The thunderstorm had retreated and the sky was still overcast as the rumble rolled along streets leading to Piquette Square in Detroit. It was the roar of 40 motorcycles riding in formation. Though the sound seemed ominous, the mission was anything but.
The riders were from AMVETS Post 29 in Mount Clemens. They rode 25 miles to Piquette Square to deliver items needed by the homeless veterans moving into the brand new project. Ahead of their formation and leading their charge was a delivery truck with 150 toasters – one for each apartment unit at Piquette.
Piquette Square provides long-term supportive housing for homeless veterans to enable them to reintegrate into the community. The facility is located near the New Center area. Southwest Solutions developed the $23 million project and will own and manage it.
The one-bedroom apartments at Piquette are furnished, but kitchen, bedroom and bathroom items were needed for each unit. To acquire these items, groups, organizations and businesses organized “showers” or festive donation events. Funds raised at the showers were used to purchase room items on the Piquette Wish List.
AMVETS Post 57 in Harper Woods donated bath accessories, including towels, washcloths, bath mats, shower curtains and other items. The Post also raised more than $2000, including a $1000 donation from Toyota.
In addition to the 150 toasters donated by the AMVETS Riders from Post 29, the entire Post in Mount Clemens raised more than $3,000.
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 113 in Redford donated 150 coffeemakers. MASCO donated all the toiletries and Bank of America donated all the tableware and cookware on the Wish List. Numerous other individuals and organizations also contributed to the cause.
This past Sunday (June 6), along with the “Toasters for Troops” from Post 29, the DAV delivery truck with coffeemakers and toiletries gift bags from Post 57 arrived at Piquette Square. Members from all three groups then joined with other volunteers, lead by Peggy O’Neill, to place the items in the apartments, in anticipation of the first set of homeless veterans moving in the next day.