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Michigan, U.S.A. — Chrysler Group LLC and United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) are teaming up to fight against the epidemic of childhood hunger that has plagued the region in recent years. Chrysler Group is calling its more than 57,000 employees to tap their energy and the company’s spirit of volunteerism to help the hungry and to spread understanding and utilization of UWSEM’s programs.
“We are in a unique position – as a company that has been to hell and back – to provide a beacon of hope,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO. “We can choose to make a positive difference in the world. It’s time for us to help generate a turning point within our community for people in need.”
Marchionne is serving as this year’s UWSEM campaign chair. In this role, his primary responsibility is to promote growth, fundraising and educational efforts for the campaign throughout the community. Ending child hunger is one of the biggest areas of concern for UWSEM. The organization’s Michigan No Kid Hungry program provides free meals to children in need throughout the summer and school year across Southeastern Michigan.
Chrysler is rallying its employees to pledge to do their part to end childhood hunger by increasing awareness about the United Way’s Summer Meals Programs, volunteering in food-related community service activities and by gathering food donations at the company’s Southeastern Michigan facilities. To sign the pledge and get involved, employees and the public can go to the United Way web site (http://www.liveunitedsem.org/ChryslerPledges).
To enable and encourage these types of activities, Chrysler recently announced a new corporate policy that allows employees to use up to 18 hours per year of their normal working hours to take part in company-sponsored charitable or public-service activities.
“Building awareness of the United Way’s school and summer food programs is the key to reducing child hunger,” said Michael Brennan, President and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “The most basic need for all people is food and nutrition. As more families are faced with dwindling resources, they often do not have enough money to purchase the food they need and are unaware that assistance is as easy as dialing 2-1-1. That’s why it is important for major corporations such as Chrysler to use their energy and resources to spread the message.”
In 2011, through the generosity of Chrysler Group employee pledges, including UAW and CAW represented employees, more than $4.6 million was donated to United Way campaigns in the U.S. and in Canada. In addition, during the year hundreds of Chrysler Group employees volunteered thousands of hours to support United Way agencies and activities – from Pontiac to Detroit, Warren, Fraser and more communities in the state where their time and resources were needed to help others.