While plenty of people kicked off their summer with BBQs and time at the lake over Memorial Day weekend, team members at our Monroe Power Plant decided to do things a little differently. A total of 109 plant employees spent the Friday before the long weekend volunteering at 10 different organizations around the community, looking to make a difference in their own backyard.  

Volunteers helped build a ramp that allows wheelchair access at the Monroe County United Way, delivered food bags to local schools through The Table, installed new lighting at the 4H building at the Monroe County Fairgrounds and much more.  

“These are the organizations that do the work for people who need it the most,” said Dan Casey, plant manager at the Monroe Power Plant. “Groups like Salvation Army, United Way, Gabby’s Ladder and Paula’s House help people when they are in need or have suffered a tragedy. To have an opportunity to give back to them for what they do for the community is very rewarding.”  

While the effort on May 24 was a big one, it wasn’t the first time many of these team members have given back to their community. For some, the culture of volunteerism at DTE is part of what makes it a great place to work.  

“We volunteer ever year,” said Jacob Lindeman, a work management specialist at the Monroe Power Plant. “It feels good to give back and provide for where you live and where you work.”  
For others, it was their first time getting out in the community to volunteer, but it was already having an impact.  

“It’s very cool,” said Brent Shelton, a reliability supervisor at the Monroe Power Plant. “Helping out in your community is very refreshing. It changes your whole day.”  

Volunteers also assisted with landscaping and yard work at the Monroe Senior Center, Salvation Army, Paula’s House and Gabby’s Ladder; cleaned up and took down fencing at Ash Park and helped build exhibits at the River Raisin Battlefield Education Center.  

The effort made a difference for both the team members doing the work and the organizations the teams helped at.  

“The whole idea is that we’re community oriented,” said Alisha Cooley, Battlefield Foundation Director. “We know that DTE is, too.”  

There was a lot accomplished on May 24 but there’s plenty more to be done to help the region. The team at the Monroe Power Plant is already planning another big day of community action later this year, their efforts fueled by their love for the community where they serve with energy.  

“The majority of the employees that work at the Monroe Power Plant live in the Monroe area,” Casey said. “This makes it special for them, knowing that they are improving their community and it really gives them a sense a of pride of what they are doing. To see more than 100 people participate in an activity like this shows how we all care about our community where we work and live and what DTE really stands for.”