Ford Motor Company kicks off Global Caring Month in September with a transformational undertaking by the Ford Volunteer Corps — the Thailand Clean Water Community Project, winner of a $200,000 grant from the Bill Ford Better World Challenge.
Hundreds of Ford volunteers will help rebuild a water system in the town of Chanthaburi that serves a school and more than 3,300 local residents. Ford volunteers will repair storage tanks and install new water purifiers, sinks and other restroom fixtures. In addition, the water will be used to help irrigate crops and sustain community gardens, also providing a hands-on learning experience for students and families.
“Clean water is a necessity – a basic human right – that is not always readily available in parts of the world,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “This project goes to the heart of making people’s lives better as we start Global Caring Month by harnessing the power of our volunteers to improve their communities.”
The Bill Ford Better World Challenge was launched last year as part of the celebration marking the 10th anniversary of the Ford Volunteer Corps. The initiative also awarded a $200,000 grant for the Nonprofit Mobility App, a mobile software application that works like a ride-sharing app and can be used to connect Ford volunteers and nonprofits with drivers and vehicles that can move food, building materials and other supplies to where they can do the most good for people in the community. The idea — proposed by Ford employees — will be created by the University of Detroit-Mercy and used by organizations in the United Kingdom and southeast Michigan.
“I am proud of the tremendous response we received when we challenged our employees to help build a better world,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “These initiatives will help meet critical community needs and have a positive impact on the quality of people’s lives.”
During Ford Global Caring Month in September, some 20,000 Ford volunteers will participate in hundreds of community service projects around the world. Global Caring Month is the signature annual event of the Ford Volunteer Corps. Since it was launched in 2005, Ford Volunteer Corps members have contributed more than one million hours of community service in 48 countries, representing $29 million of in-kind community investments.
This year, Global Caring Month projects include:
- Angola – Paint, repair and renovate a secondary school
- Australia – Beautify the grounds surrounding a family retreat run by the Salvation Army
- Brazil – Make repairs and renovate a nursery, daycare and library for children
- Colombia – Overhaul food bank delivery area and sort donations
- Germany – Design and develop urban gardens, help with construction work at a high school
- India – Make renovations at a home for senior citizens
- Mexico – Make improvements at an orphanage, build water storage and feed the hungry
- South Africa – Renovate bathrooms, repair ceilings and doors, and paint homes for children
- United Kingdom – Modernize and make extensive improvements at a mental health facility
Ford volunteers from more than three dozen countries have signed up for community projects, including a growing number in emerging markets from Cambodia and Malaysia to Guam and Samoa. In the United States, Ford employees will participate in more than 160 volunteer activities across 16 states throughout the month, including a Ford Accelerated Action Day on Sept. 16.
Ford Fund is also increasing its financial contributions to non-profit agencies during Ford Global Caring Month. Grants totaling $700,000 will be used to purchase tools and other supplies needed to complete many of this month’s community service projects.
“The positive, powerful impact this work has on people and communities is remarkable,” said Janet Lawson, director, Ford Volunteer Corps. “Each year a better world comes into sharper focus through the caring efforts of Ford employees and our nonprofit partners.”