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Army of volunteers improving 2nd Detroit high school

Life Remodeled

Some 9,000 volunteers are remodeling Osborn High School in Detroit this week.

Last year, the same group – called Life Remodeled – focused on Cody High School, on the other side of the city. The non-profit even raised $1 million to build Cody a new football field.

The group gets some of Detroit’s biggest employers, like GM and Quicken Loans, to send thousands of volunteers to work with them for a couple days – and the companies, of course, get to boast about giving back.

Now with Osborn High School, the big goal is putting in a new 150,000-square-foot roof.

"When it rains outside, it literally pours inside the school,” says Chris Lambert, the CEO of Life Remodeled. “You would literally see kids dodging rain drops, moving from one side to the other side. It's just ridiculous, right?"

But Lambert says they’ve learned that when it comes to fundraising, roofs just aren’t as sexy as football fields. He says right now, they’re $200,000 short of what they need to finish it.

Still, he says they’ve promised the school that it’ll get done.

"And that's the same thing we did with the football field. With the football field, we were $300,000 short and we went for it anyway on faith. And God provided.”

Meanwhile, the volunteers are also working on boarding up some 400 houses in the Osborn neighborhood, as well as mowing grass and cutting down waist-high weeds. 

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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