Erica Owens

Giving Spirit

Erica Owens is an entrepreneur, mom, activist, and philanthropist in the city of Detroit. She wants to be sure everyone takes advantage of their city’s free resources for themselves and their children. She is the founder and CEO of Frugal OnThe Fly, creating access to free (or affordable) inclusive experiences in Metro Detroit. She is also on a mission to empower others to be the change they want to see in the world. She helps empower parents to get their children involved in volunteer work,because she believes we are not only raising tiny humans. We are raising members of a community.

During the pandemic, she hosted free produce events in Hamtramck helping families with food security by providing 30 pounds of fresh, nutritious food to each guest. On June 5 she and her eight-year-old son Padraig started with 50 families and their events quickly grew with community support to aid around 2,000 families weekly for 23 weeks. She participated in the grassroots campaign Warm The Line, where makers around the USA created handmade hats, scarves, cowls, mittens, and masks to keep voters warm at the polls. Erica and her son distributed 860 handmade items at Detroit polls. In August she helped Hug Detroit Day gather and distribute hundreds of free backpacks loaded with school supplies for Detroit students. She hosted popup little free libraries for families around the city. She is a food rescuer for Food Rescue Detroit, eliminating food waste and helping organizations and individuals with food security.In December she helped Hug Detroit Day distribute 1,000 free coats, blankets, socks, hats and gloves to Detroiters. In January she hosted a National MLK Day Of Service event at Charles H. Wright Museum, gathering thousands of nonperishables and toiletriesveteran organizations.

Erica is a firm believer in collaboration over competition, and is often joining forces with other nonprofits to make a larger impact on the community. Her latest project is remodeling the third floor of a Detroit shelter, transforming it into an inviting place for relaxation, play, and learning for women and children. She is conducting a lot of creative fundraisers, rallying the community to give back. 

You can keep up with Erica Owens, and get involved, by following @frugalonthefly on all social channels, or reach out to her






26677 West 12 Mile Rd., Southfield, MI 48034
Phone 313.961.4748