365,” the campaign will promote continued cleanups by handing out supplies year-round and executing larger projects each month during the summer.
“We’re just trying to make it more of a coordinated group effort so everyone can come out, take that sense of pride in their neighborhood, and just do different projects throughout the year, starting with these four months,” says District 7 Deputy Manager Mona Ali.
District managers have already started handing out supplies to volunteers. The event will kick off on May 9, with continued cleanups every Saturday throughout the month.
In June, the city will support beautification efforts by providing 1,500 flats of flowers to registered community groups. July will focus on boarding up 400 vacant homes, and in August, the city will work with volunteers to coordinate safer routes for children of 20 neighborhood schools.
John C. Middleton is a regular volunteer during the yearly cleanup. The senior pastor at New Anderson Temple Ministry Baptist Church on the west side says he enjoys the annual event.
“It allows the city to see right on the frontlines of what our community deals with on a daily basis,” says Middleton. “It also gives the community an opportunity as well to see that our city government also cares.”
Every year, his congregation collaborates with the Plainview Block Club Association to board up homes and clear out vacant lots and alleyways. Middleton says these cleanups are very important for the children and senior citizens of the area.
“We partner together to tackle blight in our area,” says Middleton. “This is an opportunity for the community and the church to come together for a common cause – which is our neighborhood protecting our youth.”
Last year, 8,800 individuals volunteers and 333 groups participated in the MCM, including Quicken Loans and GM. This year, Adient, Greektown Casino, Illitch Holdings, and Penske are joining in on the effort. The city already has raised $51,750 in cash and $22,500 from in-kind donations.
Aside from donations, Ali says the city is welcoming any and all volunteers of any skill set.
“The ideal volunteer is anyone who likes to be a part of a larger project to help unify the community.”