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Ford Volunteers Go Green With Projects To Help Feed The Hungry And Create A Better World


* The Ford Volunteer Corps is cultivating urban gardens, planting shrubs and flowers, and beautifying the grounds at shelters and care centers on an Accelerated Action Day focused on creating a better world.
* Hundreds of Ford volunteers have formed MODEL Teams to work on high impact environmental projects that will help feed the hungry and lift the spirits of local residents.
* Accelerated Action Days concentrate Ford’s people power on specific areas of need identified by the company’s agency partners.

DEARBORN, Mich., More than 600 Ford employee and retiree volunteers are digging, planting and building on an Accelerated Action Day dedicated to environmental projects and creating a better world for people in their local communities.

MODEL Teams of Ford volunteers are preparing urban gardens that will help ease hunger among area residents. They also are nourishing the spirit by planting flowers and trees, and beautifying the grounds around shelters and care centers.

Over the past 10 years, Ford volunteers have successfully concentrated most of their springtime efforts on clearing debris from local rivers and restoring the banks along area waterways. This year the Ford Volunteer Corps is expanding its reach to help more people in need during these days of economic hardship for so many.

“Sustainability is a key element of the Ford story and our company’s business plans for the future,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “By helping to establish urban gardens and other sustainable food resources, Ford volunteers are aiding local hunger relief efforts and advancing our goal of helping people and creating a better world.”

Many of the organizations benefiting from today’s volunteer efforts also receive Ford mini-grants of up to $5,000 to buy the tools, supplies and plants needed to complete their outdoor projects. More than $50,000 in mini-grants for this May 15 Accelerated Action Day have been awarded to participating agencies, including:

* Alternatives for Girls, Detroit - install irrigation system and help with spring cleanup
* Center for Exceptional Families/Oakwood, Dearborn - construct wheelchair accessible garden
* City Mission, Detroit - build community garden
* COTS Coalition on Temporary Shelter, Detroit - create urban garden
* Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, Highland Park - turn empty lot into food producing oasis
* Detroit Zoological Society, Royal Oak - create educational enrichment garden
* First Step, Wayne - beautify outdoor areas around the center
* Henry Ford Estate, Dearborn - install fences and prepare historic garden beds
* Liberty Hill Housing Corporation, Romulus - work on “green” projects at group home
* Starfish Family Services, Inkster - build trellis and pathway, and plant vegetables and flowers
* U of M Environmental Interpretive Center, Dearborn - build a rain garden and improve watershed

The Ford Volunteer Corps is active in the community year round, but Accelerated Action Days are sharply focused one-day efforts that meet urgent needs identified by our agency partners. This is the second Accelerated Action Day in 2009. In March, Ford volunteers worked on projects to benefit children and families. In September, during Ford Global Week of Caring, the next Accelerated Action Day will address safety and shelter needs under the theme Community Building. In December, volunteers will collect, package and distribute food, and provide other services for people in need.

“For years, Ford volunteers provided a valuable service each spring by helping clean up rivers and parks, and forging new bonds with our local communities,” said Janet Lawson, director, Ford Volunteer Corps. “That past success planted the seeds for new relationships to grow and sprout different ways for us to help people and create a better world.”

In 2008, more than 18,000 Ford employees volunteered 100,000 hours to help people in their local communities. That’s the equivalent of nearly $2 million dollars of in-kind corporate contributions.

Ford Motor Company encourages salaried employees to take two work days per year and volunteer their services in their local communities.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford operates. Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2009 and made possible by funding from Ford Motor Company, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy. National programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous 21st century learning experiences, and Driving Skills for Life, a teen-focused auto safety initiative. The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford’s legacy of caring worldwide. Through the Volunteer Corps, Ford employees and retirees participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities. For more information on programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit


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