The Walters Family Foundation welcomes and encourages you to visit our website. We’re sorry for any inconvenience but please access the site through Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox or another modern browser of your choice. Thank you!
Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Bolstering Business for Small Apparel Retailers with Midtown Detroit, Inc.

Detroit, MI (March 2023) - Think back to the pandemic. Imagine the streets of Midtown Detroit, with all its bustling businesses and restaurants, suddenly as empty as a ghost town. While many of Detroit’s small businesses have recovered, Midtown’s independent apparel shops continue to lag behind, struggling to adapt to decreased foot traffic and increased online competition.

The

Read more
Stories of ImpactArts and Culture

Youth Uncover the Wonder of Words and Self-Expression with InsideOut Literary Arts

Oak Park, MI (March 2024)—“Mr. Justin! Mr. Justin! Mr. Justin!” An all-out chant echoed like a chorus through the Oak Park elementary school hallway, greeting the surprised InsideOut Writer-in-Residence, Justin Grappuso-Cook, as he entered the classroom. On this day, Mr. Grappuso-Cook would lead the students in one of his inspired writing exercises, awakening young minds to the wonders of words. Students were so excited; they couldn't contain themselves.

It

Read more
Stories of ImpactLearning Initiatives

Downtown Boxing Gym’s New Commercial Kitchen Nourishes Student Athletes in Myriad Ways

Detroit, MI (March 2024)—When chef Molly Mitchell is whipping up a meal in the sparkling new commercial kitchen at the Downtown Boxing Gym, it’s not uncommon to find 10 eager helpers by her side. “What are you making? Can I be your assistant? What new techniques can you teach us?” These budding chefs are so curious and excited to be a part of the journey from prep to plate, they’re happy to take on any task, even the small ones, like folding towels and sorting silverware.

The

Read more
Stories of ImpactNatural Environment

Removing a Dam to Restore River Health with Huron River Watershed Council

Ypsilanti, MI (November 2023)—As Michiganders, we define ourselves by the Great Lakes that surround us. The beautiful inland waterways that feed our Great Lakes contribute to that identity. For more than 50 years, Huron River Watershed Council has been dedicated to the protection of the Huron River, monitoring its tributaries, lakes and groundwater, to ensure healthy and vibrant communities.

Over

Read more
Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Venture North Elevates Entrepreneurs in Underserved Michigan Communities

Traverse City, MI (November 2023) - In Kalkaska, Michigan, more than 90 families rely on daily childcare services from the Blue Fish Early Learning Center. When the education-based center first opened in 2019, it answered a growing demand for infant and toddler daycare in the region. Blue Fish’s owner, Kristin Andrews, was committed to providing this essential service in her hometown, but she needed business and legal assistance as her center expanded. She turned to Venture North.  

Vent

Read more
Stories of ImpactNatural Environment

Enhancing Lives, Improving Ecology with a Game-Changing Greenway

Detroit, MI (November 2023)—On a November evening in 2022, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy was preparing to host a community sneak peek of the evolving Southwest Greenway — a pathway that would eventually connect Southwest Detroit communities to the riverfront. Weather forecasts pointed to a blustery winter night with bursts of bitter cold. It was a worry if anyone would attend. Little did the Conservancy anticipate that on that evening, an astounding 400 people would show up to hear about the project's progress. Neighbors, community leaders, and visitors alike bundled together, eager to learn about the community connector that would change the face of the neighborhood.  “It was an amazing moment to see the community respond to this space with so much love from the very beginning,” says Wallace. Six months later, the greenway formally opened to the public, linking the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park with the Michigan Central mobility innovation district, a key part of the 27.5 mile Joe Louis Greenway.

Read more
Stories of ImpactNatural Environment

Huron Pines Connects Pristine Northern Michigan Waterways

Grayling, MI (May 2023)—If you’ve ever dipped your toe into a sparkling Michigan stream or cast a line in one of our state’s magnificent rivers, you know how unforgettable the experience can be. Memories are made on the banks of these freshwater treasures, and ensuring their sustainability is so important for communities, and the aquatic wildlife that call them home.

For

Read more
Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

T.E.A. Helps Homeless Women Find a Path to Job-Readiness and Self-Sufficiency

Detroit, MI (May 2023) - On any given night in Detroit, homelessness impacts 14,000+ people, many of whom are Black women and children. These families often face insurmountable barriers including lack of access to employment opportunities and adequate transportation, challenges in mental health and systemic racism that make it nearly impossible to feel physically or financially safe, much less self-sufficient.

Read more

Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Empowerment Plan Breaks the Cycle of Homelessness and Launches Careers

Detroit, MI (May 2023) -Veronika Scott had a brilliant idea. While working on a college project to design for those in need, she came up with a sketch of a coat that could double as a sleeping bag. To hone the design and understand those who could benefit from it, she spent countless hours at a nearby warming center. Her idea quickly gained interest in the community, and by the time her class ended, Veronika received multiple coat requests.

Read more

Stories of ImpactEconomic Vitality

Centrepolis Accelerates Entrepreneurial Ideas in Michigan Manufacturing

Southfield, MI (May, 2023) - Michigan’s manufacturing landscape is brimming with incredible ideas. Whether it’s the creation of eyeglasses made from discarded water bottles or the development of AI-based ergonomic monitoring, these diverse and creative ideas offer an exciting glimpse into the future. However, there is a funding gap for entrepreneurs and small businesses that are developing these new products, some of which have the potential to significantly advance innovation, sustainability, and design in Michigan.

Read more