Wayne State athletes to distribute basic needs kits to Detroit's homeless youth and adults

Nearly 70,000 items collected since 2011

April 16, 2014

For the fourth consecutive year, the Wayne State University Athletics Department "W" Week Community Service Initiative -- in partnership with Wayne Cares, Covenant House Michigan and Marriott International -- will host a "Basic Needs Drive" to collect toiletry items for area homeless youth and adults.

The campus-wide drive, which continues through April 17, is expected to amass thousands of items, from toothpaste and toilet paper to shampoo and shaving cream. Marriott International, a dedicated sponsor since the drive's inception in 2011, has rallied seven of its Detroit-area hotels to donate over 1,000 items. Participating hotels include Courtyard Detroit Downtown, The Dearborn Inn - A Marriott Hotel, Detroit Marriott Troy, Courtyard Detroit Dearborn, Courtyard Detroit Livonia, Courtyard Detroit Warren and The Henry.
The drive culminates on Friday, April 18, when WSU athletes and volunteers will sort, assemble and distribute personal-care kits directly to homeless individuals in and around Detroit's Cass Park. They will also donate items to Covenant House Michigan to deliver to homeless and at-risk youth through its Street Outreach Program and at its shelter.  

Since 2011, nearly 70,000 items have been collected and distributed.

Video/photo/media opportunities:     

Friday, April 18, 2014:  
Sort and Assemble 
9 - 10 a.m. 
Wayne State University Matthaei Athletic Complex, 5101 John C. Lodge Service Dr.

Details/Visuals: WSU student athletes and other volunteers will sort and assemble the basic needs bags which will be distributed to the homeless. 

Interview Opps: WSU student athletes and event organizers, representatives from Covenant House Michigan and Marriott International staff.

Kit Distribution
11 a.m. - noon
Cass Park in Midtown Detroit (Temple and Second streets, across from Masonic Temple)

Details/Visuals: WSU student athletes and volunteers will distribute basic needs bags to the homeless in Cass Park and nearby areas.

Interview Opps: WSU students, event organizers, volunteers and recipients.
Wayne State University: Candice Howard, assistant athletics director for academic support, 313-577-3048
Wayne State University: Victor Green, director of community relations, 313-577-8863
Marriott International: Jodie Kennedy, spokesperson, 248-761-3561 

Covenant House Michigan helps thousands of homeless and at-risk young people every year. In addition to food and shelter, Covenant House provides job development services and crisis intervention to its residents and other young people. The organization also operates three charter second-chance high schools for drop-outs and at-risk students. For more information about Covenant House Michigan, call 313-463-2000 or visit

Marriott International, Inc. is a leading lodging company with 40 hotels in the metro Detroit area, representing 
Marriott, Autograph Collection, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn and 
Suites, and SpringHill Suites brands. For more information, visit

Wayne Cares is a university outreach initiative that brings together the WSU community for the purpose of charitable giving. Its primary goal is to help university units work together and collaborate with each other for the good of the community.