Back 2 School … in 3 Cities

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Our goal this school year was simple… to help at least 3 families with going back to school and making this year one to remember. Through the help of our supporters we were able to do that an more.

In Detroit, we were able to sponsor a family who had recently experience a tragedy

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In Flint we were able to go to a well know community center and walk around engaging people and passing out school supplies (some of which were donated by SDM2 a local non profit with hopes to help inner city youth as well)

In Pontiac, we met up with an elementary teach who has a class full of special needs kids.

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Hearing the stories of those who would be helped was the biggest stand out and though we know that our PUSH was not HUGE, we know that it will start a ripple effect for the more than 25 families we reached.

Here’s to an amazing school year Detroit, Flint, and Pontiac.

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The Power of a Choice

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Everyday, the average person makes about 35,000 choices. To be great, to try, to work hard, to give up, to scroll online, to listen to music, etc. Many people who have lived long enough knows that one choice can affect you for the rest of your life. This was the message the Rufus Sims, the found of Push tried to explain to a few young men in Detroit. Their ages ranged from 13-19, but their possibilities are wide open.

 

He asked the youth a simple question, “What would you do if you knew you could not lose”. The answers ranged from ‘play a sport’ to ‘try to talk to a girl’, but the idea was to get them to realize they only they can get in their own way. There are no excuses that they can use when they understand that they can do whatever they plan and work hard for.

That is the PUSH

Here is what one of the boys said as a recap:

If you would like to book Rufus Sims, the Founder of The Push Network to speak to your youth, please email your request to thepushnetwork@gmail.com

Notable Quote:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t…you’re right” – Henry Ford

Single Parent Awards

Have you ever seen a father, maybe a soccer dad, lugging around a bunch of kids, feeding them, and still trying to keep a smile on his face? Maybe you have seen or know of a mom that works 40+ hrs then still comes home to cook? Well, those are SUPER PARENTS that PUSH focused on blessing during the month of June (2017)

Our goal was to acknowledge them, but also bless them the same way that they bless so many others. Sometimes their efforts go unrecognized, but we wanted them to know they don’t go unnoticed.

So, we put the word out there to have people nominate a hard working parent who deserves a ‘break’. About 10 names were entered, we reached out to them and their references and we found 2 moms that we felt could really use a PUSH:

We met up at a local grocery store and told them to ‘shop until you drop’ … or atleast until we told them to stop :-). Our budget allowed for 2 parents to get whatever they want up to $200. This was a huge blessing and allow one mother to feed her family of 5.

We purchased, we prayed and we PUSHed!

Thank you to all those who gave in their funds and their time to be a blessing!

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2 Cities / 1 Huge PUSH

On a breezy Saturday morning in April (22nd) some of our Detroit PUSHers met to clean up around Central High School in the neighborhood around it. We filled bags with debris, garbage, and other things that had gathered over the years on the corners and in front of homes. Our founder, Rufus Sims was able to talk to some of the neighbors and also receive encouragement say “we need more things like this”.

In the afternoon we drove north to Pontiac in efforts to clean around the old Emerson Elementary school that now closed, had broken glass and other forms of garbage that was affecting the image for the neighbors. There, we gave away flowers to the neighbors and encouraged them to “Keep PUSHing” until they see the change that they want to see.

Until the next event

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Rufus Sims

Founder of The Push Network (Detroit / Pontiac)

Photos for a Good Cause

On Saturday, May 13, we held an open fundraising photo-shoot in Southfield, MI at Inglenook Park. Those who came, did so in high fashion and were only asked to donate money in amount that would benefit the SPA Awards (Single Parent Awards). The SPA Awards is our way of ‘pushing’ a single parent and acknowledging their efforts in the community. This year we are looking to buy groceries to help those in need.

 

Thank you again to all who participating in giving a family a PUSH!

 

-R

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How can T-Shirts Feed a Family

April 27th 2017 marks the beginning of our new fundraiser (also the birthday of the founder) to raise money to feed 2-4 Single Parent families in Detroit and Pontiac. Statistics show that the average family of four in Detroit are living off on $24,000 a year. In addition to that, 74.3% of households in Detroit are single-parent homes.

74.3% of households in Detroit are single-parent homes.

This is something that we cannot just sit by without doing something about. If you know of a family in need, please have them reach out to us at rlsims@thepushnetwork.org .

For our new fundraiser, there are 2 ways that you can support: 1. Donate directly to PUSH and have 100% of the proceeds go towards the fundraiser. You can visit the our fundraiser site here: https://www.youcaring.com/tbd-807705 or you can purchase a T-Shirt and have some of the proceeds go towards our fundraiser.

Visit our T-Shirt page here: https://www.bonfire.com/push-detroit-fundraiser/

 

Neighborhood Spring Cleaning

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The Story

PUSH is an organization dedicated to advancing the cities of Detroit & Pontiac, changing the image that others have of those cities, and acknowledging greatness within them. Our outreach events are geared to strengthen those who live in and around urban areas, to inspire, provide hope, and help those in need.

Being a blessing to these neighborhoods will boost morale and encourage healthy lifestyles to flourish as they should.  Our aim is to beautify our communities by making all things new: picking up trash, delivering fresh flowers and helping to kick off new healthy beginnings by distributing free fruit and vegetables. Your contribution could be the ounce of hope someone needs to restore their souls and awaken their spirits to a fresh new chapter in their life.  Click here to support! 

Lessons I have learned by moving back to Detroit

As many of you know, me and my family moved back to Michigan three months ago with hopes to be a part of the comeback story that is happening and to be around our extended family more. We can when the weather was nice (June) and have been enjoying the Michigan Summer including the parks, city events, water parks, and more. While we are having fun getting adjusted being back ‘home’, there are some things that I wish people would have shared with me before coming back. Those things I have created a list of below as Things I have Learned living in Detroit:

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Lesson #1: Speed limits are merely suggestions

While I am joking when I say that, so many times have I been going 10 mph above the speed limit and somebody else zoomed passed me. Coming from a place where you drive 55 mph on the highway (Hampton Roads, VA), this is a big shock, and one that will take time to get used to.

Lesson #2: Cash is King..Kinda

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It didn’t take me long to find out that many places are not the ‘best’ places to use cash. Whether you are going to the corner store, getting gas, grabbing a bit to eat and many other things; you really want to have cash. The use of credit / debit may be available, but you may not want to leave a trail behind at some of these places if you know what I mean.

Now, the catch to carrying cash in Detroit is that you do not want to carry large bills. By large I will say anything over a $20 bill. Actually, to be safe, carry smaller bills because businesses will complain about breaking those bills.

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Lesson #3: Eating healthy is NOT easy

While the area has more food options than I can remember, the actual city of Detroit (at least the neighborhoods) do not have them. Sure you can get a salad at a Coney Island, and of course there are Subway restaurants, but the choices are a lot lower than that of the suburbs. Within the city there are no Panera Bread’s, Chipotle, Qdoba, etc and you will need to drive at least 15 minutes to get to any of those places quickly.

Now, some might say, those are not very healthy at all. Well, when your other options are Captain J’s Fish, Little Ceasar’s (headquartered in Detroit) which seems to be everywhere, and other fast food places, you do wish for alternatives more and more.

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Lesson 4: Construction is the new normal

Knowing the history of Detroit and the destruction in the city with abandoned homes and bad roads, and know that the city wants to improve, you should expect construction. It is not realistic to think that you will have a smooth ride not running into any construction when the city is looking to improve. There is so many plans to improve Detroit that the orange cones are everywhere. Money is flowing, which is a good thing, but it is a work in progress.

New Red Wings Stadium

New Light Rail

New Restaurants

New Homes

New Bike/Walking Trails

A brighter future is coming for Detroit, but it is in a rebuild process which means dust is flying everywhere. So, expect that and be optimistic for the things to come.

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Lesson #5: The people are unlike any other

The people of Detroit are great to be around. And though they have seen their fair share of hard times in government, schools, economy, etc. There is still a ‘not giving up’ mood about them that is encouraging. On average, and again I have been back for three months, most people that I can come across are very pleasant. They love to hangout and explore which is something I am not used to coming from the Hampton Roads part of Virginia. Overall they are loyal and hard working. There is a luxurious side  to things but also a REALLY grimy side of things but the majority are in the middle. People want to help out, improve, and receive and give help. You wont be disappointed putting some time into a relationship with a Detroiter.

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Lesson #6: Enjoy the weather … while you can

I came in June 2016 and the weather was GREAT for 3 months. Not too hot or rainy, it was really weather that the entire family could enjoy. Then, its like someone flipped a switch at the end of September to RAIN MODE and it did not stop for a week. Fortunately my family was used to it coming from Hurricane territory on the East Coast, but usually there is a transition people which Michigan did not give us. No worries, nothing a couple trips to Meijer’s can’t help with so that we can get the supplies we need.

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Lesson 7: Cops are cool (enough)

While the rest of the country seems to be fighting with police, there is an ‘understanding’ here that you can feel amund the community and the police. Years ago you would not see many police out, but now you see them patrolling. years ago, the response times for EMT and other services was down, but now you see them and hear the sirens. I personally welcome them and appreciate it because I have nothing to hide. God bless them Public Servants we have in Detroit. They even re-opened a station that was closed for some time to help protect and serve. It’s a good feeling!

Now, this is not to say that the stories of crime are not out there. But it is to say that you don’t feel alone like you once did in dealing with crime. You can feel the improvements.

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Lesson #8: Creativity is King in Detroit

One of the beautiful things about Detroit is that it is redefining itself. It is rebuilding a culture that once was only cars and music and are adding so much more. The paths and trails that have added with Street Art / Murals are amazing. They are help and encouraging creatives to flex those mental muscles and think big in order to make the city into what it needs to be. There are art fairs and concerts all the time which really makes it easy to be a creative. If that is you, then Detroit would love to have you. Check out the Dequindre Cut, the Belt Alley, Eastern Market, and so much more. And I didn’t even mention the Museums that are around (wait, I just did)

Overall, we are so happy to live here. It would appear that absence has made the heart grow fonder for the things that we have here in Michigan. While it is not perfect, I think that is just the point, there is no PERFECT, just a perfect place for you.

…to be continued

*did I miss anything that is making Detroit what it is? Mention it below!*

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