Jennifer Chambers The Detroit News
Published 9:23 PM EDT Oct 16, 2018
Detroit — Riders catching a Lyft across Metro Detroit will be able to round up their fare and donate the change to a foundation that supports students at Detroit’s public school district.
The on-demand transportation company is partnering with the Detroit Public Schools Foundation to kick off its first Michigan-based “Round Up & Donate” program. Lyft has raised more than $8 million through its national Round Up & Donate partners since 2017.
Starting Tuesday, Lyft passengers within the Metro Detroit market were able to opt-in to round up their ride fare to the nearest dollar in support of the foundation, company officials said.
An official announcement about the partnership will be made Tuesday evening at the foundation’s Champions of Education Gala in Detroit. A 60-second video explains the partnership and highlights how the public can donate and support the foundation.
Lyft Detroit General Manager Elliot Darvick said Lyft is committed to at least $10,000 in donations to the foundation in the first year of the partnership. For every donation within the first month, Lyft will match with a donation of a school uniform.
Darvick said the company has watched Detroit’s resurgence reflected in the growth of Lyft.
“Through Round Up & Donate, we’re making sure that resurgence continues to extend to the most vital part of this city: its schools,” Darvick said.
Once the Lyft app has been installed on a smartphone, donating to DPS Foundation through Round Up & Donate is a three-click process, Darvick said.
Riders will need to look at the “Round Up & Donate” tab in the app to select the DPS Foundation. Donations will be on an emailed receipt after paying for a ride.
The foundation, which supports students attending Detroit Public School Community District, awards grants to teachers, schools and nonprofits operating in the schools for programs and materials that enhance educational experiences, foundation officials said.
Its funding priorities are early childhood education, fine and performing Arts, science and math education, and professional development for teachers.
DPS Foundation president and CEO Pamela Moore said Lyft brought the idea of a partnership to her many months ago.
“As a small foundation that supports DPSCD, we were thrilled. We don’t get those kinds of phone calls every day from large companies,” Moore said.
Moore said she wants to credit Lyft for understanding the challenges and needs of children in Detroit with its decision to donate uniforms in the first month.
“Teachers and principals often come to the foundation asking for assistance for essentials. All of our schools require a uniform,” she said. “Some families don’t have washers and dryers. That can be part of absenteeism.”
With all the new people coming to the city to live, eat, play and worship, Moore said the partnership provides an easy way to help 50,000 schoolchildren in the city.
“It’s perfect for us. We are always looking for partnerships to support our kids inside and outside the classroom,” Moore said.
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