I had the amazing opportunity to meet with Keiona Turner, founder of the GIVE Club, and attend one of their community service projects. The nonprofit organization focuses on serving communities in Detroit and the metro area. They are making a great difference in Detroit!
I enjoyed meeting the GIVE Club and learning more about the great work they are doing in Southeast Michigan. So grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, and take some time to get to know the GIVE Club!
“Leave a legacy. Leave your footprint on the earth of doing something good.”Keiona Turner, Founder of the GIVE Club
Established in March 2016, the GIVE Club has participated in 5 service projects. They have volunteered with Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, the Center for Hope in Flint, Michigan, the Angel House in Redford, Michigan, and Sisters United of Detroit.
On October 22, 2016, the GIVE Club held a service project to hand out “Blessing Bags” to community members. The service project was also in recognition of Make a Difference Day.
On October 22nd, volunteers from across the country will unite for Make A Difference Day, one of the largest annual single-days of service nationwide. Since 1992, volunteers and communities have come together on Make A Difference Day with a single purpose: to improve the lives of others.
Make A Difference Day is made possible by you and the people of TEGNA with support from Arby’s Foundation and Points of Light. –TEGNA, www.makeadifferenceday.com
For their “Make a Difference Day” service project, the GIVE Club was able to distribute 60 personal hygiene kits and 80 food kits. The items went fast and the community was very appreciative of the organization’s help.
With each new service project, Keiona says they feel inspired to do more for the community. “[We] realized this is something we need to do more frequently and more often,” she said.
As Michiganders, we have all heard about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Many organizations and people have contributed in some way to help the citizens of Flint. The GIVE Club also joined in to help Flint. Each member pledged 10 cases of water to donate to Flint citizens. Family members were also able to donate water cases.
Altogether, the GIVE Club was able to give 200 cases of water. Uhaul even discounted the cost of their truck rental so they could deliver the water cases to Flint. Keiona said the Flint service project “far exceeded our expectations. That was pretty huge. When we opened up the truck trailer, I was just astonished by how much water we had collected in such a short time!”
GIVE CLUB SERVES THE COMMMUNITY ON THIRD AVENUE
When I met up with the GIVE Club on Satuday (October 22, 2016), I was curious to know how they knew to serve the community on Third Avenue. Keiona told me she researched various communities in Detroit to see which areas needed assistance.
At first, she thought the members would need to drive throughout the community and deliver items. But Keiona started researching organizations who serve in Detroit. She realized the Neighborhood Service Organization was “one of the largest organizations in the metropolitan Detroit area and I thought it would be best to come next door to them.”
GIVE CLUB BELIEVES IN SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES
Starting the GIVE Club is a way to give back to Detroit and other communities. The GIVE Club believes in making strong efforts to help make neighborhoods better. When I asked why she created the GIVE Club, Keiona said she felt it was something she needed to do. “I’ve always wanted to give back and have an impact– make some changes.”
Keiona also strongly believes in the importance of teaching children how to give back to their community. When she serves the community, she likes to include her family, most especially her son Jaden. Keiona explained she wants to make sure her son knows “that the things that he has or he’s been given isn’t a given…it is not necessarily everyone else’s life. And I want him to know that he’s fortunate. Some people aren’t fortunate. And when you are fortunate, you’re supposed to help other people.”
THE GIVE CLUB ARE NOT JUST VOLUNTEERS– THEY’RE ALSO BEST FRIENDS!
What makes the GIVE Club so unique is that they are not just volunteers. The members are also the best of friends. “I know that I could do a little by myself, but I have a great group of friends– a really wonderful core group of girls. As soon as I asked them, ‘do you want to be involved?’ they said yes, they were on board,” Keiona told me.
Ever since she invited her friends to join the GIVE Club, they have been fully committed to the organization. She says the women are an intricate part of the organization. “They bring their own ideas and they are fully invested.”
How amazing is that?
Imagine getting a few of your friends together and taking one weekend out of the month or giving up your weekday to meet together and serve your community. I think that’s a powerful connection to have with friends. What a wonderful way to come together and spread love to those who are in need!
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FUTURE
The GIVE Club has big plans for 2017. For one, they hope to receive their 501c status. Keiona also hopes to start receiving grants to help more communities and people of Detroit.
At this time, GIVE Club is self-funded. The members contribute their own money by paying monthly dues and making a personal donation for a project of interest. Sometimes family members also make a donation to a service project. Another goal of the club is to add on new members in 2017.
If you would like to help the GIVE Club or learn more about the organization, you can visit their official website. And don’t forget to like their Facebook page to stay up-to-date on any upcoming projects and news!
Special thanks to Keiona Turner, founder of the GIVE Club, and the GIVE Club members for inviting Good Life Detroit to their service project!
All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.
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