As we wrap up a successful calendar year, I want to let you know about two new examples of philanthropy, from opposite ends of the business spectrum, I think should inspire others with a commitment to education.

One example is a local company named METCO, an engineering services firm located in Downtown Detroit. This year, rather than host a holiday party, the company has generously decided to support education in Detroit with a $5000 gift to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. METCO’s donation will support our efforts to fund “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs that benefit many Detroit students. METCO’s gift is an example of how a Detroit-based business can make a significant impact on its community through philanthropy.

I’m also pleased to let you know that the world’s largest private employer, Walmart, has also chosen to continue to support our Foundation. Furthering the commitment to Durfee Elementary-Middle School, where a local Walmart store hosted a reading program and distributed free books to the students, Walmart staff received a Volunteerism Always Pays award from the Walmart Foundation to donate $1,000 to support the school’s library. Sam’s Club (owned by Walmart) then made an additional contribution of $10,000 through the Walmart Foundation to support Durfee.

Walmart has since provided a generous $50,000 donation to support DPS students through the Foundation.

If you received our annual appeal in recent weeks, and it’s sitting in your “pile” to review before year-end, please consider taking a look. It could help you make your decision on how you can follow the lead of METCO and Walmart and contribute to the future of our community in whatever way makes sense for you.  The appeal is also available here.

Happy Holidays from all of us at the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.  I look forward to keeping you updated on our progress in 2012.