On Monday, June 18 through Friday, June 22, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services just held its sixth annual “Week of Caring,” during which time over 600 employees worked with 11 nonprofit organizations on 25 different community service projects through Southeastern Michigan. Together they logged over 4,100 hours of service.
Headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services hosts the Week of Caring in Southeastern Michigan as well as Fort Worth, Texas, where their business center operations office is located. They also host smaller events in other cities where they have a presence, but Metro Detroit’s is the largest.
They focus on four key areas – arts and culture, community enhancement, diversity and inclusion, and education – and their nonprofit partners during the Week of Caring fall into one or more of those focus areas.
Several projects were done in Oakland County with local nonprofit organizations.
In Lathrup Village, a team of 25 worked inside and out at the South Oakland Shelter, working on 20 beautification projects that included landscaping, re-painting the lines of the parking lot, painting a bike shed, painting indoors, building storage, and doing some organizing.
At Beyond Basics in Southfield, with whom they sponsor a classroom literacy program during the school year, they helped sort and organize books at the organization’s office, painted some walls inside the office, and prepped supplies for the coming school year.
Volunteers that worked with Community Living Centers in Farmington Hills worked on a multi-day project that included creating a “man cave” in one of the Center’s group homes that house seven men, remodeling the basement with new furniture and painting sports logos on the walls to make it a comfortable place where residents can gather around and watch TV and movies. They also did a lot of cleanup work outside, which included filling 20 yard waste bags, which made such a noticeable impact by the end of the three days so that neighbors even stopped to compliment their work.
In Oak Park, volunteers worked at the Forgotten Harvest warehouse packaging 17,900 pounds of food and making 2,500 sandwiches for summer programs in two days. They also worked on the organization’s farm in Deerfield, picking over 6,500 pounds of collard greens and kale on the first day, enough to feed nearly as many families. That produce was planted to support Flint residents in the ongoing water crisis, because those particular greens help to absorb lead from the body.
And finally, in Pontiac, volunteers helped clean, furnish, and decorate three homes with Humble Design, including one for a veteran.
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services hosts the Week of Caring as a signature annual event that emphasizes major, visible community impact with a massive swell of volunteers all working on projects at once, but it is just one part of the company’s year-round commitment to corporate social responsibility efforts.
The company also leads several other community projects and efforts throughout the year, including an individual volunteer day for each employee, where they get to pick any organization they choose and get paid to volunteer for that organization on that day. Many employees end up returning to the organizations they worked with during the Week of Caring for their individual volunteer days, further supporting the growth of community and partnerships between the company, employees, and nonprofit partners.
“Corporate social responsibility is one of our core values as a company,” says Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Community Relations Manager Greg Ruvolo.