Meet Mark Mals, New MEP Executive Director

As Mercy Education Project of Detroit begins its 30th year of serving girls and women, MEP has named Mark C. Mals as its new Executive Director. Mark has been involved in education and program development and implementation for over 20 years, most recently at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy. Six years ago, Mark was drawn into MEP’s Mission when he and his wife, Sandy, started serving as volunteer tutors in the Girls’ Program at MEP. At that same time, Mark and Sandy also made the commitment to promote Mercy values and to live out the Mission of Mercy as Mercy Associates.

Mark is both honored and humbled to follow in the legacy of Sr. Canice Johnson, RSM, founder of Mercy Education Project. He embodies the spirit of Mercy through his commitment to MEP’s Mission, to the Mercy Core Values and Critical Concerns that focus on the importance of educating women and uplifting those who have been affected by systemic injustices, so they can achieve economic mobility and stability.

As someone who adores Detroit and understands the importance of supporting its residences, in addition to being an MEP tutor, Mark has spent many years volunteering at social services agencies and hospitals in the City of Detroit, including Manna Meals Soup Kitchen in Corktown, St. Dominic’s Soup Kitchen, Crossroads of Michigan, Henry Ford Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

In collaboration with the Board of Directors and the Leadership Team, Mark looks forward to beginning a post-Covid-19 strategic plan process to assure MEP will continue to empower girls and women to help them break the barriers that keep them from reaching their full potential. Mark envisions a plan that will focus on the potential growth and expansion of MEP’s Mission, the exploration of developing more holistic assistance, and increasing fiscal and long-term funding to assure the continuation of MEP’s Mission for the next 30 years and beyond.

Detroit Regional Chamber, General Motors Announce NeighborHUB Grant Winners

• Eight grants up to $30,000 awarded to Detroit neighborhood nonprofit organizations.
• More than 100 applications received; number of grant awards increased from five to eight.
• Yearlong project work to begin this month.

DETROIT, Mich., Oct. 5, 2018 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber and General Motors announced the awardees for the NeighborHUB grant program during a press conference at the Northwest Activities Center in Detroit. Eight neighborhood nonprofit organizations will receive a grant and in-kind business support for innovative and collaborative solutions to problems their community faces. The NeighborHUB program is a collaborative effort between the Chamber and General Motors that is designed to empower residents in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park to affect change in their neighborhoods through physical presence and innovative programming.

The grant awardees include:

1. Carrie Morris Arts Production (CMAP)
2. Detroit College Access Network and Detroit Parent Network (DCAN)
3. Detroit Phoenix Center
4. Detroit Theater Organ Society (DTOS)
5. Eden Gardens Block Club
6. Hubbard Farms Neighborhood Association
7. Motown Museum
8. Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency

“The response to this program was incredible, both in quality and quantity of proposals,” said Terry Rhadigan, executive director of Corporate Giving at General Motors. “We’re proud to have expanded the support to eight awardees and are excited to see the change the projects make across Detroit.”

The NeighborHUB program was announced earlier this year at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference and the application period launched in July. Through a collaborative process a advisory selection committee composed of representatives from the Chamber, General Motors and a representative from local organizations including the Department of Neighborhoods for the City of Detroit, Community Development Advocates of Detroit, and Michigan Community Resources, reviewed and voted on the proposals.

“We are confident that the committee selected organizations that will use the grant to provide their neighborhood with viable and innovative resources,” said Tammy Carnrike, chief operating officers for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “It is our hope that this program will serve as a roadmap for creating change in other communities across Detroit and the region.”

More than 100 grant applications were submitted, and the selection process was very competitive. Given the selection committee is made up individuals heavily involved with community nonprofit organizations, there were several instances where committee members had to recuse themselves from reviewing and voting on certain proposals.

Project work will begin this month and continue until October 2019.

NeighborHUB Grant Program Awardees

Carrie Morris Arts Production (CMAP)

• Project: The CMAP Amphitheater and 2019 Outdoor Summer Series
• Scope: This project will create an amphitheater and provide free, multilingual family-friendly performance programming across 12 formerly vacant lots serving the West Campau and Banglatown neighborhood.
• Grant Award: $30,000

“We are thrilled to receive support from the Detroit Regional Chamber and General Motors via the NeighborHUB grant program. This support for our physical infrastructure expands our reach, allowing us to provide free, multilingual, family-friendly performance programming to twice the number of our current audience members in 2019.”

– Carrie Morris, Founder and Director, Carrie Morris Arts Production

Detroit College Access Network and Detroit Parent Network (DCAN)

• Project: The Pathways to Higher Education and Careers Center (P-HECC)
• Scope: This partnership will support the Pathways to Higher Education and Careers Center and help connect both parents and students to higher education, workforce development, skilled trades, on-the-job training, and other opportunities that lead to a postsecondary degree and increased income.
• Grant Award: $30,000

“We are thrilled to expand our multigenerational approach of empowering parents as champions for their children to also address the significant gap in educational and career attainment in our neighborhoods. At DPN we engage, equip and empower parents to become leaders in schools and the community. With this startup grant and our partnership with DCAN, we can now train parents as Cradle to Career Ambassadors to help more youth and their parents to navigate the complexities of colleges, trade and workforce programs. Our Family College Drop In Center designed by and for parents along with College Cafes in the neighborhoods will help build more Pathways to Opportunity so that ALL of the families in Detroit can thrive!”

– Jametta Lilly, Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Parent Network

Detroit Phoenix Center

• Project: Asset Based Resource Center (ABRC)-Zen Zone
• Scope: This program will support the Asset Based Resource Center’s Zen Zone to provide support services and a safe, inclusive and youth-centric environment for disconnected, homeless and runaway youth in Detroit.
• Grant Award: $26,500
“The impact that this project has on our community is unmatched. The development of the Asset Based Resource Center – Zen Zone helps ensure that the most vulnerable youth in our community have a safe, affirming and inclusive environment to access critical resources and support. Thus, aiding in the likelihood that they will thrive in school, on the job and in life. When our youth thrive, our communities thrive.”
– Courtney Smith, Executive Director, Detroit Phoenix Center

Detroit Theater Organ Society (DTOS)

• Project: Welcome to The Senate: Catalyzing Community Cinema
• Scope: This grant will foster neighborhood engagement and expanded community use of the Senate Theater by transforming its vacant adjacent lot to a new useable community space and replace the theater’s missing marquee.
• Grant Award: $30,000

“Welcome to The Senate is a project that is going to help the Detroit Theater Organ Society share the magic of the movies and the Mighty Wurlizter with all of our neighbors, while beautifying our block. We are so thankful the NeighborHUB program is powering this initiative!”

– Lindsay Robillard, Playing Member, Detroit Theater Organ Society

Eden Gardens Block Club

• Project: Bringing Generations Together Through Clean and Safe Play
• Scope: This program will create a multigenerational, community-built playground that will serve as a hub for building positive relationships between community children and seniors, as well as promote fitness activity for all ages.
• Grant Award: $30,000

“Our multigenerational playground project will impact the community by serving as a central hub for social interaction between neighborhood youth and seniors. It will transform two vacant lots into a family-oriented space filled with laughter and promoting physical fitness. It will be a space where children can learn about leadership, cooperation and play. And, it will provide an opportunity for seniors who may be housebound to get fresh air and exercise. Our community will be impacted greatly by this project and we are extremely grateful to the Detroit Regional Chamber for the opportunity to make it a reality.”

– Karen Knox, Executive Director, Eden Hardens Block Club

Hubbard Farms Neighborhood Association

• Project: Fit & Funky: Culture and Wellness Programming in Clark Park
• Scope: Named “Fit & Funky,” this program will build on existing park assets to create community space for residents’ young and old by bringing fitness and music to the north end of Clark Park in southwest Detroit.
• Grant Award: $30,000

“Our collaborative neighborhood project between Hubbard Farms and Clark Park is all about bringing our neighborhood residents and families together within Clark Park by creating opportunities to enjoy time together. Whether it is gathering to hear music in our park during a regularly scheduled weekly summertime evening or being able to grab a neighbor to go work out together on our new fitness trail because spending time together as neighbors, develops an extended neighborhood family that cares for one another.”

– Deborah Sumner, Founding Member, Clark Park Coalition; Board Member, Hubbard Farms Neighborhood Association

Motown Museum

• Project: Dancing in the Street
• Scope: Titled “Dancing in the Streets,” this grant will help transform the green space adjacent to Hitsville U.S.A. into a community gathering space and provide programming such as: health screenings and fitness programs; food truck rallies and cooking competitions; popup shops for local businesses and much more.
• Grant Award: $30,000

“Dancing in the Street will transform a vacant Museum lot into a year-round gathering space designed to bring tourists and Detroit residents together through the love of Motown music. Motown Museum recognizes its responsibility to serve as a community resource in the Northwest Goldberg neighborhood and is proud that Dancing in the Street will offer a community gathering space that is safe and interactive. Long before the Museum became a place to visit, the grounds of the Hitsville home was a safe space for aspiring musicians to learn, create and socialize.”

– Paul D. Barker, Director, Development and Community Activation, Motown Museum

Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency

• Project: Quality Housing Incubator at the Cortland Community Impact Center
• Scope: This grant will help launch a Quality Housing Incubator to provide hands-on home repair and weatherization instruction for area residents. The space will also be open for neighborhood gatherings.
• Grant Award: $30,000

“The NeighborHUB award will support Wayne Metro’s larger effort to transform and revitalize blighted neighborhood properties in Highland Park into a safe, clean and productive destination for community members seeking a variety of supports. Our efforts will focus on renovating a formerly abandoned house across from our Cortland Community Impact Center into a hands-on home repair and weatherization training and demonstration center for entry-level contractors throughout Southeast Michigan. This Quality Housing Incubator will also serve as a welcoming, accessible space for neighborhood gatherings and will strengthen residents’ sense of community with places to meet, share and volunteer together.”

– Anne Zobel, Chief Program Officer, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency

Please note, grants were awarded based on the amount requested by the organization. Learn more about the projects at

UHY LLP Michigan Hosts Annual Not-for-Profit update

UHY LLP, the fifth largest accounting firm in southeast Michigan, will host their third annual Not-for-Profit Accounting Update on Thursday, November 10 from 8:00AM-10:15AM in Farmington Hills.

Join UHY to learn more about the proposed changes to nonprofit financial reporting, upcoming changes to the Single Audit, and other best practices and developments. Two hours of A&A CPE (qualifies for Yellow Book credit) is available.

“After years of design, there has been significant changes in the presentation of financial statements for nonprofit entities. Our annual Not-for-Profit Update will explain and clarify the changes made in order to prepare your organization”, said Erica Battle, nonprofit specialist, UHY LLP. “It will surely be a valuable resource for all those involved in the financial planning of their organizations.”

Click here to view the invitation:

To RSVP contact Jessica Labut at or 586 843 2507.

Forgotten Harvest Launches 25th Anniversary Raffle; Ticket Purchase Feeds Hungry, Provides Chance to Win 2015 Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Cash

Non-profit’s raffle honors founder, Dr. Nancy Fishman, who initially rescued food using her own Jeep® brand vehicle

OAK PARK, Mich., June 2, 2015 – It all began 25 years ago with one woman, and her Jeep® brand vehicle, who rescued food to feed the hungry in metro Detroit. Today, Forgotten Harvest is one of America’s largest food rescue organizations. In honor of its founder and to continue its mission, the non-profit is conducting a 25th Anniversary Raffle with a top prize of a 2015 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Laredo 4×4.

Each ticket purchased will provide 250 meals to those in need, while offering a chance to win the award-winning SUV or cash prizes of $10,000 or $2,500.Tickets are $50 each, and can be purchased by calling 855-751-4380 or completing an online form ( and either emailing, mailing or faxing it.

“Our anniversary raffle is yet another way to continue our mission of relieving hunger in metro Detroit and preventing nutritious food waste, while at the same time having a chance to win a Jeep® Grand Cherokee or cash,” said Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Mayes. “Every raffle ticket purchase goes a long way. A $50 raffle ticket purchase means 250 meals provided to those in need.”

The raffle is open to legal residents of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older as of March 26, 2015. The official drawing will take place on September 30, 2015. For official rules and other details, please visit

Forgotten Harvest humbly began out of the back of a Jeep® brand vehicle by Dr. Fishman who herself, at one time, stood in line to get food assistance. At that point, she had a 2-year-old daughter, had not finished her education and was struggling to make ends meet. She made a commitment to help others in need of food assistance. Through her remarkable drive and perseverance, she completed a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, attended Harvard Law School’s Program on Advanced Negotiation and, using her own vehicle, began rescuing food from local events and religious celebrations.

“While we have made significant progress over the past 25 years, our job at Forgotten Harvest is ‘Far From Done,’” Mayes said.

About Forgotten Harvest

Oak Park, Michigan-based Forgotten Harvest was formed in 1990 to fight two problems: hunger and waste. Forgotten Harvest “rescued” over 48 million pounds of food last year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from 800 locations, including grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors and other Health Department-approved sources. This donated food, which would otherwise go to waste, is delivered free-of-charge to 280 emergency food providers in the metro Detroit area. Forgotten Harvest has been ranked as a four-star charity by Charity Navigator for eight consecutive years. Learn more about Forgotten Harvest and how to help drive hunger from our community at