For one sunny spring day, cars and trucks took a backseat to the birds and the bees, flowers and trees for hundreds of Ford volunteers participating in the Better World Ford Accelerated Action Day. The Ford Volunteer Corps mobilized nearly 1,000 employees in 10 states to work on outdoor environmental projects in local communities.
"What a beautiful day!" said Sherolyn Dowell, Ford IT. "Working with the kids is a lot of fun. We're giving back to the community and getting engaged in the community."
Ford provided more than $120,000 in grants to purchase tools, lumber, plants and other materials needed to complete volunteer projects created by Ford's nonprofit agency partners. Ford employees helped students build birdhouses at the Advanced Technology Academy and constructed beehives at U-M Dearborn. They planted gardens at the VA Hospital, Starfish Family Services and YMCA. Ford volunteers built a footbridge at a Boy Scout Camp, a boardwalk at a Salvation Army Camp and wildlife refuge, and constructed a gazebo for a family retreat at Arbor Hospice.
"I find this to be a very rewarding experience," said Chuck Hill, service manager, Ford IT. "You feel like you've accomplished something and given back to the community."
"We feel very grateful, not only for the financial assistance from Ford, but for all of the labor from the people who volunteer their time," said David Susko, director, U-M Dearborn Environmental Interpretive Center. "We put them to work and appreciate all the work they do."
MODEL Teams of Ford volunteers in 10 states - Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina and Washington – were not only digging, chopping and hammering their way through community projects, dozens of volunteers packed and delivered meals to hungry seniors in several states.
“Ford volunteers are making important contributions to a better world by working together with our nonprofit partners to improve the environment and promote sustainability in our communities,” said Robert Brown, vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “We’re committed to building a stronger business and a better world. It’s part of Ford’s legacy of social responsibility that has endured for more than 100 years.”
The Ford Volunteer Corps again joined forces with Ford GreenIT to collect unused computers and electronic equipment brought in for recycling by more than 1,000 employees in southeast Michigan. Ford employees kept more than 75,000 pounds of equipment out of local landfills.
“It’s a good feeling to help create a better world, and Ford volunteers bring positive energy and a commitment to the community with every project they tackle,” said Janet Lawson, director, Ford Volunteer Corps. “We’re proud to be able to help our neighbors in need.”
"I love it. I learned something new," said Alan Bernard, Ford Credit IT. "It turned out to be a great day."