Ford Trucks at Center of Disaster Relief in Puerto Rico
Blue Oval donates money and trucks to help rebuild hurricane-devastated communities and provide mobility in Puerto Rico.
Ford Motor Company Fund is investing more than $1.2 million for expanded disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico and spearheading a collaboration with nonprofits to bring much-needed vehicles, supplies, and services to hurricane-devastated communities on the island. And, of course, Ford trucks play a huge part in the rebuilding efforts. Support from Ford includes vehicle donations of Transit Connect cargo vans and an F-150.
Organized as a multiyear social mobility program, the Ford-led Centro de Movilidad Social will connect children and families with a range of services, from basic needs such as food, water, clothing, and transportation, to longer-term recovery assistance through educational grants and job skills development.
Ford is donating three immediate-response vehicles — two Transit Connect cargo vans and an F-150 — to travel across the island as pop-up mobile resource centers helping The Salvation Army and Red Cross Puerto Rico deliver food, water, clothing, shoes, medical assistance, and educational resources to people in need. Ford’s investment includes 10,000 new books for students, plus water filters complete with guidance on how to clean water for use at home.
“This effort is at the heart of Ford Fund’s mission to provide opportunities and access for people in need,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. “Centro de Movilidad Social allows us to expand our ongoing efforts to help rebuild the lives of thousands of Puerto Ricans following Hurricane Maria.” Ford trucks are an invaluable part of this effort, easily able to access areas in a variety of terrain.
The program begins this month at Centros Sor Isolina Ferré in Ponce, where families can access food, water, and other basic necessities, learn new skills, and engage with their community members in recovery efforts.
‘This effort is at the heart of Ford Fund’s mission to provide opportunities and access for people in need.’
“Puerto Rico has always been important for Ford and we stand committed to continue helping local communities with resources, services, and access to basic needs,” said Gabriel López, president and CEO of Ford Mexico, who oversees Ford’s operations in Puerto Rico. “After bringing direct relief to communities with Ruta Solidaria Ford, our social mobility centers will be part of our contribution toward a long-term recovery for the Island.”
In 2018, Centro de Movilidad Social will continue to expand to provide multiple temporary, community centers across the island. Additional educational and technology resources are in development to further assist with long-term and strategic recovery efforts. Centro de Movilidad Social is modeled after other Ford Resource and Engagement Centers where Ford brings together nonprofit groups to provide basic needs, educational services, job training, safe driving programs, and other initiatives to meet community and transportation needs.
“By leveraging the strengths, experience and programs we have in place elsewhere, we hope to have a greater and more immediate impact in disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico,” said Vella.
Over the past seven years, Ford has invested more than $1.5 million in communities in Puerto Rico through Operation Better World.