The Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Association (MDCD) has never been one to shy away from hauling freight when it means helping out their local communities. The association announced that it will again provide support to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s Services Center through its annual “Truckloads of Hope” donation drive March 1 – March 31 at its 38 local MDCD locations. Shower, hygiene, and other personal essentials will be collected for the benefit of the visitors of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s food pantry, as well as homeless guests who participate in the organization’s shower program.
According to John Fox, President of the MDCD, the pandemic created some logistical challenges, but the MDCD has continually overcome roadblocks to deliver to those in need. Looking ahead to this year’s campaign, local Chevy dealers will again use Silverado truck replica collection boxes at their locations—and the donations will again be presented to the Capuchins with the impressive Chevy caravan of 38 Silverado trucks.
“As part of our Chevy tradition of dependability, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen can count on the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers to deliver Truckloads of Hope,” Fox said. “The past couple of years have been difficult for people on many different levels, which is why we place such an emphasis and priority on this donation drive. This is a combined effort of 38 local Chevy dealerships which includes our employees, families, friends, and customers. The need for these items is great and we’re here to help.”
Br. Gary Wegner, OFM Cap., who joined the Capuchin Soup Kitchen as its new Executive Director in September 2021, concurred that the unique circumstances these past two years have driven a growing need for assistance in helping people cope, whether that be from homelessness and unstable housing, mental illness, or substance use disorders.
“Donations from Truckloads of Hope can make all the difference in people’s daily lives and are such a welcome sight for the Capuchin Services Center,” Br. Gary acknowledged. “Everyday household and hygiene items may not seem like a luxury, but they are expensive and many of our guests have difficulty affording these necessities. We appreciate the tremendous boost Truckloads of Hope provides to our efforts and are very thankful for the many good people who purchase items and come out to the Metro Detroit Chevy dealership sites to donate. True to our charism created in 1929 by our Capuchin Soup Kitchen co-founder, Blessed Solanus Casey, this aid is truly a blessing for our guests.”
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shower program was temporarily suspended while a heated/cooled outdoor shower trailer was installed. While the outdoor trailer allowed for a safe experience for guests to continue to get a hot shower and a change of clothes, Br. Gary happily announced the shower program would be expanding with the construction of permanent indoor facilities at both Capuchin Soup Kitchen meal sites.
The Capuchin Soup Kitchen plans to build shower and laundry facilities for guests at both of its meal program sites, located at 1264 Meldrum Street and at 4390 Conner Street in Detroit. The Soup Kitchen at Meldrum will eventually have a new permanent shower facility, separate from the offices and meal hall, to allow greater privacy and dignity for guests. The Conner site will be expanded with a dedicated shower facility with private shower stalls and changing areas to serve guests and close the gap created by a nearby social services agency’s shut-down. Both locations will also include space for a laundry facility where guests can wash and dry their clothes at no cost.
Visitors to Metro Detroit Chevy Dealer showrooms are invited to place their donations in the collection bins stationed in/near front entrances during the entire month of March. To find a donation site near you, and a full list of items to donate, visit the Truckloads of Hope page .