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Student Fundraiser Seeks to Help Detroit's Homeless

Not everyone is doing well during the quarantine, particularly the homeless, which was worrisome to BHHS 10th grader Kellen Fife. Seeking to help, Kellen and parent Steve Fife started an online fundraiser for Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries. DRMM is based in downtown Detroit, providing shelter, food, and treatment options for the homeless population.

“I chose to work with the Detroit Rescue Mission,” explained Kellen, “because I already have contacts with them and felt that it would be the best organization where I could create the biggest impact. They serve thousands of people daily and are struggling to provide basic necessities while also making sure that their staff, shelter, and people they are helping are still staying safe and healthy.”

Steve Fife, who works for the local Moosejaw stores, agreed. “Thanks to an introduction from our good friend and Moosejaw co-worker, Mike Ash, founder of Attack Hunger, my daughter Kellen and I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting and talking with Dr. Chad Audi and Rev. Paschal Eze. We were simply amazed at the life saving and life enhancing services they provide tirelessly each day, and so we made a choice to help.”

An online fundraiser was deemed to be the best way to reach as many potential donors as possible during the stay-at-home orders, so the family started a GoFundMe called Pay It Forward Detroit

According to Kellen, DRMM especially needs basic janitorial and cleaning supplies, disinfectants, personal hygiene kits for men and women, and toilet paper. Any funds raised will specifically be put towards those items.  Additionally, direct donations of these supplies are appreciated. They can be purchased online and shipped to Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, 150 Stimson Street, Detroit, MI  48201, Attn: Rev. C. Paschal Eze.

Since the homeless as a group don’t receive as much attention, Kellen is hoping people not only donate, but also share their fundraiser to their friends through social media or email, especially because the donations are 100 percent tax-deductible. 

“I think the most important thing for this project is the ability to get the word out,” emphasized Kellen. “We need to let people know that there are lots of people struggling right now and need their help. I am very thankful that my family is safe and able to provide everything we need to continue to stay safe and healthy. Overall as a community, we are very fortunate and blessed which is why I believe it is extremely important to come together right now and help others who are not as fortunate.”

Donations of just over $1,000 have come into the project, and the goal is $10,000. The fact that all of the funds will be helping the homeless is heartening to Kellen. “So far the best thing about this project is the feeling that I get seeing more donations come in and knowing how much it will help these people,” said Kellen. “It has been extremely difficult for the DRMM to collect necessary supplies in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment, and knowing that I can help with this is just the best feeling.”


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