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GM Mobilizes to Support Communities Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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$2.65 million in grants to benefit the DonorsChoose Keep Kids Learning program and 40 nonprofits across the United States
  • 2,100 employees step up to join manufacturing, volunteer and donation efforts
  • DETROIT — In response to the constantly-evolving challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, General Motors has acted swiftly, harnessing its scale to provide frontline workers with the ventilators and supplies they need to respond to this global crisis.

    Simultaneously, GM has taken measures to bolster communities across the country, investing $2.65 million in 40 nonprofits and supporting employee volunteer and donation efforts.

    “Our team at GM has shown ingenuity, creativity and heart as we face this pandemic,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “We have mobilized our manufacturing capacity to aid response efforts, and we’ve been actively engaged in our communities to help find solutions to new and compounding challenges, especially in education.”

    Included in these efforts is a $1 million grant to the DonorsChoose Keep Kids Learning program, which provides $1,000 credits to 1,000 teachers in high-need school districts to help send basic resources like books, pencils, notebooks, food and cleaning supplies to students’ homes.

    “When schools began closing last month, we surveyed over 4,000 teachers from the country’s highest-need districts and found that nearly 70 percent of their students lack resources to learn at home,” said Charles Best, DonorsChoose founder and CEO. “The unfortunate reality is, when students cannot go to school, the resources available in their homes are going to shape their education, which means coronavirus threatens to widen educational inequity. We're grateful for General Motors' support of our Keep Kids Learning program, to help teachers prepare their students to continue learning at home.”

    An additional $1.65 million in grant funding is being deployed to GM facility communities across the country. Each facility dedicates funds to nonprofits providing critical services to their communities like food and housing assistance, small business support and at-home learning resources for parents, teachers and students.

    Additionally, more than 2,100 GM employees have also volunteered to join the effort:

    • 931 salaried employees have volunteered to help manufacture and deliver critical PPE from GM’s Warren, Michigan facility to area hospitals.
    • 178 employees have donated more than $14,000 to support United Way’s local COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Funds and the DonorsChoose Keep Kids Learning program.
    • 1,051 employees and their friends and families have pledged to the American Red Cross SleevesUp campaign.

    “We are working hard to make sure that everyone – from frontline and emergency response teams to teachers and families – has the resources they need to navigate this uncertain time,” Reuss said. “I am proud of the employees that continue to show resourcefulness and resolve in helping our communities and country through this perilous time, and we won’t stop until the job is done.”

    GM employees have been recording short videos thanking teachers for their efforts to keep kids engaged and learning while at home. GM plans to provide a compilation of these videos to DonorsChoose to share with teachers.

    About the DonorsChoose Keep Kids Learning program:

    In the initial phase of Keep Kids Learning, DonorsChoose is reaching out to teachers who have previously used DonorsChoose at schools where nearly all students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, the national standard for measuring need within a school community. Eligible teachers receive $1,000 in funding credits to spend on educational resources to ship to their students’ homes. DonorsChoose is contacting teachers and issuing credits on a rolling basis as funds become available. To date, over 2,200 teachers have participated in the program. The organization is also working to expand at-home learning support to more teachers and students, offering donors the chance to give to a specific teacher or community, similar to the traditional DonorsChoose model.