Summer in the City strives to improve and expand community service in Metro Detroit. By bringing a diverse group of young people together to invest their energy in Detroit, Summer in the City programs address the immediate needs of city neighborhoods and foster a regional mindset.
Summer in the City was founded in 2002 to change the way young people volunteer in Detroit and the impact their work has on the city and region. The organization's work is concentrated in the summer months, when we Paint, Plant, and Play — creating murals, building and maintaining urban gardens, and running youth enrichment programs.
Summer in the City is "fun, flexible, and fulfilling" for volunteers and “practical, productive and purposeful” for community organizations. Volunteers can participate any or every day of the summer with no commitment, simply by coming to one of our ten carpool sites throughout the region.
Summer in the City values collaboration and regionalism. All projects are done in partnership with organizations in Detroit — from nonprofits to community development corporations to schools — and are designed to best meet the needs of the people these groups serve. Further, SITC brings together volunteers from all across Metro Detroit, (and sometimes even across the country) to engage each other and invest their creativity and compassion in Detroit.
Last summer, an average of 200 volunteers per day contributed their time and energy to projects throughout Detroit. Since Summer in the City began, over 5500 volunteers have performed 175,000 hours of high-impact community service. While the program has grown dramatically since its inception, it has always maintained the core principles of youth empowerment, diversity, inclusiveness, and sustainability.
"The Crew" encompasses all of the amazing leaders who help run Summer in the City. Comprised primarily of college students and recent graduates, the Crew is responsible for the continued success of the program. Click on the pictures below to learn more about our Crew members.
FUN, FLEXIBLE, FULFILLING
The eight week summer program is the heart of Summer in the City. From June 21 to August 12, our unmistakable t-shirts can be seen all around Metro Detroit. Working alongside Summer in the City's invaluable Crew, volunteers can Paint murals around the city, Plant in community and urban gardens, or Play with neighborhood children at any of our youth enrichment sites.
Fun. Summer in the City is an organization run by local folks who think volunteer work should be infused with energy, humor, and sunshine. In short, volunteering can and should be fun. And it's not just the volunteer work that's exciting -- you'll meet lots of great new people on site each day!
Flexible. After completing registration, volunteers can participate on any project day with no advance sign-up. Volunteers arrive at any of our carpool sites before embarking for the day's project sites by 9:00am. At the carpool sites, volunteers are assigned to cars based on project preference. You may not get your first pick, but we will try our best. After a fulfilling day's work, volunteers return to the carpool site around 2:00pm each day.
Fulfilling. The projects chosen each day are not only fun, but have a significant impact on the community. Upon arriving at the project site, volunteers are greeted by a Crew member who will explain the day's activities and the context of the surrounding community. We expect volunteers to work hard, get dirty, and come home smiling each day.
The Fun, Flexible, and Fulfilling model has spurred the continuous growth of the organization, and we expect this year to be no different. Over the last 16 years, Summer in the City has grown from humble beginnings with a dozen volunteers a day to today's 200-plus volunteers working alongside each other at 10 to 15 sites each and every day.