Married couple Jacqueline Moore (left) and Willie F. Moore Jr. help run a community nonprofit organization that offers a wealth of resources including an indoor/outdoor recreational facility. Their daughters, right, Silver Danielle Moore and Shannon Delise Moore are the second half of the Detroit-based SDM2 non-profit organization.
Photos provided by Jacqueline Moore
They are a regular family from Detroit – but the Moores got that gumption and gut, spirit and a zest for life when it comes to bringing tangible change right where they live.
Basically, they knew their assignment – and their passion – for selflessly helping others while serving a better part of the Detroit community has made headlines. But that’s not why they’re here. They keep coming back to the community, which is practically their heartbeat.
Husband and wife, Willie F. Moore Jr. and Jacqueline Moore, and their two adult daughters, Silver Danielle Moore and Shannon Delise Moore, are the faces behind SDM2 – a community nonprofit organization that offers a wealth of resources for middle and high school students, elders and others. Both of their daughters’ initials make up the name of the organization. The family, hailing from the west side of Detroit, live near their indoor/outdoor recreational facility, Moore Park, 19483 Lenore Ave. (nestled near northwest Detroit).
With a mission statement that promotes, supports and builds their community up (through a foundation of youth-based literacy) they are instrumental in rebuilding what was missing: an extra helping hand, especially for one-parent households.
“We recognized [that] … most of the students we had — 99 percent — are raised by single moms that were working,” Jacqueline Moore said. “If we really wanted to help them academically, we need to help them [with] cooked meals every day… Mom didn’t have an opportunity to do that … and [we] sent meals home to make sure mom (ate.)”
Building the Right Foundation
It was about seven years ago when the family recognized the need — and they have been growing and expanding their services ever since.
Although Moore Park’s indoor/outdoor recreational facility is very well-known locally for its zip line, archery and more, it’s just a part of what SDM2 does – though its unique attractions help draw in more people.
“That is what the zip line was all about – fun, but bringing something to a place kids never experienced,” Jacqueline Moore said of transforming overgrown lots into a community attraction.
SDM2 Project Education, under the SDM2 umbrella, is aimed to specifically build up the confidence of area youth toward a path of school-year success Through using outdoor recreational activities in a safe, clean, and inviting environment, SDM2 helps nurture students in the educational development realm.
With over 20 years of servicing Detroiters in their back pocket, the family also purchased and renovated their very first community home where they offer free access to literacy support through library access, complete with computers and printers, after-school tutoring, mentoring and health education.
“With the SDM2 house being positioned directly in the neighborhood, there is the ease of accessibility for youth and their families to receive ongoing, community-based support,” according to the website, which added that they also have youth mentorship programs such as a community gardening program that bridges the gap between community elders and community youth. This summer they also launched a new program, an inner-city camp experience.
“The overarching of our organization has always been the support of our youth and academic growth — that is the foundation of our organization,” Jacqueline Moore said.
Not Waiting for Change to Come
Daughter Silver Danielle Moore said that other people, like her family, can get in on the transformational work, just start with something attainable.
She said that growing up her family prioritized their finances for the household and made sure they put back into the community, and she wouldn’t be surprised if her parents one day decide to put a rollercoaster in the backyard. “Out of my sister, mom, and dad [we said], this is what we’re going to do. How are we going to make it happen?”
Silver added that they made a choice and her parents, who she called “very big visionaries” have a true love for people, which others can adopt, too. While it might not be an outdoor park – do something to help others, she said.
“If you have a passion [for it] there is something you can do – whatever it is start out small,” she said. “Just do it.”
And they did.
From back-to-school drives and sophisticated, free food fairs (every Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the outdoor facility) to just bonding with the community-turned family, Jacqueline said that she is touched by the community, especially the youth, who teach her and her family things, too.
During one back-to-school event six or seven years ago, she learned from kids what they planned to prioritize for that academic year. The kids wrote on a banner what they wanted to accomplish including not wanting to flunk school or get kicked out.
“When we read that banner it really changed the whole scope of things,” she said, adding that a lot of students are “on the cusp” of easily going the wrong way based on their circumstances and their surroundings.
The Moore family steadily helps bring young people back in, while impacting their environment – and for good reason.
“I’m not waiting for change to come — we’re bringing it to my community,” she said. “[This is] purpose work – we’re doing what we’re assigned to do.”
For more information visit https://www.sdm2projecteducation.com/.
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