Hello Team Life Remodeled,

Every solid nonprofit I know has made substantial organizational pivots in order to best serve their communities during this pandemic. Life Remodeled has made numerous changes in our strategy, including the fact that we’ve received and distributed a total of $446,846 in COVID-19 relief efforts thus far:

  • 1,240 gift cards to black-owned restaurants in Detroit, which benefitted both the recipients and the restaurants (BIG thanks for Serve Foundation for financial support!)
  • Fresh, locally grown produce distributed to 700 families each week
  • Groceries distributed 300 families every other week
  • 8,000 high-quality, washable, reusable masks still being distributed
  • Rent paid for 11 families who live in the Durfee/Central Community
  • Free WiFi access installed on exterior of DIS building for community use
In addition to the above, with school starting next week, Life Remodeled is making further strategic pivots. Prior to COVID-19, only 1.2% of all 3rd through 8th grade students at Durfee were performing at grade level in reading and math. During the stay-at-home order, less than 10% of students participated in distance learning.

As you’re probably aware, there are a number of wealthy American families taking measures to ensure their children receive the highest quality education money can buy during a pandemic, and this includes paying for private teachers. Bottom line, the educational opportunity gap in urban America will widen much worse than it already was before the pandemic.

I’m truly grateful that my family is in a position where my wife is able to homeschool our children this year. However, I know from experience during the stay-at-home order that our two rowdy sons will only stay engaged in online learning for about 13 seconds if my wife isn’t directly encouraging and keeping them accountable.

Personally, I believe that for many children who don’t have the luxury of a stay-at-home parent/guardian (or a private teacher/tutor) to monitor and facilitate their schoolwork, distance learning will equate to “no learning” for their entire 2020-2021 school year. 

That said, Life Remodeled and a number of Durfee Innovation Society tenants (VIP Mentoring, Perfectus Consulting, Cleary University, The Lawn Academy, Repair the World, Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan and the Detroit Youth Choir) will be providing a Safe Center for Online Learning for students and Family Pods to have access to high-speed wifi, desks, technology, exercise and enrichment activities in a supervised environment with large spaces that allow for safe social engagement. 

Several Life Remodeled partners (including Temple Israel) will also provide after-school tutoring, and so far 23 Life Remodeled volunteers have committed to become virtual Big Brothers or Big Sisters with a Durfee student for one year!

If you’d like to become more involved in any of the activities mentioned above, please let me know. It takes a village! 

Grateful for YOUR Passion to Help Ensure Detroit Families have Access to Opportunities,