WASHINGTON – Through the generosity of the Ford Motor Company, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) will be able to provide free transportation to more of America’s injured and ill veterans who may otherwise go without needed medical care.
Ford, a long-time DAV supporter, is donating another $200,000 for the purchase of seven new vehicles for the organization’s nationwide Transportation Network, which provides free rides for veterans to and from their medical appointments. Another $78,000 has been donated to DAV for the annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic and DAV’s Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program.
To be presented at DAV’s National Convention at the Hilton Orlando Aug. 10, Ford’s $200,000 grant will be used to purchase another seven vans for the DAV Transportation Network. Ford Motor Company’s kindness toward America’s injured and ill veterans dates back to DAV’s earliest days. When it became clear a national convention was needed to address the needs of those returning from the First World War, Henry Ford organized a cross-country caravan of 50 Model T Fords to take disabled veterans to the 1922 DAV national convention in San Francisco.
“We are extremely grateful for Ford’s generosity,” said DAV National Commander Larry Polzin. “These vehicles will be used by veterans hospitals to transport wounded heroes to and from medical appointments, continually providing a vital link between thousands of sick and disabled veterans and the health care they so desperately need.”
Since 1996, Ford has donated 171 vehicles to DAV’s fleet. That’s in addition to the 2,714 Ford vans the DAV National Organization, its Chapters, Departments and the National Service Foundation Columbia Trust have purchased since 1987, at a cost of more than $57 million. These vans have all been donated to Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals for use in the Transportation Network.
“Ford Motor Company is honored to support our disabled veterans by partnering with the DAV on many programs, including the DAV Transportation Network,” said Jim Vella, President, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Our partnership dates back through nine decades and we are continuously amazed at what our partnership has produced.”
“We also deeply appreciate Ford’s generous contribution to the Jesse Brown Youth Memorial Scholarship, as well as their continued support of the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, which is a unique sports rehabilitation programs for hundreds of severely disabled veterans,” Commander Polzin said. “Ford has always shown its pride in being American made, and it backs that up by reaching out with a helping hand to those who sacrificed so much to defend the American way.”
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Service works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. The Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees each year work on projects that better their communities in 30 countries. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com.
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose; fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with 1.2 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at www.dav.org.