By: Nicole Fricke, Design Professional

It’s Thanksgiving week! This is a time of food, family, friends and cherishing what’s around us. It gives us a chance to celebrate memories while making new ones, reveling in an appreciation for what — and who —we have.

As we enter into the holiday season, let us also look to those in need. Last week marked a country-wide call to do so, deemed National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, which spanned from Nov. 11 to 19.

For 40 years, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan has fought hunger and nourished communities. Through their efforts and partnerships, Gleaners is able to distribute 79,000 meals each day and 34.5 million pounds of food each year.

In partnership with Gleaners and the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Detroit, Hamilton Anderson Associates, along with other Detroit-area architecture and engineering firms, is participating in CANstruction. This is a charitable art exhibition event featuring structures made of canned goods by teams of volunteers. At the end of the exhibit, all food is donated to Gleaners. It is an opportunity to marry art and necessity.

CANstruction 2017 marks HAA’s third year participating. Sponsors, including Kroger, SDI Structures, Hunter Pasteur Homes, Glen-Gery Michigan Masonry Supply, Coalesse, Knoll, Sachse Construction, LaSalle Inc and Zoyes Creative Group, as well as HAA employees and personal donors contributed funds in order to purchase around 4,000 cans.

These cans will be used as the building blocks for an incredible 7’ by 8’ by 6’ structure, using the “Imagine” theme. HAA’s structure will celebrate a historic Detroit landmark while imagining its future. The structures will be displayed on Noel Night in the Welcome Center of Wayne State on Dec. 2, and are open to public viewing and voting.

At the end of the CANstructure displays, all of the cans used help provide local families with meals and hope.

HAA is excited to participate and work with an outstanding non-profit organization like Gleaner’s. Fundraising for the event continues until the week of Nov. 28, when the structures will be built. If you would like to donate to the cause, you can make a donation right on the Gleaners website.

Your support is appreciated and helpful.