It’s Not So Cold in the D: Mittens for Detroit

It’s Not So Cold in the D: Mittens for Detroit
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Image courtesy Mittens for Detroit.

With the news of Detroit filing for bankruptcy, it is important to be reminded of all the great and uplifting things still happening in the city. Mittens for Detroit is an initiative of passion, as so many vital projects are to any city. “We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and our sole purpose is to put new and unused gloves and mittens onto the hands of children and adults in Detroit,” explains Wendy Shepherd, Executive Director.

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Cummings with employees at an ACO store, one of the largest collection box locations and supporters. Photo courtesy Mittens for Detroit.

Over the last three years, over 40,000 mittens and gloves have been donated or purchased from donations and given out to the Detroit community through the dozens of charities the group supports. Entering into their fourth year, Mittens for Detroit has decided to add a second tier to their work toward supplying mittens to those in need. “This year, in addition to our regular community initiative and collection, we have a special project – we are purchasing new gloves for every 11th and 12th grader in Detroit Public Schools,” explains Shepherd.

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Cummings with Paws, Detroit Tigers’ Mascot… along with mittens! Photo courtesy Mittens for Detroit.

Mittens for Detroit was the brainchild of Erin Cummings in 2010 while the actress was starring on Detroit 1-8-7, and relocated to the area. “She fell in love with Detroit, and she saw this as a project that could warm hearts, two hands at a time,” explains Shepherd. It is a simple thing, having warm hands, but there are so many that struggle all the time to fulfill the other essentials in life. Cummings saw the opportunity to help make a few lives a little warmer with a new pair of gloves. There has been overwhelming community response to help make that thought a reality. “Erin Cummings is by far the biggest Detroit booster I know. She has adopted Detroit and Michigan as her second home, and truly believes in the power of this community initiative to make a great difference,” explains Shepherd.

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Just of a few of the very generous charity knitters who are part of the Mitten Club at PK Yarn Over Knit in Clawson. Photo courtesy Mittens for Detroit.

With the addition of this year’s DPS initiative, Mittens for Detroit is looking to distribute 6,200 pairs of mittens by utilizing an online donation campaign to raise the $20,000 necessary to purchase them. Broner Hats and Gloves out of Auburn Hills, Michigan has graciously volunteered to support Mittens for Detroit’s efforts by selling the gloves for the initiative at less than wholesale. The plan is to distribute the gloves and mittens on November 1, 2013. To donate, follow this link.

Follow this link to find a location to drop off mittens. As well, find out more about Mittens for Detroit on their website, Facebook, or follow them on Twitter. What other awesome initiatives are out there keeping communities warm in the winter? We love Mitten Love!

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I was raised in vacation-land, Traverse City, where I was one of the lucky ones to enjoy the beach in the summer and snowboard through the winters. Then, I went to college and lived in East Lansing and Lansing, where I learned about sports and getting things done. Now I'm quite honestly falling head over heels for Detroit. I solemnly believe that life is too short for bad coffee, yucky wine, and poorly crafted beer. This means that Michigan is the perfect place for me! My spare time is spent reading or exploring the outdoors. E-mail me: joanna@awesomemitten.com.