Ford Motor Company is reinforcing its commitment to the people of Puerto Rico as it launches the next phase of Centro de Movilidad Social – a program designed to provide much-needed supplies and services to hurricane-devastated communities across the island.
Launched in December 2017, Ford’s Centro de Movilidad Social brings together local nonprofit organizations to 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 medical services, educational grants and skills development.
This week, Ford Fund is expanding the program and announcing its second social mobility center in Puerto Rico as part of a $1.2 million investment to support recovery efforts on the island. The new ‘on the go’ center will provide health and educational services to nearby communities and students, and will be implemented in collaboration with Proyecto Nacer – an organization that specializes in providing family-centered services and a member of Puerto Rico’s Alliance for Alternative Education. The ‘on the go’ center – a Ford E-450 bus – will be used as a mobile clinic to provide medical services, educational resources and family development support to teenage mothers and young families.
Ford also is donating a second Ford E-450 bus to Centros Sor Isolina Ferré – the location of the first social mobility center Ford launched last December in Ponce – for conversion into a mobile science education lab that will visit schools across the island. Ford will also provide funding for the Hispanic Federation to acquire a vehicle this year which they will utilize for the distribution of resources and to ease their transportation needs.
“As the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, our mission at the Ford Fund is to strengthen communities and help make people’s lives better, and that is exactly what Centro de Movilidad Social is all about,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Fund. “Good neighbors step up when their communities need them most, and Ford is standing – united and strong – with the many local partners who have joined us in helping the communities of Puerto Rico get back on their feet.”
As part of Centro de Movilidad Social, Ford is planning a pop-up community event today in Maunabo – a heavily impacted municipality on the south of the island that is still struggling with lack of water and electrical services. In collaboration with The Salvation Army, Centros Sor Isolina Ferré and Hispanic Federation, Ford will be distributing food, water, gas stoves and toiletry kits to families in need. Volunteers also will make house visits for seniors and other individuals who lack transportation or are unable to physically attend.
On Tuesday, Ford will celebrate the opening of the social mobility center at the Proyecto Nacer facility in Bayamón from 10 a.m. to noon EST. At the event, supplies such as food, water, disaster preparedness literature, water filters and medical services will be distributed to the community through funding from Ford with the support of various partners.
More than six months after Hurricane María’s devastation, Ford Motor Company Fund and Ford Puerto Rico’s investment continues to bear fruit for Puerto Ricans across the island.
- Since December, Ford’s first social mobility center in Ponce – Centros Sor Isolina Ferré – has been expanding its disaster recovery efforts. While it continues to connect families with resources that can help meet basic needs, the organization is currently traveling to various municipalities in the south of the island to provide workshops that aim to help restore children’s and adults’ psychological and emotional health after the traumatic experience they went through last September.
- Three vehicles that were donated last year – two Transit Connect cargo vans and an F-150 – to the Salvation Army and Red Cross Puerto Rico continue to be put to good use. Both organizations have been able to expand their reach and transport greater quantities of supplies to remote neighborhoods throughout the island.
- Three student teams received grants through the Ford College Community Challenge program in December. Student teams from University of Puerto Rico (representing Rena-Cen), Humacao Community College (representing Habitat) and National University College in Bayamón (representing Atabey) are now in the implementation phase of their projects –all aimed at addressing pressing local needs and supporting the ongoing efforts to rebuild Puerto Rico. Ford Motor Company Fund and Ford Puerto Rico are committed to the long-term recovery of Puerto Rico. Beyond the disaster relief and recovery efforts’ investment, Ford has also invested more than $1.5 million in Puerto Rico through Operation Better World and education initiatives on the island with programs such as Ford Driving Dreams and Latin GRAMMY in the Schools. Click here to learn more about the previous visits of Ford Fund to the island after the hurricanes, when the Social Mobility Centers were launched.