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Mitch Albom's SAY Detroit Radiothon awards $1.6 million to dozens of metro Detroit charities


Representatives from more than two dozen metro Detroit nonprofits had their day made Wednesday afternoon when Free Press columnist and SAY Detroit founder Mitch Albom awarded a combined $1.6 million in donations during a virtual presentation.

The donations are the result of Albom's annual SAY Detroit Radiothon, which was broadcast live on WJR-AM (760) for more than 15 straight hours on Dec. 9. The radiothon has raised more than $10 million for local charities since its debut in 2012.

"It feels very good to be able to help out groups who have endured so much over the course of the last couple of years," said Albom via Zoom. "We're happy to whip up a little enthusiasm, whip up a little happiness and joy, and spread the good amongst some really, really worthwhile groups."

Founded by Albom in 2006, SAY Detroit works to help the city's neediest residents access shelter, food, medicine, education, and other resources by partnering with organizations like Working Homes/Working Families and the SAY Detroit Family Health Clinic, among dozens of others.

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Mi-Cycle, a new SAY Detroit initiative that rehabs used bicycles before donating them to locals facing transportation challenges, received its first donation from the radiothon on Wednesday. Other first-time recipients included Arts & Scraps, Detroit Outdoors, Hugs From Heaven, People's Action and Youth is the Truth.

Read more: Mitch Albom/SAY Detroit Radiothon raises $1.65 million for Detroiters in need

The radiothon featured several big-name guests, including actors Tim Allen and Lily Tomlin; media personalities Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper; and local celebrities like Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

"We're really proud of SAY Detroit; we're really proud to help fund it. But we're equally proud to be part of a city that has such a wide swath of charitable groups and good, hard-working people trying to help make Detroit a better place," said Albom.

Radiothon donation recipients: 

  • Arts & Scraps, $5,000
  • Avalon Village, $7,500
  • Bing Youth Institute, $5,000
  • Building Better Men, $15,000
  • Cass Community Social Services, $25,000
  • College for Creative Studies/Detroit Dream Scholars, $45,000
  • COTS/Bright Beginnings, $15,000
  • D2N, $7,500
  • Detroit Culture Youth Company, $7,500
  • DRMM Genesis House II, $25,000
  • Detroit Hives, $7,000
  • Detroit Outdoors, $5,000
  • Detroit Recovery Project, $5,000
  • Hugs from Heaven, $7,500
  • Humble Design, $13,500;
  • LA SED Inc., $15,000
  • Michigan Veterans Foundation, $15,000
  • Mother Batie’s Kitchen/United Sisters of Charity, $10,000
  • Notes for Notes, $10,000
  • Parker Village/Soulardarity, $10,000
  • People’s Action, $5,000
  • SASHA Center, $15,000
  • Westside Cultural & Athletic Club, $12,000
  • Youth is the Truth, $7,500
  • A Hole in the Roof Foundation/Citadel of Praise, $5,000
  • Better Together, $25,000
  • Mi-Cycle, $25,000
  • SAY Detroit Family Health Clinic, $100,000
  • SAY Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park, $700,000
  • SAY Detroit Tomorrow Fund, $350,000
  • Working Homes/Working Families, $150,000

This year's SAY Detroit Radiothon will be held on Dec. 8 at Somerset Collection in Troy. To learn more about SAY Detroit, go to saydetroit.org.

Lauren Wethington is a breaking news reporter. You can email her at [email protected] or find her on Twitter at @laurenelizw1.