Team Patton included over 40 people who delivered gifts, food, clothing and other items to people in need this past Christmas. At this residence, they  delivered items and caroled.

Team Patton included over 40 people who delivered gifts, food, clothing and other items to people in need this past Christmas. At this residence, they delivered items and caroled.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Community gathers to give families, children’s hospital a happy Christmas

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published January 7, 2021

 This was the first year of the outreach program, led by Clinton Township Trustee Tammy Patton, her family and other individuals from the community.

This was the first year of the outreach program, led by Clinton Township Trustee Tammy Patton, her family and other individuals from the community.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

METRO DETROIT — Nearly 20 years after their newborn daughter, Erin, died due to severe heart defects, Tammy and Cliff Patton have given back to their community.

After starting a stuffed animal drive in 2001 in their daughter’s honor, the family — and dozens of others in the community — worked together to provide a fulfilling Christmas.

Team Patton Christmas Outreach started when Tammy Patton, a Clinton Township trustee, spoke to a friend who attends The Worship Center in Mount Clemens. The woman asked Patton if she and her husband were interested in “adopting” children for the holidays.

Within a span of two hours, five texts were exchanged and the names of 44 children — 22 from Clinton Township and 22 from surrounding municipalities including Roseville, Mount Clemens, Chesterfield Township and Detroit — were adopted for the holidays.

“We took on a whole 24 of those children, to the point where people were going, ‘What about us?’” Patton said. “It all came together, which was outstanding to me. The excitement, it was empowering. The kids were excited. The people who got involved in the community were excited.”

Addresses for all 22 of the families were obtained. Lists did not include wants and needs; rather, just sizes for clothing and shoes and other necessities.

More than 40 people in the community heard of the outreach initiative and wanted to be a part of it. They shopped, participated in gift-wrapping parties and scheduled deliveries.

Local attorney Shaun Mansour and Clinton Township business owner Christopher Bacho teamed up and adopted nine of the 44 children, providing clothing, shoes and gifts. They also purchased turkeys for all 22 families.

Protean Corporation and MAC Freight Services teamed up and adopted four of the 44 children.  

On one Friday evening, 20 members of Team Patton walked around Kohl’s and shopped as one.

“We made it fun, we made it exciting,” she said. “That was the enjoyable part. We all wanted to give.”

On Dec. 17, the group collected over 200 stuffed animals and over 200 blankets and delivered them to Children’s Hospital of Michigan, in Detroit. The experience was emotional.

Items were donated to direct departments, like the cardiology unit — which hit close to home for the Patton family. When the hospital was called ahead of time to be notified that items would be dropped off, an employee said it was the first big drop-off all holiday season.

“(The employee) played on my heart strings and made me want to push even more. … They were overwhelmed,” Patton said. “They didn’t know we were bringing such a big donation down.”

On Dec. 20, Team Patton organized and loaded packages to deliver to area families. The large group dropped off items at families’ front doors, caroling and bringing along Santa Claus.