Together, we’re making a difference

Monday, February 27, 2017

Editor’s note: This article initially appeared at

By Anne O’Dell

For 40 years, DTE Energy and United Way for Southeastern Michigan have been strong partners and advocates, working closely together to create positive change and accelerate growth in our communities. We’ve carried the torch – to give, advocate and volunteer – to ensure that children, adults and families across the region have resources and support that help them succeed and have a good quality of life.

“Across Michigan, 40 percent of households struggle to afford the basic necessities of housing, child care, food, health care and transportation,” according to the ALICE report. Each day, they are forced to make choices about whether they can pay their rent, buy groceries or heat their homes.

“By partnering with United Way, we are helping people receive the education, financial support and stability, and basic necessities that they need not only to survive but also to thrive, and to use their skills to help our communities grow and prosper,” said Nancy Moody, vice president of Public Affairs at DTE Energy. “We have a responsibility and opportunity to give back and help others who need it. And our partnership with United Way is a shining example of how we do this.”

In 2016, we ramped up our corporate and employee contributions. In total, we donated $7 million dollars to United Way for Southeastern Michigan to further assist families with the essential support they need.

We empower individuals and communities through education and employment opportunities, financial stability and assistance with basic needs. Our alignment in these key areas allows us to strengthen our efforts, and create a multiplier effect for change and growth.

“DTE Energy has been a longstanding, valued partner of United Way,” said Herman Gray, President and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “DTE employees literally power our city and our homes. But it’s their caring hearts that power our work. Year after year, DTE ranks as one of our top corporate donors. They are the reason more families can afford to heat their homes in the wintertime thanks to their partnership in the DTE Low Income Self-Sufficiency Plan. Their employee contributions ensure more children can access healthy foods, are prepared for kindergarten and graduate with the skills needed for college and a career.

“But that’s just a piece of our partnership. Thanks to DTE, we now have a permanent symbol of our united efforts in the form of an electrified torch, located in downtown Detroit. This historic sculpture shines brightly, reminding us that we all have a torch to bear in making our region a place where everyone has a chance to thrive. We are proud to partner with DTE every day and grateful for their support.”

DTE believes this is critical work to the future of our community. Our power is in the numbers. When we band together, we make a big difference.