“Volunteering is important to our team because it’s core to what we do at DTE,” said Sofia Tomasic, business analyst in Fleet Operations and a Care Force ambassador. “The last year has felt off with a lack of in-person volunteering – we have been missing part of our identity, a piece of work that gives us the spirit of DTE. It was really important that we get involved in any way that we could. It was giving back in a way that’s not about us or DTE.”

Pre-pandemic, the Fleet team would gather a few times a year to set up a group volunteer event, but when the pandemic sent them home they looked for new ways to get involved. They wrote cards to seniors and knew they wanted to stay involved in the community, even from home. ​​​​​​​

“We always vote as a team on what to do because we want to choose something we all care about,” said Sofia. “A lot of people on our team have kids so we worked with the Care Force team to find a project building infant kits for United Way. This really hit on something important for a lot of our team – so many of them know what it means to be a new parent.”

United Way matched the Fleet team with Creating Opportunities to Succeed (COTS) in Detroit, that needed infant supplies from diapers to wipes.

“We knew we wanted to help people in Detroit, especially since we haven’t been downtown in so long,” said Sofia.

The team received a list of what to include in their kits, went shopping, and held a virtual kit building session via Teams so they could all participate. Then they dropped the completed kits off at two company locations in Wixom or Warren – even employees living in Ohio were able to deliver their kits! Sofia packed up her car and brought everything to COTS.

In all, this team built 26 kits (pictured above):

  • Amy Joyce
  • Marca Brown
  • Matthew Betz
  • James Cox
  • Annette Dubuc-Brady
  • Karla Palmer
  • Michele Ann Molnar
  • Henry Mikesell
  • Hoda Alhassan
  • Sofia Tomasic