Local Family Business Is “Paying it Forward”

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The James H. Cole Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that supports community-based groups that seek to encourage economic growth and prosperity among the citizens of Detroit through education, inspiration, and guidance. Our goal is to aid in the upward mobility of those individuals who strive to better themselves, their family, and their community.

After spending 100 years in the community and giving back through employing numerous employees from Detroit and providing affordable and quality service to residents during their most difficult time, the company formally established the James H. Cole Legacy Foundation at the end of 2019.

Like the rest of the world, the Foundation’s plans for 2020 were put on hold, and the team quickly pivoted to address the most pressing needs of a community in crisis. 

The Stevie Award winning "Love Thy Neighbor" initiative was established as a way to thank frontline and essential workers for their sacrifices to keep the community going. In 2020 we donated meals to Sinai Grace and Henry Ford Hospital staff, as well as Detroit Fire stations and Detroit Police precincts across three shifts. We had the opportunity to work with Detroit based/minority-owned restaurants and caterers to provide them much needed meals. Buddy's Pizza, Bucharest Grill, Lonestar Catering, and Smokey G's Smokehouse were among the hired vendors. A secondary goal of the initiative was to help local businesses continue to keep their doors open during this time.

The Legacy Foundation rounded out 2020 by donating 500 backpacks filled with school and safety supplies, plus Grubhub gift cards to Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School at Northwestern, and 50 teddy bears to the Pure Heart Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides services to children within the Metro-Detroit area whose parent/parents are incarcerated. In December we provided gift cards and donations to community members and non-profit organizations who were nominated and chosen as  "Everyday Heroes" through our "12 Days of Giving" initiative. 

The James H. Cole Legacy Foundation donated 50 teddy bears to the Pure Heart Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides services to children within the Metro-Detroit area whose parent/parents are incarcerated.

The momentum continued in 2021. In February, the Legacy Foundation provided more than 150 meals to essential janitorial and administrative staff at Henry Ford Hospital. And in June the Foundation continued campaign efforts by celebrating frontline workers once again with donated dinners to two firehouses near the two James H. Cole Home for Funerals locations. 

The James H. Cole Legacy Foundation celebrated frontline workers by donating dinners to firehouses near the James H. Cole Home for Funerals locations. Pictured: Antonio Green (James H. Cole Legacy Foundation), James Harris (Detroit Fire Department)

The end of the year brought more community support. The Foundation in partnership with the Youth Are Bigger Than Life organization hosted a relief effort where 500 food donation boxes were distributed to attendees and several organizations and neighbors such as Detroit Rescue Mission, Canine Companions Rescue Center, and residents of Young Manor. The annual Heroes and Hope calendar featuring community members that go above and beyond for their fellow community members was distributed in December. And finally, the Foundation once again partnered with local Beasley Media Group radio stations for the "12 Days of Giving" initiative, announcing winning honorees each day on the radio. A $100 gift card was provided as a thank you for their local efforts. 

Volunteers preparing food donation boxes for distribution. Photo Credit: Justin Woods

2022 brought an expansion of our partnership with the Pure Heart Foundation in March, sponsoring a room in their new Scholars Center called the Cole Legacy Foundation Innovation Lab which offers scholars the space to create, design, and develop their own ideas, while exposing them to new learning techniques and opportunities. The Lab also assists with workforce development and entrepreneurial endeavors. 

James H. Cole Legacy Foundation leadership attending the Pure Heart Foundation Scholars Center grand opening event. L-R Antonio Green, Sherelle Hogan (Pure Heart Foundation), Karla Cole, Brice Green. Photo Credit: Carlotta Tutt Holloway

If you are interested in making a financial contribution to the James H. Cole Legacy Foundation to help us continue our efforts in the Detroit community, please visit our website at www.jhcfoundation.org and click on the donate button.

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