Lifelong Lions fans surprised with Super Bowl tickets as thanks for their volunteer work in Detroit

Posted at 2:57 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 14:57:31-05

In the season of giving, one Detroit nonprofit organization was surprised with the gift of a lifetime for their volunteer work they do for the city.

Kim and Andy Baligian run Serve the City Detroit, a nonprofit aiming to inspire volunteers to do acts of kindness in the city. This holiday season, the Baligians teamed up with another local organization to give back to families in need.

“Detroit has so much to offer to people and is such a great city that we want to help those in need,” said Kim Baligian. “Even just to connect the bridges to people who want to help, but don’t know where to start.”

JJ’s House is a foster and adoption home on the east side of Detroit. Courtney and Jason Faraday turned part of their family’s home into a foster home after they were inspired by the adoption of their son, JJ. Their home provides a safe space for pregnant women who do not have a place to live. They house, teach, and assist the women for the first year of their babies life until they transition into motherhood.

Together, JJ’s House and Serve the City Detroit are providing food, Christmas gifts, and clothing items to families in need.

“sometimes when you’re living down here and doing everything down here, you fee like you’re doing it all alone and then you get a phone call from Kim or another organization and they’re like ‘How can we help?’” said Courtney Farady.

This effort, among other volunteer efforts, got Serve the City Detroit some serious recognition on a national level. The NFL surprised the Baligians with two tickets to the 2022 Super Bowl in Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium. Former Lion Nate Burleson surprised Kim and Andy on a zoom call to say thank you and tell them about the gift.

“I know that Serve the City Detroit means a lot to you, but it also means a lot to the city,” said Burleson. “We are showing our appreciation to you so we are surprising you with two tickets to the Super Bowl.”

Kim said they were shocked and moved by the gesture, adding that she thought Andy was going to cry he was so excited. Kim and Andy have six children and said their grandparents will babysit them in Michigan, while mom and dad get to go enjoy a vacation to the west coast to watch some football.