(Detroit, March 4, 2010) – Homeless people may have different stories to tell, but they share similar needs. Whether they were displaced by unfortunate personal circumstances in Detroit or pushed into the streets by nature's powerful earthquake in Haiti, basic personal items and medical supplies are always in demand.
On the first Ford Accelerated Action Day of 2010, the Ford Volunteer Corps focused its efforts on children and families. MODEL Teams of Ford employee and retiree volunteers assembled personal hygiene kits for more than 1,400 homeless children and families in southeast Michigan. The kits include a bath towel, shampoo, toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, soap and a comb.
"Access to basic personal supplies gives homeless people a greater sense of self and an improved outlook on life," said Janet Lawson, director, Ford Volunteer Corps. "It's an important step in breaking the cycle of hardship experienced by so many."
"Children and families are the foundation for building a better world and a lot of them need our help," said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "Volunteer activities like this make a real difference for people and show them Ford cares."
Ford Model Teams also packed medical supplies destined for earthquake victims in Haiti. The blankets, clothing, surgical tools and other items will be shipped to the Caribbean nation that was devastated by a January earthquake. This is the third shipment to Haiti organized by World Medical Relief.
"We are so delighted with Ford's dedication," said George Samson, president/CEO, World Medical Relief. "Ford has been helping us for many years and they are having a big impact."
World Medical Relief is one of 11 agencies that received Ford mini-grants of up to $5,000 to buy the tools and materials needed to complete their projects. Among the other organizations taking part were Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, First Step, HAVEN and Vista Maria, just to name a few.
Ford Accelerated Action Days are concentrated one-day efforts to meet critical needs identified by our agency partners.
"This is extremely important," said Steve Reeves, systems engineer, RWD HEV. "When you come to volunteer, you're giving out of your heart and helping somebody who is truly in need."