Ford has a long history of supporting and helping members of the military and their families. The company also dedicated its most recent Ford Accelerated Action Day exclusively to this group of people, addressing their urgent needs.
This was the fourth Accelerated Action Day of 2009. The previous three focused on addressing the needs of children and families, the environment and community-building projects. The final Ford Accelerated Action Day of the year was December 4 when Ford helped feed the hungry under the theme of Giving and Sharing.
Ford encourages salaried employees to take two work days per year and volunteer in their local area. Last year, more than 20,000 Ford employees and retirees performed 100,000 hours of work on community projects – the equivalent of $2 million of in-kind corporate contributions.
Teams of Ford volunteers painted, made repairs and brightened the lives of people at veterans facilities in southeast Michigan and Washington, D.C.
“The men and women of the armed forces defend our freedom each and every day, a gift we do not take lightly,” said Janet Lawson, director, Ford Volunteer Corps. “We want to thank our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice, but more than that, our volunteers want to give something back to those who have given so much for us.”
The veterans organizations benefiting from the most recent volunteer effort also received mini-grants of $5,000 from Ford to buy the tools, supplies and materials needed to complete their projects. Mini-grants totaling $25,000 have been awarded to the following:
The Washington, D.C., Ford team spent their work day volunteering at the Fisher Houses located on the campus of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The Fisher House program supports America’s military personnel in their time of need, serving as “comfort homes” that enable family members to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease or injury.
The team was happy to have the opportunity to help out around the house. Some of the team spent their time outside, raking leaves and tidying up the playground for the kids. Others deep-cleaned the kitchen, cleaned out the refrigerator and organized cabinets. They also had the opportunity to meet some of the residents, many of which are injured veterans just back from tour.
“We are really proud to be part of Ford, really proud to be part of this volunteer effort which is part of a broader volunteer effort our Community Relations team runs at Ford, with all the teams. We’ve got about 150 of them this year that are out all around doing great work. And we are so proud to be doing it this Veteran’s Day,” said Ziad Ojakli, Washington D.C. Group Vice President for Government and Community Relations of Ford Motor Company.
Ford and DAV
Ford has employed thousands of veterans over the years, guaranteeing their jobs and supplementing the military pay of many while they are on active duty in war zones. In 1922, Henry Ford began a relationship with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) that continues to this day. In recent years, Ford has donated more than 130 vehicles to the DAV Transportation Network, and also contributes to scholarships and DAV programs such as the Winter Sports Clinic.
“Ford Motor Company has always been a strong supporter of America’s armed forces and the people who serve – and always will be,” said Jim Vella, President, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our servicemen and women around the world and Ford volunteers believe their contribution is one small way to say thanks.”