DTE aspires not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. One way we accomplish this is through our dedication to the communities where we live and serve, in communities like Detroit or Ann Arbor. The holidays still look different this year, and children in hospitals may not be able to see their loved ones and continue holiday traditions. That is why Public Affairs and Distribution Operations teamed up to spread some holiday spirit!

On Sunday, Dec. 19 in Detroit, our trucks partnered with Michigan Towing Operators in a drive by parade at Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Children’s Hospital to bring holiday cheer from a safe distance. The lit-up truck was driven by Jason Barnett and Carl Simm Jr., DTE line workers, and gas truck was driven by John Frendo, who joined forces with over 100 other vehicles, playing holiday songs and waving to children throughout the event.

“When all the trucks lined up at the hospital, the children and staff were watching at their windows while Santa Clause hosted the event on a loud speaker,” said Carl. “Everyone gets especially excited when our truck pulls up, because it’s decorated in nearly 30,000 lights. It’s such a gratifying experience. I love seeing all the smiles and joy it brings to everyone.”

Our festive truck put on even more miles the next day on Monday, Dec. 20 when Carl Simm Jr. and Robert Vanderbush joined DTE volunteers to visit C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. The team played music, and waved at the children, families and hospital workers as they waved back with DTE donated flashlights. 

“Knowing we could bring smiles to children’s faces this year was incredible,” said Frank D’Angelo, manager of events and community outreach in Public Affairs. “I can’t imagine how difficult it is for those kids to be spending time over the holidays in a hospital which is why we knew we had to get involved. So many of these programs were closed this year and we still made it happen even with COVID, by masking up, staying outside and using our amazingly decorated truck.”