DEARBORN – Children in several southeastern Michigan communities will enjoy a brighter holiday season and be a bit warmer this winter because of a helping hand from Ford Export and Growth (E&G) employees.
For the seventh straight year, E&G is participating in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. A Christmas tree in the E&G offices held tags with gift suggestions for 100 children ages 12 and under. Margaret Sollars, product marketing analyst and one of the project chairs, says kids requests often include board games, Lego sets, remote control cars and the always-popular Super Heroes. “The children will be very excited this year. The people at E&G are always very giving. Some people are even taking more than one tag, and the gifts being turned in are very generous.”
Sollars says the annual gift-giving program is popular within the organization because “We love making a child’s Christmas special.”
While the Angel Tree is an annual occurrence, another recent charitable endeavor was spontaneous.
After an E&G employee learned that the shoes worn by kindergartners at a local school were in poor condition, the team decided to hold a shoe drive to provide the children with a good pair of shoes. Employees responded, and 66 pairs of shoes were purchased – one for each of the kindergartners.
Chasity Sainato, product marketing analyst, says employees are thankful for what they have and want to express gratitude for their blessings by assisting others.
To accomplish that, community service activities are held throughout the year in Export and Growth’s Allen Park office. In addition to donations of money and other items, funds raised through the sale of snacks and jean days are supplemented by fund-raising events benefiting each month’s designated charity, including bake sales, raffles, ice cream socials and even a chili cook-off.
Janet Dutkewych, product marketing analyst and treasurer of the E&G Diversity and Community Service Council, says her colleagues are committed to helping others year-round. “There’s a natural focus on giving at this time of year. But because there are people and organizations in need throughout the year, we always select at least one organization a month to help."
Altogether nearly $15,700 was contributed during the first 11 months of the year to organizations benefiting needy or abused and neglected children and others with special needs, Gleaner’s Food Bank, Komen Race for the Cure, JDRF and the Dearborn Animal Shelter, among others.