The week of August 15 in the Cody Rouge neighborhood is going to see a ton of volunteers descend upon multiple projects.

2,500 General Motors employees have signed up and will donate their time to board up vacant homes, clean empty lots, spruce up streets and tackle other neighborhood and school improvements.

Cody Rouge is a residential neighborhood on the west side of Detroit, and according to the CRCAA has roughly 35,000 people. The borders are M-153 (Ford Road) on the South to I-96 (Jeffries Freeway) on the North and including Rouge River Park on the West over to Greenfield Road on the East.

Just over the southern border of the neighborhood as defined by CRCAA is the University of Michigan Dearborn and Henry Ford Community College, and to the east is Rouge Park.

The effort is part of a program called teamGM Cares, a company-wide volunteerism initiative that is partnering with the Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance (CRCAA), Cody High School and additional corporate volunteers (more on that in a minute).

This isn’t some top-down program, though. The needs of the local area are being listened to through the CRCAA and residents have been working with GM and The Skillman Foundation since early 2016 to determine the community’s needs and develop plans.

“Our organization has been working for 10 years to create a strong, sustainable community for residents and businesses,” says Kenyetta Campbell, CRCAA executive director. “We are excited to partner with GM to help amplify our work.”

Improvements to Cody High School will include:

  • A concession stand
  • Fitness park
  • Dugout
  • Soccer field
  • Pavilion
  • Also, a complete field cleaning

This isn’t the first go-round for General Motors in the area. Two years ago, they also volunteered in this area.

“GM’s employees made great progress two years ago and now we are returning to work with residents and community leaders to create a safer, sustainable neighborhood where families and businesses can thrive,” said Heidi Magyar, director of GM Community Outreach.

According to information provided by GM, projects from other partners will include:

  • Quicken Loans: Employee volunteers will clean and paint boarded-up vacant structures and renovate the walking path at Rouge Park
  • DTE Energy: Deploying DTE Care Force employee volunteers to support board-up efforts by clearing trees, assessing utilities and service reliability and by planting new trees in the neighborhood
  • The Skillman Foundation: Providing logistical support to all employee volunteers
  • PwC: Cleaning and painting at Cody High School
  • Roncelli, Inc.: Project management oversight
  • Oak Pointe Church: Strong partner of Cody High School providing onsite support

There also is a day of fun in the program. There will be an Employee and Community Family Fun Day on Aug. 20 where residents and employee volunteers will relax over food and music.

Backpacks filled with school supplies will be distributed to neighborhood students at the Fun Day.

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