Welcome to Local Heroes, our new series featuring Detroiters working during the COVID-19 pandemic to take care of one another. We hope you’ll check in to meet and support these men and women who are truly making a difference and restoring our faith in humanity.

Khali Sweeney, Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program (DBG Detroit)

Since 2007, Khali Sweeney, Founder and CEO of the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program (DBG) has served Detroit children and families by providing a free after-school academic and athletic program and critically needed services.

Today, in the midst of COVID-19, “critical need” has taken on a new definition. The gym is helping not only its 150 students, but also their families, AND other Detroit nonprofits. DBG’s vans are being used to transport food to homebound seniors in addition to the families and children the program serves.

“We have to continue the work we started. We started out educating the kids in our community, making sure they have a safe place to go, food, and the things they need. Just because it’s a crisis, that doesn’t mean we stop doing what we have to do. The need is still there.”

Reach out to dbgdetroit.org with donations of food, paper goods, cleaning supplies, and financial support. 

Jessica Merkle and Sydney Nygro at Canine to Five

As Detroit’s first responders and health care providers work around the clock to take care of COVID-19 patients, Canine to Five is taking care of their pets.

Through a partnership with Detroit Dog Rescue, Canine to Five is providing free doggy daycare and overnight boarding for first responders, essential workers, and those in the medical field. 

“We’re grateful to be in a position to help the community in a small way. It’s our way of saying thank you and to honor those who are in on the frontlines every day risking their lives for us.”

Donate a day of daycare or a full week of boarding for a first responder or health care provider. If you’re an essential worker and would like to make a reservation for your pet email: reservations@caninetofive.com. 

Joe Robinson

When Joe Robinson, Operating Partner of Standby, The Skip, and Deluxx Fluxx was forced to close his doors, his main concern was for the financial well-being of his staff. Working from his two time James Beard Award Semifinalist “Outstanding Bar Program” he sat down and wrote a recipe e-book of his favorite Standby cocktails.

Meet Standby at Home, a recipe book comprised of the namesake’s well-loved cocktails simplified and demystified for patrons to recreate from the comfort of their own home. All proceeds will be donated to Standby staff.

Standby at Home E-Book

“While I hope this book of recipes and insights will have a long life beyond today’s current troubles, it will always be the thing I created to help support the displaced employees of Standby and The Skip during a global crisis. I hope it will bring you some joy to know that you’ve helped to support our bar family.” 

Order your Standby at Home E-Book in denominations of $25 to $250.