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Amazon doles out $250,000 to seven Detroit nonprofits

Myesha Johnson
The Detroit News

Amazon is doling out $250,000 to seven Detroit nonprofits dedicated to addressing everything from improving mental health programs to restoring historic sites in the city.

Leaders from the organizations as well as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Ian Conyers, Amazon's community engagement representative for Detroit, announced the donation Wednesday in Detroit. 

The organizations include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Detroit, Pure Heart Foundation, Michigan Humane Society (Abraham Ranch), Detroit Sound Conservancy, Idlewild Lake County Merry Makers, Peace Tree Parks, and the Ossian H. Sweet House.

Exterior of the Blue Bird Inn at 5021 Tireman St. July 22, 2022, Detroit, MI.

“We are so excited to support these Metro Detroit organizations that provide wellness and development while serving as meeting places for our neighbors,” Conyers said in a press release. “We are looking forward to fall programs that make an impact on the communities in which we live, work and play.”

Amazon has given $1.4 million in the last year alone to various groups and charities in Detroit.

Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Metro Detroit plans to use its  donation towards mentorship for Metro Detroit youth, which is expected to impact hundreds of children in the organization.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is honored to have Amazon as a partner to serve youth to reach their fullest potential,” Nicole McKinney, the nonprofit's president and CEO, said in a press release. “This grant will make it possible to address the social emotional needs of more children.”

The Detroit Sound Conservancy, meanwhile, plans to use the gift to put toward restoring the Blue Bird Inn, a historic jazz club on Tireman. Once considered one of the city's most prominent clubs, it attracted some of the biggest names in jazz including legends Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane.

“We are on the path to fulfilling our mission of providing a place to be together and help Detroit musicians and all those who use music and sound to creatively ‘pass on’ the powerful legacy," said Michelle Jahra McKinney, executive director of the Detroit Sound Conservancy, in a statement. "For our community, this project will allow The Bird to become again a place to gather and educate."