On June 22nd 2017, Evans Distribution teamed up with Carhartt to clear out a Detroit Public School, Durfee Middle School, which closed on June 30, 2017.
Durfee will turn into a Community Innovation Center in the fall, spearheaded by Life Remodeled—a not-for-profit devoted to improving blighted neighborhoods in Detroit, and providing community resources to brighten the future of DPS students through hands-on educational opportunities.
For example, in one area of the center, students will be able to work on finance skills by simulating running their own business. The community center will include models of entrepreneurship, and students will be able to work alongside and learn from other small business owners. The hope is that this center will inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in Detroit, continuing to revitalize and expand the opportunities for growth in the city.
The majority of the moving work completed at Durfee was through volunteers—which is where Carhartt stepped in. Through the Detroit Fulfillment Initiative, Evans and Durfee partnered up to assist Durfee’s teachers and administrative team in making the transition to Central High School, just across the street.
In order to get the ball rolling in creating the Community Innovation Center, Durfee Middle School had to be cleared out. The task wasn’t easy: over 40 classrooms of materials to empty, a library to pack-up and dozens of pieces of furniture to maneuver.
But with elbow grease and the volunteer work of approximately 125 Carhartt employees, the school was cleared out in about 5 hours—packing up the entire library of books and learning materials, clearing out pounds of garbage from classrooms, lugging furniture down 3 flights of stairs, and a countless number of other tasks.
Evans assisted in building ramps to facilitate moving furniture, created plans for secondary locations for classroom resources and furniture in order to make sure teachers could find their materials after moving, provided boxes and tagging to stay organized, and helped to streamline the overall process.
Katie Clow, Director of Treasury Services and Business Risk at Carhartt, commented, “We really enjoyed spending time with the Evans crew and it is safe to say, our Day of Giving would not have been successful without [Evans]!”
Overall, with lots of hard work, fun was had—everyone buckled down to get the school cleared as quickly and efficiently as possible. At the end of the day, it was great to see that hard work was paid off, and that DPS students would be receiving an opportunity that would improve the neighborhood and brighten their future.