When a disaster strikes, everyone looks to the American Red Cross to provide hope, comfort and support. Whether it is a natural disaster or a middle-of-the-night home fire, the Red Cross is there to provide shelter, food, emergency relief supplies and emotional support. Big disasters create more needs than any one organization can meet. Through support from companies such as Mazda, the Red Cross is able to maintain a variety of resources and equipment that allows the organization to be ready to respond anytime, anywhere to help people affected by disasters. We’re honored to join the Red Cross as they continue their mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
The American Red Cross and Mazda have had a relationship for more than 25 years. It all began with the Red Cross training Mazda employees on evacuation and disaster recovery techniques for its corporate headquarters in Irvine, Calif. Through this training the Mazda Emergency Response Team (MERT) was established. MERT is a team of employees who are CPR/AED trained and available in the event of a natural disaster. They are first responders for every Mazda employee who needs their help. However, the relationship between Mazda and the Red Cross isn’t just about helping Mazda employees. Mazda’s employees give back to the Red Cross by hosting blood drives and signing custom-made holiday cards for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. All of this, in addition to disaster relief donations, is made possible through the Mazda Drive for Good program.
In the past, Mazda would make disaster-needs donations to the Red Cross to help support their relief efforts for a particular natural disaster. What does ‘disaster-needs’ mean? Well, when a disaster like the Boulder floods or Super Storm Sandy hit, Mazda makes a donation at that particular moment to help with relief efforts after the event.
With the development of the Mazda Drive for Good program, Mazda’s corporate philanthropic outreach initiative, Mazda joined the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) with a $1 million cash and vehicle donation, making them the first automotive company to join this group of donors. Members of ADGP make a pre-investment to ensure the Red Cross is able to pre-position supplies, secure shelters, maintain emergency vehicles and train volunteers nationwide before a disaster strikes so that the organization is able to immediately respond.
In the process of becoming an ADGP member, Mazda made its largest in-kind vehicle donation in history by providing 18 vehicles to the Red Cross last year. The vehicles are spread throughout the country and are utilized by volunteers to respond to disasters in the community. Mazda is proud and honored to provide safe and reliable transportation for Red Cross volunteers when they need it most. Working together in partnerships like the one between the Red Cross and Mazda only furthers the ability to help more people in less time.
In a way to honor Mazda’s commitment to disaster relief and supporting the Red Cross mission, the Red Cross Desert to the Sea Region has honored Mazda with their Community Partnership award at their inaugural Red Cross Heroes Luncheon on May 13 at Angel Stadium.
Mazda is very gracious to accept this award and proud that it is able to support the American Red Cross. In the future, the philanthropy experts at Mazda, through the Mazda Drive for Good program, are looking to expand its partnership to help more people in need.