Ford Employees Lend a Helping Hand

By Ford Social Member

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:
  • Fisher House, Washington, D.C. – Ford volunteers will clean kitchens, bedrooms and common areas at this "home away from home" for wounded soldiers. Volunteers will also pack lunches for veterans to take with them to offsite therapy and medical appointments.

  • Gleaners Community Food Bank, Detroit – MODEL Teams of volunteers will assemble more than 500 food packs for distribution to needy veterans.

  • VA Hospital of Ann Arbor – Ford volunteers will serve meals to veterans and their families during a day of activities in observance of Veterans Day. Hundreds of duffel bags will also be distributed to veterans to carry their personal belongings.

  • VA Hospital of Detroit – Ford MODEL Teams will serve food during a daylong event to mark Veterans Day and volunteers also will help with in-house transportation of patients. Grant money also will be used to purchase holiday decorations to lift spirits and speed recovery of patients.

  • Veterans Haven, Wayne – Ford volunteers will paint, make bathroom repairs and install new flooring at the group home and apartments. The residences are part of the transitional housing program which gives homeless veterans a safe place to stay while they work to rebuild their lives.

Fisher House

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.

Click here to view photos from the Ford team effort at the Fisher House.

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."
Ernest Jackson, Colonel Retired US Army 12/02/2009
Way to go FORD...THANKS. I am buying a FORD today! If you are interested in helping students and soldiers please have someone contact me ASAP, I have a great program.
Ford Employees Lend a Helping Hand

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