GM and the GM Foundation aim to transform Metro Detroit schools and communities across the U.S.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tuesday, United Way Worldwide honored General Motors with a Summit award for community impact. The award recognizes GM and the GM Foundation for its support of United Way and for making a measurable impact in metro Detroit and communities across the country.
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In 2011, the GM Foundation made its largest gift ever – a transformational $27.1 million grant to United Way of Southeastern Michigan. The grant created a "Network of Excellence" within seven Metro Detroit high schools and is designed to have a positive impact on students and increase graduation rates from 50% to 80% over five years. In addition to this significant grant, GM employees contributed more than $6 million through the company's United Way campaign.
"GM continues to demonstrate outstanding leadership toward addressing our nation's education challenges, starting at home in Southeastern Michigan," said Brian Gallagher, United Way Worldwide president and CEO. "United Way is honored to recognize GM with this prestigious award for the tremendous impact they've had in our communities."
To augment the $27.1 million grant, GM's new teamGM Cares employee volunteer program supports the "Network of Excellence" schools. Efforts include tapping GM employees to serve on the Champions Councils, mentoring programs and other initiatives. GM is also engaging students with an attendance challenge that awards the most improved high school with a celebrity principal for a day.
In addition to these efforts, the company's GMC division teamed up with United Way to build United Way Healthy Kids Zones in nine NFL markets across the country using a portion of the $264,000 raised from the GMC-United Way Super Bowl package auction along with the support of 3,000 volunteers. Additionally, Chevrolet donated 13 vehicles valued at $400,000 to United Ways across Alabama to assist in storm recovery efforts in 2011.
"This honor is significant as it recognizes GM and the GM Foundation's efforts to be a catalyst for change," said Vivian Pickard, president of the GM Foundation and GM's director of Corporate Relations. "Through our continued partnership with United Way, we will work to improve education and positively impact the lives and communities we touch."
The Spirit of America and Summit Awards program, celebrating its 25th year, is United Way's highest national honor for corporations, recognizing United Way Global Corporate Leaders with the most comprehensive commitments to strengthening communities. Applicants are evaluated by corporate peers and local United Ways.