Green Theme Features Planting, Building and Water Work
DEARBORN - Whether they are holding a pen or a paintbrush, a shovel, a cell phone or a screw driver, Ford employees know how to use their tools and get the job done for the company or the community.
The Ford Volunteer Corps enlisted hundreds of employees to step out of the office and head outside for community environmental projects, as part of a Ford Accelerated Action Day. Ford employees in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas dug into some four dozen community service projects created by Ford’s nonprofit partners.
“From greener vehicles and operations to recycling and reduced water use, sustainability is the focus of much of our work at Ford,” said Robert Brown, vice president, sustainability, environment and safety engineering. “Ford and its employees are fully engaged in helping their communities and creating a better world. The Ford Volunteer Corps is an important part of that vision.”
Ford employees planted urban vegetable gardens and installed irrigation systems to help them grow. They constructed fences, beehives and butterfly habitat; and made improvements to nature areas. Many of the participating agencies and organizations shared more than $70,000 in Ford grants to buy the tools, supplies, plants and other materials needed to complete their projects.
At Starfish Family Services Ford volunteers prepared the Grow & Learn Garden for children and enjoyed a visit with Ford COO Mark Fields. Fields was at Starfish as part of his role as chairman of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan campaign and took time to wander outside and chat with volunteers.
Arts & Scraps in Detroit receives tons of industrial material that would normally end up in landfills. The items are instead recycled into educational art kits to spark creativity and learning for 275,000 school kids each year.
“Ford is one of our stronger partners when it comes to volunteerism. They are always a pleasure and wildly productive,” said Matt Reaume, warehouse manager, Arts & Scraps. “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without volunteers and especially the Ford volunteers. It is so incredibly helpful to us.”
“If I was a little kid I would have a lot of fun putting together kits and parts and things,” said Kevin Watts, Ford volunteer. “It’s very important. It feels good to be able to help out the community.”
Ford volunteers are active in their communities throughout the year and around the world. Thousands of Ford employees gather on six continents during Ford Global Week of Caring in September to perform critical community service work in their towns and villages.
“Ford employees know that building stronger communities and helping our neighbors benefits all of us,” said Janet Lawson, director, Ford Volunteer Corps. “It lifts spirits and lifts our community. We’re very fortunate to be able to help and provide assistance where it’s needed most.”