MANILA, Philippines – In the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been often told that staying at home is one of the best solutions to mitigate the risk of contamination. For our brave medical frontliners who fight this invisible adversary head-on, it is a very different battle. In response to the critical need of our frontliners, members of the Ford Everest Club Philippines (FECP) were quick to volunteer and lend their hand.
Founded by mechanical engineer Jay Cruz, FECP’s core philosophy goes beyond the members’ interests in Ford vehicles. The members put value on volunteerism and camaraderie, allowing them to come together with a shared purpose and vision. Since its establishment, the close-knit community has always been eager to share their passion for Ford vehicles while bringing their advocacies to life 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.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, FECP heeded the call of duty. The whole club, beginning with their leaders, down to their friends and families from different parts of the country, along with some OFW members, started a campaign to raise funds to provide doctors with aerosol boxes designed to protect them during intubation procedures with patients stricken by the virus.
Three days after the call for donations on Facebook, they 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–all of this, grounded by the knowledge of the importance of helping and supporting “the medical frontliners who are the backbone in the war against Covid-19.”
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 N-95 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.
In the face of adversity and faced with a slew of challenges, 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. Simultaneously, 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,” Cruz shared.
The long drives to deliver the supplies to the hospitals were not easy as well. “It took a lot of energy for of us to drive from one place to another given the multiple checkpoints and detours we went through. We’re just thankful that our vehicles are well equipped to make the drive safer and more comfortable,” Cruz said.
The drive to support frontliners and concerned citizens doesn’t end with the club’s recent donation activities. FECP now holds free online medical consultations for its members in partnership with their members in the medical field, serving 100 patients to date. On top of this, the group is also planning to start their “OPLAN: hatid” geared towards providing free transportation to frontliners.
“For us, it’s like a ripple effect created by a single idea but created with a tidal wave of support. We continue to live up to our motto, Pay it Forward,” added Cruz. “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.”