Ford Employees Help the Homeless in Haiti and Detroit

By Ford Social Member

Ford employees have the opportunity to serve in their communities through Accelerated Action Days. These are concentrated, one-day efforts to meet critical needs identified by agencies that Ford works with. March 4 was the first of five Ford Accelerated Action Days in 2010, and the focus was on children and family, with some specific programs helping the homeless in Haiti and Detroit.

Thousands of miles apart and struggling to survive in one of the world’s richest countries or one of the poorest, homeless people share a similar need for the basics in personal and medical care. World Medical Relief is one of 16 locations where 200 Ford employees provided assistance to people in both areas as part of this Ford Accelerated Action Day.

Teams of Ford employee and retiree volunteers assembled personal hygiene kits for homeless people in southeastern Michigan and packed medical supplies for victims in Haiti at World Medical Relief facilities in downtown Detroit.

The number of people who say they are homeless for the first time is increasing. In 2008, there were more than 86,000 homeless people in Michigan – up 10 percent from 2007. Access to basic personal supplies give homeless people a greater sense of self and an improved outlook on life. The personal hygiene kits prepared today included a bath towel, shampoo, toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, soap and a comb. The kits will be distributed to more than 1,400 homeless children and families in the tri-county area. Most of the items were purchased with a grant from Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.

"Creating a better world starts with our children and families. They are the foundation for building a brighter future for our local communities," said Jim Vella, President, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "A lot of people need our help, and Ford and its employees believe that giving back is the best way to show people we care."

Ford volunteers also packed medical supplies destined for Haiti. These supplies will be part of the third shipment of a 40-foot container to Haitian earthquake victims organized by World Medical Relief. This shipment will include everything from blankets and clothes to basic patient care and medical supplies.

“I commend Ford for its commitment to community service," said George Samson, CEO, World Medical Relief. "The Ford volunteers have been a great help to World Medical Relief for many years, and we are looking forward to many more years of collaboration with Ford Motor Company Fund and the Ford Volunteer Corp.”

This was the first of five Ford Accelerated Action Days in 2010. In May, the efforts will focus on outdoor projects and the environment. Community Building is the theme in September during Ford Global Week of Caring. Ford teams will help veterans and military families in November, and feeding the hungry will be the goal in December.

About World Medical Relief

Established in 1953, World Medical Relief is a non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to help the medically-underserved both at home and abroad by collecting and distributing medicines, medical equipment, medical supplies, and related materials. Goods are distributed in a non-discriminatory manner without regard to race, color, gender, religion, nationality or political beliefs.
Ford Employees Help the Homeless in Haiti and Detroit

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