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Inside Mazda

It Started with Bananas: How Neighbors Bring Simple Relief During Shelter in Place

Mazda Cares featuring Chris Hill

This is Mazda Cares. In light of COVID-19, we’re sharing stories of how our Mazda family is coping with (and even combatting) the crisis. Tracing back to our Hiroshima roots, Mazda has a deep history of helping communities in times of need. Our aim is to share stories that highlight our belief that what matters most is one another — because through the power of humanity and community, we can overcome any challenge.

COVID-19 has uprooted daily life for everyone, making otherwise simple tasks like grocery shopping a potentially dangerous one for those most at-risk. For Chris Hill, Senior Manager, Brand, Entertainment, and Sponsorships at Mazda North American Operations, it’s already second nature to reach out to help others, so this situation is no different for him and his youngest daughter, Harley.

When Chris and Harley noticed that their next-door neighbor, Laura, hadn’t been outside for a few days they reached out. Given that Laura lives with Multiple Sclerosis, she is at high-risk for COVID-19 and made the decision to self-quarantine early in California’s battle with the pandemic. Knowing that going to the grocery store was out of the question for her, Chris offered to pick up whatever her grocery delivery hadn’t provided. Bananas. A grey box perched on Laura’s front step became their drop off spot. Now, when Chris and Harley head to the grocery store, they connect with Laura to find out what’s on her list, too.

When asked how this small practice has impacted his outlook on life, Chris replies, “People seem to default to doing good,” noting the acts of kindness and generosity he has seen exhibited in his community, despite broader news around resource hoarding and supply shortages. As someone who has been with Mazda nearly 16 years, Chris sees this human-centric philosophy alive and well in his company, too. “The only way you work for a company long-term is if you can see your values reflected. And I have.”