Detroit Grandale Corps Celebrates 2023 Growth

Sep 1, 2023

Left to right: Jason Taylor, Yvonne Taylor, Kimber Hurell, Tyneta Elliott, Envoy Jackie Ellingson, Captain Jamiah Lynn, Angelia Mullins

There is a lot of excitement at the Detroit Grandale Corps this summer. With a full staff of smiling faces, it can offer a growing number of services and activities to its community. These include Summer Day Camp, field trips, the Back-to-School Rally and more.

 The Corps’ growth was made possible by Metro Detroit Area Commander Major Bob Mueller’s advocating for increased funding, and Salvation Army Metro Detroit Advisory Board member Crystal Williams, who secured a grant from Toyota.

The funding has allowed the corps to hire a social worker, a community center director, three after-school program counselors and Summer Day Camp counselors. It was also able to increase employee salaries.

“Last year we were only able to hire two counselors because of the money in the budget. This year because of the grant from Toyota, Major Bob’s help, and Crystal Williams, that money can help with things we didn’t have last year,” said Grandale Corps Administrator Envoy Jackie Ellingson.

*Crystal Williams with Toyota Motor North America Executive Project Manager at this year’s Walk In My Boots event.

The biggest event benefitting from this was Summer Day Camp: a yearly event running Monday through Thursday which includes breakfast and lunch, arts and crafts, open recreation and even field trips to Metropolitan Beach, The Hands On Museum, The Henry Ford Museum, Chuck E Cheese, and Riverside Roller Skate Rink.

“The first day they started Summer Day Camp it brought tears to my eyes because there were kids in the building enjoying themselves,” Ellingson said.

Last year’s Summer Day Camp was successful as well, with 14 children attending. However, having less funds at the time made things more difficult. “There were some problems because we were short-staffed. With Lt. Eddie leaving and me coming aboard, I had to be there most of the time,” Ellingson said.

*The Red Kettle bounce house and Grandale Corps staff at the Back-to-School Rally

Another event was the Back-to-School Rally, in which 100 book bags were given out to the community and a bounce house was set up. This event hasn’t been offered since before COVID, so it is another great sign of growth.

This fall there will also be an after-school program operating 4 days a week, with the possibility of martial arts classes. Grandale Corps also keeps a fully stocked food pantry, provides utility assistance, and offers Sunday School and Worship Services.

It is inspiring to see the joy and hope these activities and programs bring to this community, to children and their families. If you would like to help fund more, you can donate, or even volunteer to help out! 

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