In the NAFTA region, the Group engages in a number of robust and innovative programs in the communities where we operate.
Many of these initiatives benefited from the Volunteer Policy launched in 2012 for Chrysler Group salaried workers. Under this policy, in 2013 nearly 3,000 employees in the US committed more than 9,400 total work hours to participate in 76 volunteer activities. An estimated 3.3 million community residents benefited as a result of these programs.
Chrysler Group US and Canadian workers also continued to support the United Way, donating about € 4.3 million in 2013. United Way is a non-governmental organization (NGO) operating in 45 countries worldwide which is committed to improving living conditions in local communities, focusing in particular on education, financial stability and basic needs.
While many Chrysler Group initiatives in 2013 involved food donation and delivery, the Ram Truck brand participated in an innovative program with CNH Industrial to donate farm equipment and a new Ram 3500 truck to Forgotten Harvest, the Detroit area's only food rescue organization. The equipment, worth nearly € 290,000, will enable Forgotten Harvest to expand its farming operations, which provide healthy fruits and vegetables to people who would otherwise go hungry in Southeastern Michigan.
This initiative with Forgotten Harvest was one of many farming-related programs sponsored by the Ram Truck brand, which designated 2013 “The Year of the Farmer.” The Ram brand campaign kicked off in February when its much-talked-about “Farmer” television advertising spot aired during the US Super Bowl football championship. This year-long initiative set out to create greater awareness, support and appreciation for farming families, communities and providers. The brand donated about € 725,000 to the National FFA Organization (formerly known as Future Farmers of America) as well as numerous scholarships for students. Funds raised at community events organized by the brand and its partners were distributed to FFA hunger-relief efforts geared toward fighting hunger in local communities across the country.
Other community initiatives focused on conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for area residents. These included planting trees at the Windsor (Canada) Assembly Plant and a number of clean up and planting actions along the Clinton River, the center of Michigan’s most populous watershed and home to over 1.4 million people. The river has a major impact on the water quality of Lake St. Clair, which supplies drinking water to millions of area residents.
Chrysler Group volunteers also joined the community in activities to improve the city of Detroit's Belle Isle, the largest island park in the US. Employees cut down and removed small trees, vines and bushes, removed debris and potted native plants to help restore Belle Isle's natural beauty and play a positive role in Detroit's revitalization.