Grammy-Nominated Producer Filthy Rockwell’s Annual Toy Drive Grows into Community Effort

Native Detroiter “The Electrifyin’ Filthy Rockwell” has been passing out presents for a few years with his Adopt-A-Block program and now with his nonprofit Filthy Cares.

The nonprofit organization Filthy Cares has teamed up with corporate partners and local businesses to give away Christmas presents. 

Grammy Award-winning producer and entrepreneur Filthy Rockwell goes door to door as part of his annual “Adopt-A-Block” program delivering gifts, treats and food to unsuspecting families. 

He says he never expected the program to grow into an organization. A partner suggested creating a nonprofit.

“She realized that I was doing all these things in the community, but I didn’t [think] to have a nonprofit or anything — I was just doing it because it was in my heart to do it,” Rockwell says. 

Through Dec. 23, the nonprofit has been collecting toys and nonperishables for the third annual Adopt-A-Block toy drive at several locations throughout Metro Detroit, including Better Health stores, Detroit Clutch and Throttle, Detroit Shipping Company and Marble Bar. The community is invited to a wrapping party — featuring free live entertainment and food at the Filthy Americans Arts and Cultural Center — to wrap up gifts, which will be delivered on Dec. 25.

Rockwell says he had been delivering gifts on foot a few years prior to creating the nonprofit. 

“It was just something I did that year, but just the response to the people and the kids and mothers and stuff in the Father. It just changed my perception and thinking, feeling like we got to do this every year. So it went from that. No me doing it one time. So here it is three years later, and we are still doing it. And other stuff. We’re doing the community too.” –Filthy Rockwell

Joseph Howse
Joseph Howse

The nonprofit grew out of supporters of the Filthy Americans brand, Rockwell says. He would tell them to bring a toy to his next event and it evolved from there.

“We’re doing a whole lot more in the community … if I don’t do it, who else is gonna do it?” he says.

This year also marks the one-year anniversary of the center, which Rockwell says, has become a neighborhood music venue and gathering spot on the northwest side of the city, hosting musicians from rap artists to DJs as well as events from techno festivals to jazz shows.

“When we decided to open up a space, I decided it would be … a community center where all different types of things happened.” 

To find out more about the nonprofit head to Filthy Americans’ website.


Listen: Producer Filthy Rockwell on how he started his nonprofit Filthy Cares.

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  • Tia Graham
    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.