Creating a better world is hard work. It takes heart, determination, sweat and teamwork.
It takes the Ford Volunteer Corps. More than 12,000 Ford employees and retirees came together on six continents for Ford Global Week of Caring. For the sixth straight year, Ford volunteers picked up paint brushes and hammers, shovels and wheelbarrows to tackle 237 community projects and make a world of difference for people in need. Employees at Ford dealerships also answered the call to help, putting teams of Ford volunteers on the job in 45 countries from Europe and Asia to Africa and the Americas. The Ford volunteers:
"Ford is known for its legendary vehicles and horsepower, but it also is leading the way in people power with innovative community programs, such as Global Week of Caring," said Janet Lawson, director, Ford Volunteer Corps. "Ford volunteers are the face of Ford in the community, building on the company's history of caring and community service, and getting involved in creating a better world."
During the past six years the number of Ford volunteers participating in Ford Global Week of Caring has grown from 1,200 to more than 12,000. In the United States, more than 1,000 Ford volunteers in 19 states stepped away from their desks and workstations, and stepped into dozens of community building projects on a Ford Accelerated Action Day. Ford's nonprofit agency partners determined the work to be done and select organizations shared $70,000 in Ford grants to purchase tools and materials to finish the work.
Ford volunteers helped renovate a kitchen for the Salvation Army, pitched in with construction and landscaping at Habitat for Humanity, and built courtyard patios for the girls at Vista Maria.
"Volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization," said Diane Kochis, chief development officer, Vista Maria. "We could not provide the level of care we do without volunteers as dedicated as the Ford volunteers. Vista Maria would not be where it is today without the help of Ford."
"This is a great experience," said Imran Jalal, Ford Export Operations. "Anytime we can give back to the community that’s the best thing we can do."
Ford volunteers are on the job in communities throughout the year, but when employees around the world come together as One Ford during Ford Global Week of Caring, it's a powerful force for good in any language.
"I was talking with my dealership in Aruba and I told her I would be out doing a community service project," said Stephanie Gross, Ford Export Operations. "She said she was also doing one through Ford, painting a shelter for homeless kids in Aruba."
"It's really neat. We get to know each other outside the office," said Alyssa Long, financial analyst, Ford Credit. "We have some sore muscles, but at the end of the day it feels good that we did something nice for the community."
The Ford Volunteer Corps also joined forces with OneSight on an eyeglass drive in the Metro Detroit area. Ford employees collected more than 900 pairs of glasses for free distribution to eye care clinics around the world.
The next Ford Accelerated Action Day is December 2 when feeding the hungry will be the focus of a concentrated team effort by Ford volunteers.
"We came here as a team. We came here to give back to the community," said Shaun Smith, Product Development Finance. "I love it."
"It shows Ford is really concerned, that they really care about the community," said David Furman, Corporate Finance. "It's wonderful."
To view more photos of Ford Volunteer Corps activities click the link: Ford Volunteer Corps Photos