DETROIT - At first glance, Mike Fowlkes is just your everyday average Joe with a loyalty to Ford that doesn’t waver.
He has worked at Ford as a Material Handling manager and area manager inside multiple plant facilities, not to mention he has returned from retirement twice to help launch some of Ford’s most recent vehicles.
As if his dedication to Ford wasn’t enough, he goes above and beyond for his community as well.
It all started when his brother, who was born with brain damage, walked away from the home they share in West Bloomfield, Mich. Fowlkes and his wife, Gwen, began searching the streets of downtown Detroit where his brother frequented.
During their search, they witnessed an abundance of homeless people picking through the garbage. Saddened by this, Fowlkes and Gwen wondered why no one was helping these people in need when finally, they looked at each other and thought, “Why not us?”
“If he had never left, it probably would have never crossed our minds,” said Fowlkes.
From that day forward, Fowlkes, Gwen and two fellow retirees, Anna Jackson and Don Starkey, took it upon themselves to be the ones who made the difference they all yearned to see.
The four created People to People Ministries and began cooking food and contributing money to provide the homeless with something more.
Every fourth Sunday of the month they began visiting Cass Park where they’d set up tables, feed and clothe the homeless.
After three years of hard work, People to People Ministries has grown from four strong Ford retirees to 40 plus volunteers comprised of a number of current and retired Ford employees, including Kirk and Jan Wurtzel, Keisha Hanks and Phil Calhoun.
“A lot of people want to help but don’t know how. This is an avenue that allows them to contribute,” said Fowlkes. “People to People helps those in need during these economic times and when people donate to our ministry, they see exactly where that money goes. No one takes a salary. Every dime we receive goes toward helping someone.”
If you’d like to volunteer your time to this charitable evdeavor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.