Last month, five Detroit families were surprised to find everything they needed for their holiday celebration sitting in front of their homes courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers and Meijer.
The families, who would have struggled to fund a similar holiday experience on their own, were chosen to receive this year’s Hometown Holiday Assist from the Detroit teams through the Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope initiative, which offers services to families with children who wish to break the cycle of poverty to better their lives and find long-term comfort and stability.
“As a longstanding partner of both the Red Wings and the Tigers, we were immediately on board when the teams came to us with the idea of surprising these deserving families,” said Cathy Cooper, Senior Director of Community Partnerships and Giving for Meijer.
“What made it even more special was knowing that, beyond our contribution, much of the funds supporting the surprises came straight from the teams themselves – the players, coaches and front office staff were personally committed to making these families’ holiday wishes come true,” Cathy added. “It just reinforces why we are proud to partner with these teams that clearly share our values when it comes to serving the community.”
The players and team staff personally shopped our Royal Oak store to pick out everything a family might need for a festive holiday. The five families were then surprised outside of their homes with displays of gifts, décor and food, as well as a $200 Meijer gift card and pre-recorded holiday greetings from Red Wings and Tigers players.
The families then got to “pay it forward” by each choosing an organization to receive $1,000 to keep the holiday cheer going. The families chose the Ronald McDonald House, the National Diabetes Association, The Salvation Army and the Samaritas Family Center.
“The magic of this program is that it will reach far-beyond the gifts and food delivered to each home in December,” said Kevin Brown, Director of Community Impact for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. “True to the spirit of balancing giving and receiving, hundreds, if not thousands, of lives will be impacted through the pay-it-forward donations directed by each recipient family to nonprofits near and dear to their hearts.”
You can watch this year’s Hometown Holiday Assist surprises unfold at the video here.