A car club goes beyond its love of vehicles as its members come together to mobilize programs that will help workers manning the front line in the fight against coronavirus.
Founded by mechanical engineer Jay Cruz, the Ford Everest Club Philippines (FECP) is composed of members who value volunteerism and camaraderie, allowing them to come together with a shared purpose and vision.
The close-knit group shares their passion for Ford vehicles while bringing to life their advocacies in the form of charitable activities.
“We have conducted several fundraising initiatives for Marawi, Itogon, and Mapanuepe, with the latest being the Taal outreach program,” said Cruz. “These weren’t your ordinary activities, too. They were often lined with difficult roads and long drives to reach the locations of the activities, really putting our Ford vehicles to the test.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, the FECP did not hesitate to answer the call of duty. The whole club, beginning with the leaders down to their friends and families from different parts of the country, as well as some OFW members, started a campaign to raise funds to provide doctors with aerosol boxes designed to protect them during intubation procedures of COVID-19 patients.
Three days after the call for donations on Facebook, the car club started the deliveries of the aerosol boxes to hospitals with the help of members who volunteered to transport goods across the country using their Ford Everest SUVs.
The FECP collected almost P600,000 worth of donations from members and their families that were used to procure 320 aerosol acrylic boxes, 60 boxes of surgical masks and N95 masks, 1,000 face shields, and 400 PPE gowns. These were then personally distributed by the leaders of the club to 200 hospitals across the country, prioritizing COVID-19 centers and government facilities.
It was no easy feat. Faced with a slew of challenges along the way, the club managed to deliver all equipment to the designated facility, thanks to their firm bayanihan spirit.
“Because of the community quarantine measures, several areas were inaccessible to our volunteers. To overcome these challenges in logistics, we successfully rounded up a team of volunteer members to deliver the boxes,” shared Cruz.
He continued, “Agencies such as the Philippine Air Force, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and the Philippine National Police also extended their hand in the distribution of the medical supplies across hospitals and facilities in Luzon.”
The long drives to deliver the supplies to the hospitals were not easy as well.
“It took a lot of energy for us to drive from one place to another given the multiple checkpoints and detours we went through. We’re just thankful that our Ford vehicles are equipped with features which made the drive safer and more comfortable,” related Cruz.
Further, the FECP is now holding free online medical consultations for its bona fide members in partnership with its members in the medical field, serving 100 patients to date.
The group is also planning to start its “OPLAN: Hatid” campaign geared towards providing free transportation to frontliners.
“Our collective passion for cars has given us an opportunity to foster our strong bayanihan spirit as a car club. A car club is a powerful platform which can be used to encourage individuals to do good for the community. We hope other car clubs will follow suit,” enthused Cruz.
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