For more than a century the Junior League of Detroit (JLD) has worked to help the city, its children and its families thrive by promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities.
Its work has delivered many programs and services that are today woven into the fabric of everyday Detroit. The group established the Mobile Pediatric Team at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, launched “Kids in the Kitchen” and began an early childhood literacy program. It also secured the NASA command module for the Detroit Science Center, built the playscape and installed the sensory trail on Belle Isle and has awarded more than 100 college scholarships.
JLD’s history is filled with projects that transformed the city.
Back in 1915, the year after it was founded, it opened lunchroom on Woodward Ave. between John R and Grand Circus Park to provide a safe and clean place for women entering the work force. In the 1930s it opened a training cottage for blind children with Helen Keller. In the 1950s it helped establish WTVS, Detroit’s educational TV station. In the 1960s it started the Art to the Schools program where DIA trained JLD volunteers to give art lectures to 4th and 5th grade public school children in nearly 100 schools in the community.
On December 2, JLD will turn its attention to Cass Community Social Services’ (CCSS) Tiny Homes project when it brings its Holiday Jubilee to Eastern Market, Shed #3. Tickets can be purchased at jldetroit.org or Holiday Jubilee Facebook Page.
CCSS spearheaded the $1.5 million project and has raised nearly half of that amount. One of the major supporters is the Ford Motor Co. Fund, which donated $400,000. The homes range from 250- to 400-square-feet and are reserved for low-income owners.
The group’s Executive Director Reverend Faith Fowler came up with the idea to build tiny homes on vacant land by the Cass Community campus near Elmhurst and the Lodge freeway to create affordable housing for those who could not afford the alternative. With this program they can rent a home and after seven years they could own it outright.
CCSS also provides basic needs, including affordable housing, promoting self-reliance and encouraging community involvement. It works with men, women and children with HIV/AIDS, medical and mental illness, developmental disabilities and/or substance abuse. Every night, more than 300 homeless men, women and children stay in a Cass facility.
The Holiday Jubilee runs from 7:00 p.m. -11:00 p.m. and will be hosted by Fox 2’s Ryan Ermanni. There’ll be great food from Chef Bobby Nahra and live music from Motor City crooner Ben Sharkey. Chef Bobby is a familiar face on FOX 2 Detroit with the weekly Cooking School segment, on WXYZ-TV Channel 7’s, Just Ask Talk Show, and in Chuck Bennett’s Society Confidential Column in the Detroit News. He’s also cooked for many celebrities including Elton John and The Dixie Chicks!
If you want special treatment there is a VIP hour from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. with signature hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, reserved seating and a meet-and-greet with Rev. Fowler.
Doors open for general admission at 7:00 p.m.
There’s also a holiday-themed silent auction. JLD supporters have created one-of-a kind wreaths and paired them with intriguing items. Here’s a look at two of the wreaths.
The auction also includes a chef-prepared, progressive dinner for four at the CCSS Tiny Home community; a “Melody,” the Motown American Girl Doll; four tickets to see Wolverine football at The Big House with a gift card for tailgate supplies, and more.
Every ticket purchased includes an opportunity to win a watch from Shinola donated by George Koueiter Jewelers in Grosse Pointe.
There is certainly nothing tiny about this event.