Michigan winters can be a beast but, fortunately, employees at Chrysler are taking at least some of the bite out the mean season.
There were 35,000 unused mittens and gloves collected in less than four weeks by Chrysler workers. This record setting number of winter wear was gathered for “Mittens for Detroit” (MFD), a charity that collects gloves and mittens to be distributed to kids and adults who need them in Detroit.
“As a Dodge Challenger fan, I was excited to work with the Chrysler family on this year’s Mittens for Detroit campaign,” said Erin Cummings, actress and founder of Mittens for Detroit. “The generosity of the Chrysler employees has surpassed all hopes and expectations that we had going into this and I am honored and humbled that Mittens for Detroit can be a conduit of so much good. After such an outpouring of support, I can promise that I’ll only be driving Chrysler cars from now on!”
For five years the MFD has been buying and collecting new mittens for the citizens of the Motor City, and in that time have collected more than 55,000 pairs. The gloves are distributed through 13 partners that do their own good deeds for the city. The partners include Alternative for Girls, The Children’s Center of Wayne County, COTS, Covenant House of Michigan and the Michigan Veterans Foundation.
Along with the annual tired-and-true partners, each year there are special projects chosen to receive the donations. This year taking part in helping warm the hands of Motown are the Detroit Public Schools Homeless Program, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, and Operation Get Down.
Chrysler got involved with Mittens for Detroit as a way to kick start its United Way program, dreamed up by Chrysler Group’s United Way steering committee. The mass collection, which doubled MFD’s 2013 campaign’s collection of 17,500 gloves and mittens, started with the committee’s simple challenge to Chrysler’s employees to collect at least 18,000 pairs. They surpassed that with 35,000.
“It’s evident this challenge resonated with employees,” said Brian Harlow, Chrysler Group head of NAFTA Manufacturing and United Way co-chair.
“Employees are passionate about achieving and delivering what we promise, both on the job and in the community. For this, I personally thank each of you, 35,000 times,” he added.
Of course while Chrysler may have risen well above its call to keep cozy the hands of the city, MFD doesn’t stop collecting until January 31. There will be far fewer frozen hands this winter.