Your Guide to Volunteering in Detroit

Below please find all the info you need to know in advance of our volunteer event on Thursday, May 11 & Friday, May 12. Have an immediate question? Call the events hotline at 800-985-8232.


On Thursday morning, Tourism Cares will host a learning breakfast among experts from the travel industry and Detroit’s mission based travel organizations to help them better understand and engage tourism.
 
From this free workshop locals (and volunteers who can make it!) will take away information and tools for how to distill their mission into a succinct, emotional brand promise, highlighting value for their target audiences.  They’ll also explore the latest research from Amadeus, "Future Travel Tribes 2030."

Attendees will learn from:

Mike Geraci, chief strategy officer of MERCURYcsc, a creative agency that connects brands to people who value travel, the outdoors, and a sense of place. Mike's career began as founding president and executive director of Friends of Pathways, a nonprofit providing political and financial support to the motorized pathways system in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Jeanne Chapel, the business development manager at Amadeus, the leading provider of IT solutions to the global tourism and travel industry. She'll present findings from their study which identifies different traveler segments (by personality traits, values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles) that will shape the future of travel.

Get to know Detroit! Advance sign-up is required. SIGN UP FOR THE TOURS IS CLOSED. 

Emails with tour details have been sent to all volunteers who have registered for a tour. If you did not receive an email please contact Kati at kati.hagedorn@tourismcares.org ASAP.  

Our opening reception, generously hosted by the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau from 6-7:30pm, invites volunteers to grab their registration materials, mingle with colleagues and learn a little more about Detroit - while drinking, eating and playing some games at Punch Bowl Social (1331 Broadway St, Detroit, MI).

Volunteers will learn a little bit more about Detroit from our featured speaker Aaron Foley, an appointed Neighborhood Storyteller for the City of Detroit and author of the book "How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass" (Belt Publishing), a social guidebook to living in the city.

And we also have tons to keep us busy - bowling, shuffleboard, darts, arcade games and more will be free during the reception!

Please note: Transportation will not be provided to the opening reception. Tours will drop off directly at Punch Bowl Social. Other volunteers can make their way to the reception via uber/lyft/cab or take the short 10 minute walk from the hotel hotels.

Registration will be available on Thursday evening during the welcome reception at Punch Bowl Social (1331 Broadway St, Detroit, MI). from 6pm - 7:30pm.

Can't make it? We really encourage it for networking purposes, but we understand busy schedules. If you can't be with us Thursday, have a friend grab your stuff, or pick up your materials Friday morning at the Westin Book Cadillac (1114 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI) at 8am.

// Thursday, May 11 - Arrivals //

8:30am: Special "Travel's Big Give" educational breakfast (for local Detroit-ers or volunteers who arrive early!)

From this free workshop you’ll take away information and tools for how to distill your mission into a succinct, emotional brand promise, highlighting your value for your target audiences.  You’ll also explore the latest research from Amadeus, "Future Travel Tribes 2030."

Afternoon: Optional tours available (advance sign-up required! Please see tour section for timing and meeting locations for each tour!)

 

6pm - 7:30pm: Welcome to Detroit Opening Reception at Punch Bowl Social, hosted by The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau -  (1331 Broadway St, Detroit, MI) Join us to pick up your registration materials and enjoy food, drink and games with old and new friends!

>> PLEASE NOTE: There will be NO provided transportation to the opening reception venue from the hotels. It is a 10 minute walk from the host hotels and a very short lyft or uber ride - or take Detroit's People Mover. Visit their website for more info.

What do I do after the reception? Detroit has some fantastic restaurants! Please take a look at Visit Detroit's website for recommendations. Dining guides will be available at the reception as well.

// Friday, May 12 - Workday! //

 

8am: All volunteers meet in the Woodward Ballroom (2nd Floor) at the Westin Book Cadillac (1114 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI) for opening instructions and registration (for those who did not register on Thursday evening)

Because of the amount of worksites and limited parking at each, we ask that volunteers plan to park at public lots around the Westin - the closest being Metro Valet Parking, 719 Griswold St and Miller Parking, 1411 Griswold St.

8:30am: Volunteers begin boarding buses for their worksites

9am: Work begins!

2:45pm: Work begins to wrap. Volunteers transfer from their worksites to the closing thank you reception

3:30pm - 5pm: Let's celebrate! Closing thank you reception at Hard Rock Cafe Detroit (45 Monroe Ave, Detroit, MI) with drinks, food and Detroit's #1 DJ!

Please note: Volunteers can make their way back to the host hotels/Westin Book Cadillac to their cars at any point - transportation will not be provided. The Hard Rock is a short 10 minute walk/uber/lyft/cab/people mover ride to the hotels.

Our work groups are indicated by colored bandana to help us get you to the correct work site in the morning. Project descriptions can be found here.

WORK SITE COLORS

Urban farming with Georgia Street Community Collective - Red

Youth enrichment at Pasteur Elementary - Blue

Adding to the urban art scene with a Graffiti Mural - Green

Gardening on Belle Isle - Purple

Farming with Michigan Urban Farm Initiative - Yellow

Painting a mural on Detroit Bus Company Buses - Black

Rehabbing Lafayette Park - White

We organize our work groups based on a number of factors, so we kindly ask that you do not switch colors before the day begins!

Click here for a map of our worksites, donated by Map n Tour.

Thursday Evening Reception: Transportation will be on your own!

The reception is a short (8 minute) walk from the host hotels to Punch Bowl Social. Click here for walking directions. Uber and lyft is available - please plan accordingly.

If you are interested in taking the People Mover, the Cadillac Center stop is the closest to the reception location. Visit the People Mover map here.

For those driving in, street parking is available.

Friday Morning - Work Day: Meet at the Westin for provided transportation!

Because of the amount of worksites we will be helping in Detroit and the limited parking at each, we ask that all volunteers meet at the Westin Book Cadillac (1114 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI) at 8am on Friday morning for bus transfer to their site. The closest public lots to the Westin are Metro Valet Parking, 719 Griswold St and Miller Parking, 1411 Griswold St.

For those staying at the Holiday Inn Express Downtown, the Westin is just across the street.

The Thursday evening program is completely casual - please wear whatever you are comfortable bowling or playing shuffleboard in!

For Friday, please come wearing your Tourism Cares t-shirt and bring your colored bandana. In addition, the following dress is required:

  • Long pants
  • Layers! It may be cool in the morning
  • STURDY closed-toed shoes! It's function first and not fashion - sturdier sneakers/boots are highly encouraged
  • Your name badge
  • Please bring a hat in case of sunshine
  • Please bring your provided backpack to hold on to any belongings

On Thursday, we will be serving heavy hor d'oeuvres, beer and wine courtesy of Punch Bowl Social and Visit Detroit. We encourage all volunteers to make dinner plans in one of the awesome Detroit restaurants nearby.

On Friday, breakfast is on your own - so please plan accordingly! The restaurants in both host hotels open at 6:00am.

We will provide you with snacks, a boxed lunch and water throughout the day.

Our boxed lunch is being provided by Fresh Corner Café,  a mission-driven food service provider working toward a fresher, healthier, and even more delicious Detroit. Because good food has the power to heal, nourish, and inspire, they connect an expansive network of schools, community centers, cafes, and workplaces to delicious, locally produced healthy foods. They envision a future in which affordable healthy foods are conveniently available to all residents of Detroit and our surrounding communities.

Our workday will conclude with a closing thank you reception (with heavy hor d'oeuvres, beer and wine) at Hard Rock Detroit (45 Monroe Ave, Detroit, MI).

A backpack will be provided to all the volunteers so that you may carry your belongings with you on the workday. There will not be a secure area to store any luggage or bags throughout the day, so we would suggest arranging to have your bags stored with the hotel.

Detroit in May is usually temperate, in the mid to high 60s. We suggest you pack layers for the early mornings and evenings.

What happens if it rains?

Don't you worry. Our work can be completed rain or shine and we will provide fashionable ponchos if needed.

We have travel industry professionals representing 80 different companies from 22 states and 2 countries! A copy of the attendee list can be found here.

Here are a few videos and website links to our worksite partners to give you an idea of what to expect before we get to Detroit! Enjoy!

Summer in the City (organization we are working with on the youth enrichment project)

Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

Lafayette Entrance Park

A new kind of giving!  In addition to our traditional volunteer program and as a part of Travel’s Big Give, Tourism Cares will work with the local Detroit community to leverage the knowledge and influence of the tourism industry through skilled volunteering.

A pro-bono or highly skilled volunteer is someone who donates his/her professional level services as an “unpaid consultant” to the nonprofit organization. Pro-bono and highly skilled volunteers bring experience, expertise, and perspective to the organization.

Tourism Cares has spent the last few months sourcing local non-profits in Detroit in need of consulting help and will spend the next few weeks connecting those organizations with our community.

In addition, on Thursday morning, Tourism Cares will host a learning breakfast among experts from the travel industry and Detroit’s mission based travel organizations to help them better understand and engage tourism.
 
From this free workshop locals (and volunteers who can make it!) will take away information and tools for how to distill their mission into a succinct, emotional brand promise, highlighting value for your target audiences.  They’ll also explore the latest research from Amadeus, "Future Travel Tribes 2030."

Together we’ll help local tourism-related community groups in Detroit through a group learning workshop, plus individual or team pro-bono consulting targeted to local organizations. 

Order something from the online Tourism Cares gear shop? Orders will be available on-site at the Thursday evening reception. Just see a Tourism Cares staffer at registration.

Make sure you are following us on FB, Twitter and Instagram @TourismCares and use #tcvolunteers and #TC4DETROIT throughout the workday!