DEARBORN – As part of Ford’s ongoing efforts to encourage Americans to #FinishStrong in the battle against COVID-19, Ford Motor Company Fund is marking the delivery of the 120 million masks the company committed to donate to at-risk communities, while also launching a PSA to help combat the spread of misinformation about the COVID vaccine among multicultural populations.
“At Ford Fund, we have been supporting critical community needs during this pandemic, including donating masks to people and nonprofits with limited access to personal protective equipment,” said Mary Culler, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We’re so grateful for all of our philanthropic partners and the hundreds of Ford dealers nationwide who helped us in this incredible effort, but we’re not stopping there. We are proud to be partnering with leading organizations on a PSA to help raise awareness about the facts regarding the COVID vaccine.”
Research shows that information is key to increasing confidence and vaccination take rates among multicultural populations. In a recent poll commissioned by the National Urban League and the Alliance of National Psychological Associations for Racial and Ethnic Equity, more than one-fifth of Black and Hispanic Americans surveyed had heard, seen or read something that made them less likely to take the vaccine. Among those who said they definitely or probably would not take the vaccine, 55 percent had consumed negative information about it.
To increase awareness and help change perceptions, Ford Fund is bringing together some of the nation’s leading organizations that support and advocate for multicultural communities with a PSA. #VaxWithFacts aims to provide trusted information about the COVID-19 vaccine and how taking it can help in fighting the global pandemic.
Available in both English and Spanish, the PSA showcases the presidents, CEOs and leaders of 11 nonprofits sharing a message of unity in an effort to help combat the spread of misinformation about the vaccine among multicultural populations. Participating organizations include:
- Arab American and Chaldean Council – Walid Gammouh, LMSW SSW, multicultural services director
- Anti-Defamation League – Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director
- First Book – Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO and co-founder
- Hispanic Federation – Frankie Miranda, president
- Latin Americans for Social & Economic Development – Mary Carmen Munoz, director
- League of United Latin American Citizens – Sindy Benavides, CEO
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – Derrick Johnson, president and CEO
- National Urban League – Marc Morial, president and CEO
- Para Los Niños Gratts Primary Center – Lorena Rodriguez, principal
- Rainbow PUSH – Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president
- Service, Employment and Redevelopment National – Ignacio Salazar, president and CEO
“The organizations in the PSA have been Ford Fund partners for years, or in some cases decades, and we could not be more thrilled with the excitement and energy they have each brought to this project,” said Pamela Alexander, director, community development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Together, we’re bringing trusted information to multicultural communities in an effort to help #FinishStrong in the fight against COVID-19.”
The organizations featured in the PSA are all members of Ford Fund’s multicultural advisory committee. Created in 2017, the committee serves as an advisory council to help Ford Fund and each of the participating nonprofits share insights into key issues affecting multicultural communities. The group’s think tank-style meetings foster an open dialogue and increase collaboration across organizational and cultural lines.
To view the PSA, visit www.fordfund.org/VaxWithFacts.
120 million mask donations
Ford has been a leader in COVID mitigation efforts and was one of the first automakers to continuously make personal protective equipment for its workforce, healthcare workers, first responders and the public. As the company’s philanthropic arm, Ford Fund has been helping lead the effort to donate 120 million masks to at-risk communities with limited access to personal protective equipment since last August.
In late March, the last of the 120 million masks arrived at their destinations, which include the city of Los Angeles, Detroit Public Schools Community District and By the Hand Club for Kids, a nonprofit in Chicago that helps children who live in under-resourced neighborhoods have an abundant life.
Over the past eight months, Ford Fund has been working with its nationwide network of nonprofit partners to provide adult and child-sized masks to community organizations, Ford dealers, state and local officials, schools and first responders in all 50 states. Highlights include:
- Schools, colleges and universities: More than 27 million masks went to nearly 450 elementary and secondary schools, school districts, colleges and universities throughout the country
- State and local governments: More than 40 million masks went to state and local officials and government organizations in communities around the country. As part of this effort, Ford produced and donated custom-made masks to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which were handed out as part of COVID-19 safety protocols for attendees of the 59th presidential inaugural ceremonies Jan. 20. Ford also donated 4 million masks to more than 400 organizations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico to support the National Day of Service on Jan. 20
- First responders and law enforcement: Ford Fund leveraged relationships it has with first responders through its Ford Driving Skills for Life program – including the National Sheriff’s Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police – to offer masks to local precincts. Through this outreach, more than 5.5 million masks were requested and sent to police, fire or sheriff’s departments around the country
- Ford dealers: Ford Fund supplied Ford dealers nationwide with masks to donate to their local philanthropic partners or directly to residents in their communities on specially designated mask distribution days. In total, 11 million masks were distributed through nearly 700 Ford dealers in more than 550 cities across the U.S.
- Nonprofits and community organizations: Ford Fund provided masks to food banks nationwide, along with hundreds of nonprofit organizations that serve youth, veterans and multicultural populations. In total, more than 36.5 million masks were donated to community organizations, churches and nonprofits in all 50 states
“Thank you to Ford Motor Company for their donation of more than 3.3 million masks for Boys & Girls Clubs around the country, we are truly grateful for this impactful contribution at such a critical time,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Boys & Girls Clubs across the country continually need personal protective equipment and supplies to safely reopen or remain open to help kids, families and communities. With this support, clubs can continue to safely serve kids and teens, aiding efforts of communities to rebuild and recover from the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.”
Work also continues on two new personal protective equipment designs to help in the fight against COVID.
Ford has started donations of new air filtration box fan kits that people can make at home or in school. The air filtration kit, co-developed with Lasko, supplements a room’s existing filtration system to further help reduce the risk of COVID-19 virus particle concentrations. The kit is based upon scientific studies from academic and government research.
The company is donating up to 20,000 air filtration kits to underserved communities.
The filtration kit is comprised of an easy-to-assemble die-cut cardboard base, a 20-inch box fan, and a 20x20x4 air filter with a standard minimum efficiency reporting value of 13. The air filter is placed inside the folded base with the fan placed on top. The fan operates on high for maximum filtration, discharging clean air downward as it pulls in unfiltered air from above.
Work also continues to gain N95 certification for an innovative new clear respirator.
The transparent, low-cost reusable respirator enables a full range of human expression – allowing people to better communicate with each other and aiding those with hearing impairments to help read lips that are today blocked by conventional cloth and filtered masks. This is a safe solution where visible human expression is desired, such as in teaching, air travel and sales.
Since last April, Ford, in partnership with the UAW, has produced tens of millions of pieces of personal protective equipment to meet strong demand. In addition to masks, these include:
- 22.5 million face shields
- 50,000 patient ventilators in collaboration with GE Healthcare
- More than 32,000 air-purifying respirators in collaboration with 3M
- 1.6 million washable isolation gowns
Ford launched its #FinishStrong initiative on New Year’s Eve to encourage people to come together, protect each other and help save lives until COVID-19 vaccines become more widely distributed.