SHANGHAI, China – Ford volunteers are walking further into the community during this year’s Global Week of Caring (GWC). Dressed in Blue Oval t-shirts, a group of more than 400 Ford employees and their families joined a charity walk last Saturday in Thames Town, a major residential area on the outskirts of Shanghai.
“I’m really glad to see that so many of you came here today to join the walk with your families. We’re doing something very special here today because we’re all playing a part in giving back to our community,” said Dave Schoch, president of Ford Asia Pacific, at the opening ceremony. “You all know that Henry Ford wanted to open the highways to all mankind. He also had a vision of creating a better world, and today we’re all in this dream he had, working together to give back to the community that we’re in.”
Despite morning rain, volunteers started the walk with great enthusiasm. Senior Ford executives, including Schoch and Julie Lodge-Jarrett, vice president, Human Resource, Ford China also joined the walkathon, giving personal support to the entire Ford walk team along the way.
The walkathon fundraising program, named as Ford Health Walk @Shanghai, is centered on providing children of migrant workers school access to educational resources. All the money raised through the charity walk will be used to build a new library for Jing De primary school in Shanghai, giving more than 650 children access to essential reading materials and, more importantly, equal opportunity for education.
Participants, who set up their own groups, joined either the 3km walk, which was a family-friendly route for those with young children, or a more challenging 20km walk.
“I had a lot of fun taking part in the walkathon. I think the event is remarkably meaningful. It inspires us to care about the migrant workers and shows Ford's consistency in giving back to the community and its commitment in creating a better world,” said Jiang Xiaohui from Ford China’s government affairs team, who joined the 3km walk around Thames Town.
“I really enjoyed the self-challenge walk! I called my father as soon as I finished 20km. He was so proud of me!!!” said Shadow Li from the Human Resource team, who joined the walk to help raise funds.
By the end of the walk, more than 50,000 RMB (approximately USD 8,150) was raised through the event’s website. The fund is expected to continue to exceed its initial target of 50,000 RMB over the next few weeks till the final donation day on October 13. Ford will match the donations raised by volunteers by up to 50,000 RMB by the end of the program.
Ford REC (Nanjing), the company’s research and engineering center in Nanjing, will organize another walkathon on September 14 in Nanjing to help raise awareness of women’s health.