From disaster relief contributions to community service projects, Ford Motor Company employees around the world went beyond their daily jobs in 2017 to leave a positive impact where they live and work.
In total, the Ford Volunteer Corps filled 36,488 volunteer opportunities in more than 1,700 community service projects during 2017 – an increase of more than 3,000 participants and 200-plus projects from last year. Ford employees installed clean water systems, built homes, renovated shelters and schools and fed the hungry in 40 countries, working more than 237,000 hours for people in their cities, towns and villages. The time donated by Ford volunteers is the equivalent of a financial investment of $5.72 million.
Ford volunteers put their engineering know-how to work for children facing mobility challenges by making modifications to toy trucks that help the kids move about with their friends who can run and walk. Ford employees created music playlists for dementia patients, hoping to stimulate happy memories and connect them with deep-rooted feelings of peace and joy. And Ford volunteers helped vacant city lots spring back to life with flower and vegetables gardens that benefit entire neighborhoods.
“Our employees are the heart and soul of this company,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “Their energy, creativity and dedication to making people’s lives better is what makes Ford truly special.”
Ford employees also contributed to disaster relief efforts following hurricanes, floods and wildfires in 2017. As Ford and Ford Fund contributed vehicles and financial aid to disaster relief teams in Texas, Florida and Mexico, Ford employees and dealers reached into their own pockets to personally donate more than $500,000 to help people get back on their feet in the wake of this year’s devastating wave of natural disasters. Ford volunteers also stepped up to assist families with cleanup and held collection drives for essential items identified by local non-profits.
Along with the ongoing Ford Volunteer Corps’ initiatives, Ford employees have the opportunity to participate in additional programs that demonstrate the company’s commitment to helping build stronger communities around the world.
The Bill Ford Better World Challenge inspires Ford employees to brainstorm ideas that could transform daily life and solve global problems in communities worldwide where Ford does business. Meeting this year’s challenge is a Ford Volunteer Corps project in India that will improve sanitary conditions in an underserved village by installing hundreds of SMART toilets, while also teaching residents good hygiene habits. In Mexico, a new community center will be built to offer residents in a remote location access to clean drinking water, a rarity in that part of the country, along with bathrooms equipped with flush toilets and handwashing facilities.
Additionally, Ford’s Thirty Under 30 philanthropic leadership program is designed to empower young Ford employees – under the age of 30 – to work with and learn about philanthropic organizations to address hunger, homelessness and other urgent community needs. Nearly 400 younger Ford employees recently applied for the 30 seats in the program’s third class.
“Ford’s younger generation of employees will be a powerful force for good with their creative thinking and unique insights that can elevate and complement traditional philanthropy,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “They want to help us better serve people in our communities and we are helping to equip them with the tools and resources to make it happen.”