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November 7, 2012

Ink Detroit, Goodwill team up to help Detroit Diehards

Tire-design bracelets to help metro Detroiters find jobs

By Chris Jackett
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Ink Detroit and Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit are teaming up to sell Detroit Diehard rubber bracelets, which are designed to look like tires.

ROYAL OAK — With a little bit of pride in the city of Detroit and a parallel vision of raising awareness, Detroit Diehard was born.

A black rubber bracelet resembling a tire, Detroit Diehard is the stylish collaboration between Royal Oak-based apparel company Ink Detroit and Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. It serves a multi-faceted purpose for the two groups, raising both awareness and funds for areas of need.

“We’re all about Detroit,” said Steven Mansour, a Royal Oak resident and co-founder of Ink Detroit. “My company has the official trademark on ‘I heart Detroit’ products. The idea was we always worked with different organizations and nonprofits.”

Goodwill’s mission to provide job training, education and placement services to metro Detroiters fit the bill. And the 91-year-old organization’s dual role as an automotive parts supplier for Ford, Chrysler and General Motors for the past 80 years played a large role in the tire-like design of the bracelet.

“I felt like it would be a good concept,” Mansour said. “Goodwill does build auto parts for the Big Three.”

Mark Lane, director of public relations and special events for Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, said Goodwill and Ink Detroit were connected by a third party after hearing about Ink Detroit’s partnerships with Volunteers of America and the American Cancer Society.

“They were introduced to us by Boost 1 Marketing and we got a chance to take Steve on a tour to show him what we’re all about,” Lane said. “We create business to create jobs. We’ve put 2,700 people back into real, paying jobs.”

Goodwill has opened new stores in Canton and Dearborn in recent months, Lane said, helping to spur job growth for people ranging from recent veterans to those who had been unemployed for four years.

“Our mission is to get them trained, get them trusted and get them jobs,” said Lane, who said the partnership with Ink Detroit is just getting started. “They care about this organization and this area. They’re sticking their neck out and saying they believe in Goodwill.”

Ink Detroit is joining Goodwill’s 6:30 p.m. Nov. 23 Rock For Jobs concert at The Fillmore Detroit, which is made possible by a partnership with the Detroit Lions.

“We’ve been named one of the five local partners of the Detroit Lions’ ‘Living For the City’ campaign,” Lane said.

The concert will feature Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band’s saxophone player, Alto Reed, along with Mitch Ryder, Grand Funk Railroad frontman Mark Farner and locally based The Electric Playground. Tickets range from $10-$50.

Goodwill and Ink Detroit kicked off the Detroit Diehard campaign Nov. 1 at John D American Bistro Bar in Ferndale.

“Not everyone shops online,” Mansour said. “We’re doing this as a gesture for friends and family to bring awareness for Goodwill. Not a lot of people know about Goodwill.”

The bracelets are available for $5 apiece online at www.InkDetroit. com, www.GoodwillDetroit.org or at any of the several stores listed on the two websites. The proceeds will benefit Goodwill and Ink Detroit 50/50.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Chris Jackett at cjackett@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1110.