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PHOTOS: Ford Volunteers Build a Playground for Dearborn Charter School

Volunteers spent their Sept. 11 constructing a playground for preschoolers at the Advanced Technology Academy.

When the first-ever preschool class at Dearborn's arrives Oct. 1, they'll notice a brand new playground ready for them to break in.

That's all thanks to a handful of Ford Motor Company employees, who spent their Sept. 11 building the playground from scratch.

The volunteer efforts were part of the company's Global Week of Caring, during which all employees are encouraged to take part in local projects to better the community.

Eric Mitchell, with Ford Public Affairs, explained that volunteering is an every day part of the Ford mantra–but Global Caring Week is when efforts are really stepped up.

"It's about community building," he explained.

Tuesday was what's known as an Accelerated Action Day, which Volunteer Coordinator Terry Berry said drew out the most employees for community projects in one day.

Berry said there were 42 Ford projects happening Tuesday, with almost 500 volunteers throughout the U.S. participating.

"We decided Sept. 11 would be our volunteer day," Berry explained, "and it kept growing and growing."

In southeast Michigan, that included projects at Vista Maria in Dearborn Heights, the Henry Ford Estate in Dearborn, Habitat for Humanity in Ypsilanti, and several others.

Volunteers at ATA–comprised mostly of members of Ford's legal department–spent their day in the sun digging holes, assembling equipment, and making sure that the Dearborn charter school's youngest students will have a place to play.

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