DEARBORN – Employees in Emerging Market Services (EMS) put their green thumbs to use in the fight against breast cancer last month – and set a fund-raising record in the process.
Each year, a group of employees plants and maintains what they call the “Slow Growth Nursery,” says Steve Hammerle, production coordinator, who was part of the team of seven that planned and executed the Crops for the Cure fund raiser. “This year our team started planting seeds back in February to prepare for the sale.”
The expansive gardens grow larger every year, and this year included more than 20 varieties of tomatoes in addition to peppers, squash, cucumbers and herbs. Hammerle says the beefsteak and cherry tomatoes, along with the herbs, are the most popular items offered.
Often referred to as “natural born tillers,” the gardeners started selling the plants to their colleagues in early May, with the sale running through the end of the month.
Hammerle said their first garden was planted about four years ago, when the EMS organization was known as Export and Growth. “A number of people who had family members affected by breast cancer wanted to find a way to help Export Operations increase its donation to that charity. Since then, we have increased the number of plants and the resulting contribution to Race for the Cure each year.”
EMS provides Marketing, Sales and Service support to emerging and opportunity markets throughout Ford Motor Company’s global business units. Every month its Diversity and Community Service Council selects one or more charities for employees to support, with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure the charity selected for May.
Hammerle says more than 500 plants were sold during this year’s sale, raising $1,355 for the cause. “When combined with the bake sale and other fund-raising activities we had during May, our donation to Race for the Cure was $2,860, the largest EMS has recorded for any charity in a single month.”
The bake sale generated $675, while sales of beverages and snacks brought in $830.
The group also donated 120 plants to a local community urban farm.