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Ford Motor Company’s commitment to “Creating Tomorrow Together” – its own and Southeast Michigan’s – will be on full display with an all-new float making its debut at the 93rd America’s Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Detroit on Thursday, Nov. 28.
“Everything Ford does is designed around the needs of people,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “In Detroit, our hometown for 116 years, that includes bringing people together through cherished local traditions like America’s Thanksgiving Parade.
“The parade has been a joyful kickoff of the holiday season for generations of people in Southeast Michigan, and Ford is proud to be a part of those shared experiences and memories.”
At more than 100 feet long and 25 feet tall, Ford’s new float will showcase its future – stretching from the innovation hub being developed at the historic Michigan Central Station in Detroit, to the transformation of Ford’s research and engineering campus in Dearborn, and to its robotics lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The float will also highlight the company’s iconic cars, trucks and SUVs, and look ahead to a world with electric and autonomous vehicles and innovative mobility solutions such as scooters and package delivery robots.
Large images on the float highlight Ford’s nearly $20 million in annual charitable investments in building stronger communities in Southeast Michigan. Riding and walking alongside the float will be members of Ford Volunteer Corps, which deploys more than 5,000 employees a year to perform local community-service projects.
Ford, the official vehicle of America’s Thanksgiving Parade, will feature 45 cars, trucks and SUVs on the parade route, including the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, 2020 Ford Explorer ST, and a fleet of Ford F-Series trucks.
Along with the debut of the new float, Ford also is extending its partnership with The Parade Company on signature Detroit traditions by committing to sponsor America’s Thanksgiving Parade, Ford Fireworks and the Hob Nobble Gobble through 2021.
Ford has been investing in Detroit for more than 100 years. Over the holidays, Ford and Ford Fund, the company’s philanthropic arm, are again joining hunger relief partners to address food insecurity across Metro Detroit. According to Gleaners Community Food Bank, more than 650,000 people in Southeast Michigan will face hunger this year. Ford Fund initiatives throughout the 2019 holiday season include:
  • Teaming up with Gleaners to help feed the hungry, including Ford Double Your Donation Day this coming Tuesday (Nov. 19). All donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Donations can be made at www.gcfb.org/double or by calling 855.315.FOOD (3663).
  • Providing food staples and items for holiday meals through Gleaners food pantries at Ford Resource and Engagement Centers in Detroit. Over the past six years, the centers have provided more than 3 million pounds of food to families in Southwest Detroit and on the city’s east side.
  • For the 12th consecutive year, supporting Holiday Meals on Wheels along with the Detroit Area Agency on Aging to assure 6,000 homebound seniors can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Mobilizing some 1,200 Ford volunteers to prepare and serve meals, and participate in more than 130 seasonal activities between now and the end of the year with The Salvation Army, Gleaners, Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry, Focus: Hope, Forgotten Harvest and Yad Ezra, among other organizations.
  • Ford Mobile Food Pantries will deliver meals and provide assistance at community events, such as the fresh produce drive at the University of Detroit Mercy to benefit senior citizens, and. A mobile pantry will deliver pies prepared by students for nonprofit partners. Since 2010, this fleet of 20 mobile pantries has served 8 million meals.
  • Supporting Operation Good Cheer by donating Christmas presents to foster children in Michigan. Started by Ford employees in 1971, the program has grown from providing gifts to 66 foster children to today nearly 7,000.
In addition to hunger relief, Ford and Ford Fund have invested more than $175 million in Detroit and Southeast Michigan over the past 10 years to support education, safe driving, and various arts and culture initiatives. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2 billion to build stronger communities in 60-plus countries around the world. 
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