March 6, 2019 - Kristina Karschnia is the plant manager at Ford’s New Model Program Development Center, often called the pilot plant. She is also a Ford volunteer. Karschnia and members of her team recently helped paint and brighten a classroom and commons area at Detroit’s Cristo Rey High School.
“Every year we try to get in two community service team building events,” said Karschnia. “We’re able to get the whole team to come together and help somebody out.”
Denise Feil is the warranty manager in Ford’s Service Engineering Operations (SEO). She is also a Ford volunteer, who delivered groceries to home bound seniors in Detroit.
“People are super gracious and very kind,” said Feil, warranty manager, Global Warranty Operations. “Feels good to help.”
“They’re very happy to see us,” added Kevin Gorgol, business and process supervisor, Global Warranty Operations. “It’s nice to knock on the door, put the groceries where they want them and chat for a couple minutes. I wish we could do more.”
Feil and Gorgol recently joined their colleagues to continue a department tradition going back more than 20 years. On the second Friday of each month, rotating teams of Ford employees from Service Engineering Operations pick up food boxes at Detroit’s Focus:Hope and deliver them to senior citizens in a west side housing complex and a Lincoln Park apartment building.
“It’s wonderful to know that every month they are going to get their food,” said Marilyn Clemons, agency coordinator, Focus:Hope. “I love Ford Motor Company. They adopt numerous buildings, not just delivering, but coming in, packing boxes and working around our campus.”
The Ford Volunteer Corps is on the job throughout the year and is currently enlisting employees for spring projects created with focused input from local nonprofit partners who know the needs of people in their communities. During February, Ford employees participated in nearly three dozen projects from southeast Michigan to Colorado, Florida and South Carolina.
“The impact of Ford volunteers is often immediate, whether it’s delivering food, painting a school or building a playscape for children,” said Todd Nissen, director, Ford Volunteer Corps. “There is great need in many neighborhoods and we can be a bridge to help lift people to a better life.”
Rather than spending scarce nonprofit dollars to support Ford Volunteer Corps projects, participating agencies often receive Ford Fund grants so they can purchase the tools, paint, lumber and other materials needed to complete the volunteer work. Nonprofits can then use the money saved to further serve their clients.
“Ford doesn’t come out just one or two,” said Clemons. “They come out in force.”
“It’s really rewarding,” added Karschnia. “That’s why we keep coming back.”
Ford Motor Company provides 16 hours of paid community service to salaried employees each year.