Detroit is like most major cities in the country, trying to respond to escalating needs during an economic downturn with dwindling resources. But, Detroit has a long history of rebounding in times of adversity through the strength and goodwill of its people and their associations – faith-based, grassroots, nonprofits, corporations, neighborhood associations, and community block clubs. There is no city more prepared than Detroit to answer the call to service and community engagement. Tens of thousands of Detroiters volunteer every year during the annual spring cleanup in the fall for the Angels’ Night campaign.
The Bing Administration recognizes that young or old, everyone has something to give, and in January 2010, Detroit joined nine other cities in accepting the Cities of Service Leadership Grant. Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the grant was awarded to Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, Newark, Omaha, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Sacramento, Savannah, and Seattle. These cities were charged with the responsibility of hiring a Chief Service Officer to support local mayors by leveraging citizen service strategies, addressing local needs, and ultimately making government more effective.
Together, our Chief Service Officer, Annie Ellington, and the Community Access Centers are working to engage local residents and address three areas of priority: community pride, public safety, and youth development. There is much to be done. However, Detroit’s service plan, with the commitment of Detroit residents, is focused on having a long-term impact on our city. To participate in volunteer opportunities in Detroit and learn more about Detroit’s service strategy visit believeindetroit.org