In a novel (if you will pardon the pun) way Ford is assisting with Covid-19 relief by asking employees around the world to read and record – in their home language – children’s books for distribution globally.
If ever the English expression ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ meant anything, it is right now in the middle of this global pandemic and auto companies are adjusting in different ways from helping with the manufacture of ventilators or ventilator parts to Ford’s ‘Read and Record’ programme.
This effort is designed to provide Ford employees a way to give back from the safety and comfort of their own homes and builds on Ford Fund’s ongoing efforts to increase literacy and promote a love of reading.
The online library will be catalogued by language and multilingual employees are encouraged to read in languages other than English. Ford Fund plans to share the library with philanthropic groups that serve children and families.
In addition, Ford Motor Company Fund announced another opportunity for Ford employees around the world who are eager to give back while honouring stay-at-home recommendations.
The COVID-19 Donation Match program is a combined effort between Ford Fund and Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman, Bill Ford, that will match $500,000 (more than R9-million) in donations to designated community organizations in the fight against COVID-19, raising a potential $1-million (over R18-million) for groups battling the pandemic across the globe.
In South Africa, funds are being raised to support the Gift of the Givers Foundation, which is the largest disaster response non-governmental organisation (NGO) of African origin on the African continent.
“During trying times, Ford employees are used to being the boots on the ground – getting out, signing up and pitching in to help make a difference,” says Mary Culler, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Even now, while many are sheltering in place at home, our employees are looking for ways to help. These two new programs offer meaningful ways for employees to give back and join in the fight against COVID-19.”
Through the COVID-19 Donation Match, Ford Fund is giving Ford employees, as well as their families and friends, an opportunity to make a donation to support nonprofits and other community organizations in their efforts to meet coronavirus-related needs in more than 20 countries around the world.
The $500,000 in matching funds, which include contributions from Ford Fund and Bill Ford personally, represent the strong commitment of both Ford’s philanthropic group and Bill Ford, who started the Ford Volunteer Corps 15 years ago and continues to champion the importance of volunteering and giving back.
Employees and others interested in donating can visit www.globalgiving.org/ford-covid-response to view a full list of participating countries, and to learn more about community projects they can support. Those wishing to support the Gift of the Givers COVID-19 intervention in South Africa can do so by accessing its page on the Global Giving website: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/covid-19-disaster-response-in-south-africa/.
Ford Fund previously announced it is allocating more than $1.6 million (almost R29-million) in resources to help communities and local nonprofits throughout Southeast Michigan and across the United States address hunger, shelter and mobility needs related to COVID-19. Earlier this year, Ford Fund also worked with Ford of China to provide face masks and other protective gear needed during the initial breakout of the virus in China.
As Ford Fund concentrates on taking immediate action at the local level, Ford engineers, researchers and suppliers are designing and manufacturing masks, respirators, ventilators and other critical medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting COVID-19.