Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. (MBUSI) team members and the plant have been busy the past few weeks with COVID-19 relief activities. Once all donations are complete, the plant expects to have donated more than $500,000 in funds, goods and services to area nonprofits and health care agencies in Alabama.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is placing an incredible amount of strain on families and on the nonprofits and groups trying to assist them in making ends meet,” said President and CEO Michael Goebel. “We are all connected and we have to pull together to help get this community through this crisis.”
In partnership with the Community Foundation of West Alabama, MBUSI has donated $100,000 to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts. Six local organizations will share in the funds to help provide critical needs to individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. Eligible families can go to these organizations and apply for grants to cover bills, get food vouchers and get other services.
Recipient organizations to benefit from the financial donation include:
- United Way of West Alabama ($40,000)
- Temporary Emergency Services of West Alabama ($15,000)
- West Alabama Food Bank ($10,000)
- Community Service Programs of West Alabama ($10,000)
- American Red Cross / American Red Cross West Alabama Chapter ($10,000)
- Tuscaloosa City and Tuscaloosa County Schools ($15,500)
“United Way of West Alabama established the West Alabama COVID-19 Community Response Fund (WACRF) in response to our 2-1-1 Helpline calls for assistance with basic necessities (food, rent and utilities) increasing by 400% due to the COVID-10 crisis,” said United Way President and CEO Jackie Wuska. “Most of the increase in 2-1-1 Helpline calls are coming from individuals who never asked for help and, for the first time ever, find themselves unable to work and make their mortgage or utility payments.”
Wuska says awards to individuals and families have ranged from $180 – $920.
“Mercedes-Benz U.S. International’s generous gift in support of our WACRF will enable us to help many more families during these stressful times and go a long way to provide much-needed hope and peace of mind,” she says. “We are so grateful for Mercedes’ support and all they do to help our community no matter the extent of the need.”
In addition, MBUSI has held blood drives and donated personal protective equipment: surgical masks, medical gowns, N95 masks, N100 reusable filters, Tyvek full bodysuits and face shield headbands to local hospitals and emergency agencies amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Other planned in-kind donations to be made by MBUSI include:
- DCH Hospitals in Tuscaloosa and Northport – 18 ventilator boxes and 2,000 N100 sewn masks created by the MPS team. The hospital provided the material and team members sewed the masks in the Continuous Improvement Shop.
- The Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency – 80,000 surgical masks, 12,000 N95 washable masks, and 30 N95 masks to first responders and medical personnel in the region.
- Bibb County Emergency Management Agency – 10,000 surgical masks and 1,000 N95 washable masks to protect health care workers.
- Alabama Department of Public Health – 100,000 surgical masks and 7,000 N95 washable masks.
- UAB Hospital – 20,000 surgical masks, 5,500 N95 washable masks and 12 ventilator boxes to protect health care workers.
- The Alabama Productivity Center – 600 Face Shield headbands to be distributed to health care workers at DCH and UAB hospitals.