Air International Gives Pontiac New Life

Two years ago, close to 60 volunteers from Air International came to the Baldwin Center for a day of service and to build a hoop house garden.  Little did they know that in only two years the hoop house would become a symbol of growth and new life in the Pontiac Community.  Today, kids from the Youth Program are able to grow vegetables 10 months out of the year.  Growing and selling the produce at local markets teaches them the value of nutrition, teamwork and entrepreneurship.  Last month, Air International volunteers returned to check up on the hoop house and work on other areas of the Baldwin Center as part of their annual company day of service where half of the company comes one day and the other half comes the next week.

You may see Air International’s latest handy-work around the Center: the colorful sunflower signs in front of and above the main entrance to the Clothing Closet support our message that the Center is a respected place, where people can find dignity and hope; new fuse-boxes and outlets create a safer and more efficient environment to serve the growing number of individuals and families turning to the Baldwin Center for help and support.  “Days of service at the Baldwin Center allow us to give something back to the community we work in” says Mike Repetto, Business Director at Air International.  Days of service usually last between 3-5 hours and can include up to around 40 volunteers.  “We often don’t know what we are getting into, but it is always a rewarding experience” says Andy Chudzinski, Engineering Manager at Air International.  Days of service offer employees a chance to make a difference in the community, learn more about their coworkers, and see the diverse skills that each person has outside of the office.  It also allows teams to plan projects and creatively problem solve.

Partnerships with corporations such as Air International benefit Baldwin in many ways.  Employees are able to use their professional expertise and technical skills in ways that help us address areas that need improvement at the Center and the growing needs in the Pontiac community.  More sophisticated projects can be addressed rather than just a traditional volunteer opportunity such as serving in the soup kitchen.  As Baldwin moves forward, we are working with more corporations to help us grow so that we can make a lasting impact in the community.

To find out more about how your company can be a part of the growing movement for change in the Pontiac community, please call or email our Community Affairs Coordinator, Kristina Scharer  at 248.332.6101 or


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