Ford F-150 Will Help American Red Cross Respond to Disasters

By - Ford F-150 American Red Cross

Two businesses joined forces to donate a Ford F-150 XLT to a Southern California branch of the American Red Cross.

It only takes seconds for a natural or manmade disaster to turn a family’s life upside down. To respond to those kinds of catastrophes, the American Red Cross needs time, people, equipment…and trucks. Thanks to two companies and generous donors, it’s getting a Ford F-150 pickup as a new Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV).

The vehicle remarketing services firm Manheim and a company called Remarketing by Element conducted a fundraising campaign to generate money to get the truck. At the end of the “Race to Give” on March 30, the American Red Cross Desert to the Sea Region, which serves Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties, got the keys to a white, pre-2018 F-150 SuperCrew. According to Manheim, “From July 2017 through January 2018, the Red Cross assisted over 1,600 individuals in the southern California region.” The American Red Cross as a whole responds to a yearly average of almost 64,000 disasters. In other words, a catastrophe such as a mudslide, wildfire, flood, tornado, earthquake, or home fire, every eight minutes. Ford F-150 American Red Cross

Linda Voss, Regional CEO of the Red Cross Desert to the Sea Region, said, “When disaster strikes, Red Cross volunteers are there to help get people back on their feet. Vehicles like this one allow us to get to and from the scene safely, and deliver much-needed supplies. It’s more than just a truck – it’s a vital tool for us to deliver help and hope in our region, and beyond.”

Thanks to some of Manheim’s employees and clients, the American Red Cross’s ERVs will also be delivering “comfort kits” to people affected by disasters. They bought and assembled 1,500 bundles filled with useful personal hygiene products that those displaced from their homes by Mother Nature or other forces can use. Kelley Blue Book contributed another 500.

Photos via Manheim

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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