Tyler Weston wears many hats: entrepreneur, real estate guy, volunteer, philanthropist, Ypsilanti advocate and coach. His newest campaign? Donating 10 percent of his commission of all sales to an Ypsilanti non-profit of the buyers choice from a list of six organizations: 826 Michigan, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Special Olympics of Michigan, YMCA Ann Arbor, Ypsi Promise and Ozone House.
We sat down with Weston to talk about Ypsi and his newest projects. Here’s what we got:
In your eyes, what is it about the Ypsilanti community that makes it one worth investing in?
Its people. The people here are just so strong, individual, entrepreneurial, and just good to be around. People here really admire authenticity among all things, and being someone who prides himself in telling it straight and being my true self, it just makes this place my home in the truest sense. Also people in Ypsilanti are willing to help each other to make this a better place. Look at Ypsi Proud (Formally Ypsi Pride), an event that our community has participated in for the last 22 years that cleans up our common areas, parks, plants, flowers, does landscaping and improves recreation areas. This event has over 1,000 participants every year and without it our city would not look as beautiful as it does every summer.
Tell us about your new project. Why are you donating a portion of sales back into the community?
I am always trying to find ways to amplify our story here in Ypsilanti. Over the last six years I have been building my Real Estate business. I was not able to give money to the efforts of nonprofits in my community so I gave my time and talents to those organizations instead. Thanks to my community’s interest in my business and my friends telling others about my service that allows me to give my money back to the nonprofits that, I know from first hand experience, are doing great work with those in most need. I wanted to create a program that would not only give these organizations additional funds but also help my clients become more aware of the good work they are doing in hopes that when they want to invest their personal time, talent or funds into a nonprofit that they would consider these organizations when doing so.
Any other projects you’re working on that you’d like to share?
The East Washtenaw Basketball League was a project that I helped to lead that involved the Sheriffs Department, the YMCA, and the Ypsilanti Community Schools. We offered free basketball to middle and high schoolers on Friday nights at our Middle School Campus in the Willow Run area of Ypsilanti on the far East Side. We had over 120 young people participate over the course of the 10 week program and literally packed the gym every Friday night with young people and volunteers. We will be continuing the program in the fall and I am so excited to see all we can do with this new partnership to offer our young people free/low cost recreational opportunities in safe, and healthy environments.