Skip to nav Skip to content Skip to footer

A Timely Gift of Warmth

DESC helps in providing coats for children

By Paul Harris

The Gift of Warmth came just in time for the drop in temperature in mid November in the Detroit area.

Family show off new coatsDetroit Employment Solutions Corporation, Jackets for Jobs, Fifth Third Bank and other organizations distributed 107 coats to children from 35 families at Detroit’s Northwest Activities Center on Nov. 8.

“It was a successful and well attended event” said Barkley Scott, DESC Senior Program Analyst. “Everybody seemed to enjoy it.”

Gift of Warmth is one of Fifth Third Bank’s community relations initiatives that helps elementary aged school children in low income neighborhoods cope with Michigan’s harsh winters by providing top quality winter attire.

“Gift of Warmth will serve approximately 1,000 students at 25 schools and other charitable organizations in Oakland, Wayne, Genesee and Washtenaw Counties. The children were identified by each school’s administration as being in need or through a sign-up program at community centers,” said Fifth Third Bank Public Relations Manager Eric Younan.
For Detroit, Fifth Third Bank invited DESC to participate.

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation selected participants from their P.A.T.H. program (Partnership. Accountability. Training. Hope.) which assists financially challenged individuals, and families that have a low level of household income, to succeed in the labor market.

The organization then contacted long-time partner Jackets for Jobs for assistance with locating the number of winter coats needed.

Jackets for Jobs, whose mission is to provide career skills training, employment etiquette and professional clothing to job seekers, leveraged their relationship with TJ Maxx for further help.

“It went very well and we were definitely happy to be part of it,” said Jackets for Jobs Founder and CEO Allison Vaughn. “And the kids were happy. This time of year, this is the best gift you can give to an adult or a child.” Ms. Vaughn founded Jackets for Jobs 14 years ago.

The P.A.T.H. program places a strong emphasis on helping participants to stay employed, gain skills, and advance rather than only emphasizing initial placement into a job. The goal of P.A.T.H. is to help families find the resources they need to overcome obstacles and move up career ladders to self-sustaining, long-term employment.

Kroger at 37550 W 12 Mile Rd, Farmington Hills and ABC Transportation at 12680 Westwood St, Detroit were also contributors.

“At this time of year, children in low-income families are often the first to suffer from the cold, and programs like this are vital to their well-being” said DESC Programs and Service Innovation Director Stephanie Nixon. “We can’t thank everyone enough for contributing to this program.”