● Global Capital Spending Finance Analyst
● 12-year Ford Employee
● Volunteer Week Organizer
Disabled children need all of us. Some children are placed in homes far away from their families, and others are able to live with their families. They all need us to be understanding and to be sensitive to their needs. And I believe that's what the Ford team offers."
Krisztina Galosi's passion for volunteering started several years ago, when she developed a special interest in helping the most vulnerable children. As a Ford PD finance analyst in Hungary, she was aware of several local foundations serving special needs children.
She was instrumental in bringing Ford's Vibrant Volunteer Week to Hungary using it as a foundation upon which to help the children's organizations. A key initiative of the Ford Volunteer Corps, Vibrant Volunteer Week is an annual event each spring during which hundreds of volunteers across Europe take part in a week of community service activities in their local communities.
In 2017, she organized Hungary's first large-scale Vibrant Volunteer Week event—a Family Day for children with Down syndrome. In connection with the Early Intervention and Counseling Centre and the Hungarian Down Foundation, Galosi and her colleagues put on their first child-focused event.
Family Day was held on Margaret Island in Budapest in the middle of the Danube. It attracted 120 participants, including the children, their families and volunteers who made the day a grand success. Ford volunteers served sandwiches and cookies, painted children's faces, refereed sports activities and games, and made toys with the children.
"It is a fantastic feeling to stop for a few minutes in the middle of a program, look around and see smiling faces and happy people," she said.
Her colleague's enthusiasm for that first event motivated Galosi to keep the annual Vibrant Volunteer Week projects going in Hungary. And each one has been recognized—both internally and externally—with prestigious awards.
"When I started organizing these programs with my colleague, Zsuzsa Szaniszló, we realized that our office was really open to participate and volunteer. After these few years, we are more and more motivated to continue and always try to find the best programs and foundations that serve people who really need our help and support," Galosi said.
That first year, the Hungarian team received recognition from Ford of Europe with a Chairman's Leadership Award for Diversity in the Special Award category.
The following year's event was dedicated to the Sign of Life Foundation, a 22-year-old program that serves children with autism and other severe disabilities.
Nearly 300 people turned out for that event, including 70 Ford volunteers. Working as a team with parents and children, the volunteers created a footpath, planted a spice garden, organized sport activities, played with the smaller children and renovated a kitchen.
This time, they were recognized with their second Chairman's Leadership Award for Diversity from Ford of Europe in the category of Building a Respectful and Inclusive Environment.
"With the foundations, we are working to help the special needs students organize their own leisure programs, camps, excursions as well as prepare them for appropriate occupations," Galosi said.
For the success of the first two programs, Galosi still claims the 2019 event as her favorite. It was a three-day outing at Forest Camp in Veroce, Hungary in which Ford Hungary partnered with the American Chamber of Commerce Foundation (AmCham) to bring special needs children together for education and fun.
"At the end of three days at Forest Camp, the children were crying, and they hugged us tightly. It was hard to say goodbye after spending three days together. It was very emotional."
For this program, the Hungarian team received Volunteer Company of the Year honors from the AmCham Foundation.
Galosi loves to see the volunteers' satisfaction as much as the children's.
"Realising that we gave something fantastic to people who we didn't know before, means a lot to all of us. Some of our volunteers didn't know each other before, but by the end of the program the team was working together as ONE TEAM. The day after the charity programs, the whole office was speaking about the volunteering with smiling faces.
Managed by the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Ford Volunteer Corps is a global network of Ford employees and retirees who have contributed more than 1.7 million volunteer hours in community service projects since 2005. To celebrate 15 years of serving communities around the world, Ford Fund is recognizing 15 Ford Volunteer Corps All Stars—Ford employees who are dedicated to community service, and go above and beyond in their efforts to help people in need.