With all the things going on because of Covid-19, and all of the disappointments 2020 has brought, 313 calling is a bright spot in this bleak time we are living in. Through something as simple as making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, people all around the Metro Detroit area are being helped.
313 Calling is an organization created through Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, their mission is to gather friends & family from around the community and provide services around the “313” area. Steve Tengler is a South parent who is an involved member of GPMC and 313 Calling. Tengler said in the midst of the pandemic, Wayne County would suffer, and volunteers at 313 Calling felt they could help change that.
“At some points in Wayne County there was over 50% unemployment, and unemployment correlates to people suffering and going hungry,” Tengler said. “The Church decided to inspire the community and set out to help 313,000 people, hence the name 313 Calling.”
With such a struggling time, Tengler said they were trying to figure out how to help the homeless/hungry and they teamed up with Operation Love the Homeless. This is run through Grosse Pointe Woods and she had started the PB&J sandwich drive. Since the two organizations teamed up, there have been efforts across not only the South community, but all of Grosse Pointe to feed the hungry. Steve’s son, Michael Tengler ‘22 and is active in the program and described it as an easy way to give back to the less fortunate.
“We make the sandwiches at our house and when we are done we set up a cooler outside our house and someone from Operation Love the Homeless picks it up, and they distribute them to people in need,” said Tengler. “Considering all the hardship in not just Detroit but the world, it’s a fairly simple way to do the right thing for the community.”
Jordan Bruetsch ‘22 is another avid volunteer via Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, who has taken part in the PB&J drive. Bruetsch said what he likes most about the project is that anyone can get involved and easily help distribute or make sandwiches for the homeless.
“I like this volunteer program above others because of the accessibility, PB&J sandwiches are not super complicated and it makes it easy for anyone around Grosse Pointe to involve themselves and give back,” said Bruetsch.
When asked about the appeal to the South community, Steve Tengler said that it doesn’t take much for these kids to get involved and it certainly isn’t back breaking work.
“What’s nice about this 313 Calling PB&J drive is the simplicity of the operation, I can sit in front of the TV watching Thursday Night Football and crank out 40 sandwiches,” Tengler said, “I also have helped some kids get hours for NHS, so it’s a real easy way for kids to help get involved in the communities needs.”