Ford is fortunate enough to be served by a workforce that carries the company’s legacy of community service and volunteerism as one of its most treasured values. In fact, the Ford Volunteer Corps, composed of both current and retired Ford employees, has been providing assistance to those who need it most for many years.
The Ford Volunteer Corps is composed of more than 8,000 individuals who take advantage of the opportunity the automaker offers them to get involved in charitable and other volunteer projects. One of the largest initiatives undertaken by the Ford Volunteer Corps is the Ford Global Week of Caring, which for 2010 took place September 4 through 11.
At the core of the fifth annual Ford Global Week of Caring were more than 150 projects in over 25 countries around the world including the United States and other Americas. Easily the largest volunteer effort in the Corps’ history, the theme for the 2010 Week of Caring in the U.S. was community building with projects centered around housing issues.
Across the world, efforts tackled the problems and issues central to the particular locations. In Africa, for example, Ford volunteers built a drinking water well, and worked at schools and nature reserves. Similar efforts were made in the United Kingdom where volunteers painted a school for children with disabilities and landscaped a mental-health facility.
In China, the Ford Global Week of Caring resulted in volunteer efforts as diverse as beach cleaning, the teaching of driver safety classes and the construction of new libraries. Libraries and schools were the focus of over 1,000 volunteers in India while those volunteering in Argentina and Brazil focused on both the need for proper shelter (similar to the American projects) and the battle against hunger and malnutrition.
The fact that Ford is able to count on thousands of its employees and retirees to help out with initiatives like the Ford Global Week of Caring is rooted in the culture of giving that is built into the very fabric of the company. Ford encourages its workers to donate their time to their local communities on a regular basis, even reserving a certain number of hours per year specifically for this purpose. With more than 800 individual projects to choose from, people at Ford are able to select where they would like to direct their volunteering efforts, ensuring enthusiasm and maximizing the effectiveness of each initiative.
Ford’s efforts have seen amazing success with close to 60,000 hours of volunteer time donated in 2009. These volunteer efforts are over and above other charitable programs adopted and promoted by Ford employees – such as blood drives, fundraising for diabetes research and holiday meal programs – which are regular occurrences at the car company.
Ford’s hands-on approach to volunteer work ensures that the Ford Global Week of Caring will continue to shine a light on the lives of thousands of people across the globe for many years to come.
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