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Happy Thanksgiving to the Kent Family
by Jeff VanderLaan, CEO
This year, we’re grateful for so much at Kent Companies. We’re thankful that you share your time and talent with us every day, and we’re thankful that you choose to be a part of the Kent Companies team. I wish you and your family and friends a Happy Thanksgiving!
Dean Stacer – 25 Years of Service
Congratulations to Business Development Manager Dean Stacer, who was recognized for 25 years of service at Kent Companies. Dean was recognized at the Division 810/Division 3310 end of year team meeting. Dean has been a long-standing and loyal member of the team, and has contributed to our business development and growth across East Michigan.
The NSO Tumaini Center – Detroit, MI
Submitted by Liz Schwendemann, Administrative Assistant
Giving back to the local community is a big part of our team culture at Kent Companies. The Redford team recently spent a day volunteering with the Neighborhood Services Organization Tumaini Center, and we gained so much from the experience.
In Swahili, the word “Tumaini” means “hope.” The Tumaini Center is NSO’s crisis support center for the chronically homeless. The Tumaini Center is the only 24-hour walk-in center in the city of Detroit. It serves among the most vulnerable individuals in our community, including those with behavioral issues that would make it unlikely for them to be accepted in traditional shelters.
Last year, our team passed out care packs and sandwiches. This year, we wanted to work directly with the Tumaini Center’s guests to provide more help. We organized a winter warmth drive in the office, and with the help of the company’s Corporate Grant, we were able to put together 120 care packs filled with one pair of socks, gloves and a winter hat in each.
We didn’t stop there.
We found the Tumaini Center’s online wish list and we were able to provide a few necessities off of that as well. We donated seven gallons and another ten pounds of laundry soap to the facility. We also gave them scarves, non-perishable food items, dish detergent, long underwear, chap stick, toothbrushes and hand warmers. We bought and donated a brand new propane grill, which we used to prepare over 200 meals of hot dogs and chips. Our team provided everything down to condiments; anything left over was donated for future use. The facility is lacking hot water, which threw a bit of a wrench in our plans. We had purchased hot coco with the intention of preparing it when we got there. After several attempts to get hot water, 4 of our team members (Lamont Hardge, Tim Redwood, Dean Stacer and Storm Waterson) walked to the local grocery store and picked up 10 gallons of juice to bring back to the facility to ensure that everyone got a proper meal.
And because no one here believes in idle hands, we all took turns both serving food and drinks to the clients at the Tumaini Center and picking up trash inside and outside of the center. From the yard alone we picked up four full bags of trash, and then some. We did our best to create a positive impact and leave the center better than we found it.
We also gave out hugs, gratitude for the opportunity and respect whenever we could. I think that’s what I’m most proud of. I wish everyone could have seen our team in action. They went above and beyond for this event. It had some of the clients asking us “But didn’t you just come here to serve food?” Our response was just that we came here to help them out.
After the event, we came back and had a long discussion on how this impacted us, not only as Kent Companies employees, but as people. We all had a lot to reflect on from this day. For me, I know now that I’ve found my place in the sun. I’m exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I should be doing at this point in my life.
There was a lot to be said. But one thing’s for sure – we all want to continue working with these people. Be it through Kent Companies Gives Back, or as individuals. We’re all looking at ways that we can go back and offer more of our time and efforts with the Tumaini Center.
To learn more about the NSO Tumaini Center, visit them online: https://www.nso-mi.org/homeless-recovery-services.html or access a wish list: https://www.nso-mi.org/nso-wish-lists.html
Kent Companies Gives Back is our employee-driven charitable contribution program. A portion of this project was made possible by a corporate grant to give back in our local community. Learn more about Kent Gives Back here: https://www.kentcompanies.com/our-story/in-the-community/