DEARBORN – When employees in Emerging Market Services (EMS) pull out their baking pans and favorite recipes it can only mean one thing – they’re putting their skills in the kitchen to work to help others.
Community service activities are an important part of the culture within the Allen Park offices of EMS, which provides Marketing, Sales and Service support to emerging and opportunity markets throughout Ford Motor Company’s global business units. Each month a charity receives money raised in a variety of ways – donations, the sale of snacks and beverages, and often something out of the ordinary, such as a chance to dress as though it were still the 1980s.
January featured a bake-off that raised $332 for children at the Mamelodi Orphanage in South Africa – which a group of employees visited in 2011 – with both a cookie champion (Janice Cutting) and a brownie champion (Mike Rostkowski) being crowned.
February’s charity, the Penrickton Center for the Blind, also benefited from the group’s creative abilities, as $960 was raised from the sale of baked goods, gift baskets and crafts to help visually impaired and multi-disabled children at the center.
The monthly activities are coordinated by the EMS Diversity and Community Service Council, which is led by Cutting, a product marketing manager. She credits a strong sense of volunteerism with keeping the community service programs going. “Each charity has a champion or two who coordinate the fundraisers, but these are very much group efforts. Our volunteers help set up and take down tables, deliver donated items to charities and help staff our events. We could not accomplish what we do without them.”
“There are many great causes and, unfortunately, many people in need,” says Janet Dutkewych, product marketing analyst and treasurer of the Diversity and Community Service Council. “We try to strike a balance by helping organizations with different missions.”
Among the organizations that benefited from the more than $17,000 raised last year were ones that work with needy or abused and neglected children, Gleaner’s Food Bank, Komen Race for the Cure and the Dearborn Animal Shelter.
The contributions by EMS employees are not only financial. In December, employees purchased gifts for more than 100 children for the Salvation Army to distribute and bought shoes for 66 schoolchildren, in addition to donating food and other necessities throughout the year. The organization also holds quarterly blood drives, and many departments organize their own community service events throughout the year, such as working at a local food bank.