Anthony Watson has been an electrical engineer at DTE Energy for 20 years. He immigrated to the United States from Liberia to escape civil war, in search of a better education and life for his family.
In 2018, with his family’s support and inspiration from DTE Energy, Watson founded Loving Arms For Liberia, a non-profit aimed at improving the lives of people in Liberia by providing necessities.
“DTE Energy has created a diverse environment where employees feel valued and inspired,” said Watson. Inspired by DTE Energy’s atmosphere and his engineering problem solving skills, Watson knew that he could do more for humanity. “My parents sacrificed so much for our family, which propelled me to start Loving Arms For Liberia. I wanted to help others have a better life, the way my parents helped us.”
Now, select DTE Energy service centers are home to Loving Arms For Liberia donation bins. Visitors and employees can donate clothing, school supplies, toiletries, medical supplies and more. DTE Energy then provides vehicles to transport the items to the storage and shipping facilities, before the goods are sent to Liberian villages in need.
Last year, Loving Arms For Liberia hosted the first annual Back to School Extravaganza. In Liberia, the organization passed out items that were collected at DTE service centers and celebrated the opening of Loving Arms For Liberia’s fully functional computer lab in a local high school, adopted by the organization. DTE donated the computers as well as bicycles at the event, to ensure children have safe, reliable transit to get to school. The organization is also creating an environmentally-friendly LEED certified learning resource center that will house another computer lab, medical clinic, kitchen, library, study rooms, locker rooms, gymnasiums, indoor and outdoor eating areas and more. At a recent charity dinner, the group raised over $7,000 for this project.
Since its founding, Loving Arms For Liberia, with the donations from DTE Energy and Detroiters, has helped provide supplies and create opportunities for Liberians with much needed donations.