Veterans beautify Detroit in week-long service marathon, volunteers encouraged to join in

A team of volunteers rolled up their sleeves to Detroit's Central High School as part of a week-long service marathon.

"We're going to be converting the tennis courts into basketball courts. We're re-doing the baseball field. We're doing some painting inside the school -- making an impact in the community for the kids," said volunteer James Ellsberry.

The volunteers are veterans visiting Detroit from a national non-profit called The Mission Continues. They have a week of service projects lined up to help clean up areas of the city.

"Seeing us working, seeing that we care will give them the motivation to care also to make their own community to make their own little world, starting with their world, better," said Almandi Kidd of The Mission Continues.

The volunteers have served our country and now that service continues in another way.

"They're no longer in the military and them making this impact in the community gives them that feeling they had when they were in the military," Ellsberry said.

It's an experience that benefits everybody.

“We have people walking up off the street (that) just … grab a T-shirt, start building benches, start painting. They take of what they see us doing," Ellsberry said.

What's happening in Detroit throughout the city over the next few days will continue even after many of these veterans head home.

"Once all the veterans go back home on Thursday, the platoon will still be here," Ellsberry said. "We'll still have local veterans making an impact in the community.”

There were 75 veterans working on the project Thursday, but they're always looking for more help. To join The Mission Continues in their efforts, stop by these locations at the following times:

Osborn Neighborhood Revitalization
Time: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Date: Monday, June 27
Address: 13560 McNichols E in Detroit
Objective: Beautifying parks and future green spaces in partnership with the Osborn Neighborhood Alliance

Priest Elementary Playground Build
Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, June 28
Address: 7840 Wagner Ave. in Detroit
Objective: Giving new life to the playground and surrounding area of Priest Elementary

Recovery Park Clean Up
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, June 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Address: 5470 Chene St. in Detroit
Objective: Converting vacant lots and portions of the Chene Ferry Market into clean, vibrant spaces for community events and an urban farm at Recovery Park,

For more information, email Genna Young at