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Detroit nonprofit CEO uses second chance to give back to community

Detroit nonprofit CEO uses second chance to give back to community
Detroit nonprofit CEO uses second chance to give back to community 02:45

(CBS DETROIT) - Cherise Donelson Sweeney with Detroit nonprofit Saving Mothers has been giving back to the community for the past 10 years.

She's adopted families for Christmas while providing resources to needy people.

"Giving back is something we always do," she said.

Sweeney's spirit of giving continues this holiday season as her nonprofit prepares for a coat giveaway.

"Sometimes I can't stop crying knowing of the good work that we are doing," Sweeney said.

Sweeney and her husband Roosevelt unloaded over 250 coats Tuesday with plans to give them away to kids to help them stay warm during the winter.

"I wish we could take care of the world like this and provide for every kid. Not just in Detroit but the United States," she said.

Sweeney started the nonprofit in 2013 after agreeing with her grandkids to use their Christmas money to buy coats for kids.

"I come from a family that's always helping another," she said.

Helping people is Sweeney's passion, but it's also what she needed when she was down on her luck.

Sweeney was once homeless and addicted to drugs.

Now, she's hoping to be a lifeline for families in the position she was once in.

"I'm a crybaby. So, to see a smile on somebody's face who is not as fortunate as myself or my family. It means so much. It means everything," she said.

Saving Mothers also provides peer support, GED prep and other resources to the community.

Sweeney says her ultimate goal is to get a building with the hope she can expand her reach and touch more people in the city of Detroit. 

"It's nothing like that feeling to want to help somebody," she said.

The Saving Mothers coat giveaway will take place at Westminister Church in Detroit. It will be held from 5-8 p.m. on 17567 Hubbell Avenue. 

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