“Obviously, we know we are a mortgage company; we sell mortgages. We are a technology company, but we also want to be able to help residents and the community.”
Created in 2012 by 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, Giving Tuesday aims to incite generosity for a greater cause. A charitable response to the rampant consumerism of the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday–Cyber Monday weekend, it’s goal is to activate volunteerism and community support efforts.
For the past 3 years, Jasmin DeForrest—Director of Community Sponsorships at QLCF (Quicken Loans Community Fund)—has made the act of giving her life’s work. She manages Quicken Loans and the Family of Companies’ (FOC) Detroit-based portfolio of art and culture sponsorships. She describes QLCF as the philanthropic arm of the FOC, dedicated to Detroit’s community and building partnerships through six targeted areas: Housing Stability, Entrepreneurship, Education and Employment, Public Spaces, Community Sponsorships, and Team Member Engagement. These six pillars work harmoniously to bring opportunities and community support to the city of Detroit.
This team demonstrates they are obsessed with finding a better way each and every day, and we just had to hear more! In honor of this Giving Tuesday, we turned to the person who knows giving best, and here's what she had to say:
Threads: Why do you think you were asked to be a Threads Influencer?
Jasmin: “I have no idea! I think the Threads team is cool. Maybe they think I’m cool too. Even though, I think I’m kind of corny. But I think they saw something in me that they wanted me to be an influencer, and all I can say is that I am honored… for whatever the reason is. Very, very honored to be a part of the influencer crew.”
T: You’re doing amazing work as the Director of Community Sponsorships. How would you describe the mission of the Quicken Loans Community Fund in relation to giving?
J: “Our mission is to have a positive impact on Detroit. We know that our chairman, Dan Gilbert, and Bedrock are doing a lot in terms of real-estate development which is bringing more jobs to the city of Detroit, but it’s also important for us to dive deeper and really do community work by partnering with community organizations. So, our mission is to really make a positive impact on Detroit residents and the organizations serving the Detroit population and communities.”
T: How does the Quicken Loans Community Fund demonstrate the values of #givingtuesday through its work?
J: “Our team encompasses Giving Tuesday, but it’s every day. Each and every team member is dedicated to giving back to the city of Detroit. It is what we do. It is what motivates us. It is what inspires us. So, it’s not just a Tuesday. It’s Wednesday, Thursday, Friday… every day. Our work is every day of our lives.”
T: How are those goals accomplished and in what ways?
J: “We’re able to support programs like, America’s Thanksgiving Parade. The parade company brings smiles to millions of Americans every year and they are nationally syndicated. Our Team Member Engagement team works with local organizations. Currently, they are supporting a can good drive where people can donate goods in the lobbies of our buildings. These are the types of programs that speak to us, especially on a grassroots level. If we’re talking about #givingtuesday, it is represented through the work of our Team Member Engagement team and the work our team members do around the city.”
T: What can we expect in 2019 from the Community Sponsorships team?
J: “We are working on some really cool projects! Next year is the 40th anniversary for the Detroit Jazz Festival. We are working with them to really build out what is our QL Untitled performance series. We’ve had Common perform last year and Kasmasi Washington. We’re working with MoPop, the music festival, to shake up their lineup for 2019. We’re even developing a new partnership with the Charles H. Wright African American Museum. So, we’re really excited about that.”
Events like Demo Day, Charity Challenge, and Winter Wonderland are just a few examples of how the Quicken Loans Community Fund gives back to city of Detroit and its residents. They're always looking for a better way to give (and not just on one Tuesday out of the year). Her work with QLCF is one of the many reasons we're proud that Jasmin DeForrest represents Threads as an Influencer—and she’s right, we do think she's cool!