Corporations need communities in order to thrive, and UAW-Ford in Detroit is an example of what happens when corporations wrap their arms around their communities. They recently donated a new stainless steel washer and dryer to a mother who lost her son in a house fire. Toletha Traylor’s 12-year-old son, Marvin Carter, was found unresponsive in a third-floor bedroom, the Monday before Thanksgiving. Her 13-year-old daughter, Honesty, escaped the fire with minor injuries. Ms. Traylor was at work when the fire occurred. Following the tragedy, citizens of Detroit and the city of Highland Park rallied around the humble and hard working mother, offering her a new home with furnishings. The only thing missing was a washer and dryer.
Traylor was presented with these items at UAW-Ford’s annual holiday luncheon held on December 21. Surrounded by UAW-Ford members and executives, she was welcomed with hugs, condolences and prayers. In addition to the washer and dryer, she received enough Tide laundry products for the first 400 washes and cash donations of a little over $500. Ms. Traylor was accompanied by her aunt and Highland Park city officials.
Traylor described how it feels to receive so much from others, during times when it seems people take more than they give. “It’s surprising. I appreciate everything. Everybody’s looking out and I appreciate everything. I’m surprised that everybody is reaching out like this,” she said.
Director of Community Relations, Angelique Peterson Mayberry, shared why it’s important to spread the spirit of giving. “This is the best part [of my job]. Just being able to put a smile on the faces of those in the community and then letting the community know that we do more than just build fabulous cars and trucks,” she said. “I hope what we do becomes infectious for other organizations. That’s why I’m deliberate when I go out and speak in the community. I tell them, pay attention to those who give back to the community. When I went to people about this, I received not one, ‘no.’ People were giving above and beyond the donation we asked for. It’s important that she was here to see the faces.”
For UAW-Ford Vice President, Jimmy Settles Jr., this act of kindness is a part his organization’s duty. “It’s in your heart to give more than you ever receive. It’s a great feeling to know that you work for people that feel this way,” he said. “Sometimes you don’t even know where the money is coming from, but all the time we always have angels that come and help us.That’s really a positive way, in my mind, to end this year. Life is so fast sometimes that we don’t take time to think about how we help other people. And I must say, this UAW-Ford family, we don’t just do this during the holidays. We do this all year long, along with doing what we do every day.”