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Bridgestone donates $1 million to help combat Ebola outbreak

NASHVILLE, Tenn. and Tokyo ― To help combat the Ebola outbreak, Bridgestone will be donating $1 million (USD) to the efforts in Liberia and region, the company announced today.

More specifically, half of the donation will be going to Samartian’s Purse for work in Liberia and the other half will be given to UNICEF’s efforts in Liberia and Nigeria.

The company has been affected directly by the outbreak. Firestone Liberia, a Bridgestone Americas subsidiary saw 71 employees, family members, retirees and people from surrounding areas who have contracted the virus. The Firestone Medical Center on the Firestone Liberia rubber farm has saved 17 people from the illness.

“Our Firestone Liberia teammates and community have selflessly met the demands of this deadly outbreak and we support them and the great work Samaritan’s Purse and UNICEF are doing in the region to help protect the citizens of Liberia and West Africa,” said Gary Garfield, CEO and president, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. “We implore others to step up in taking on this fight against Ebola.”

“We know that it will take everyone – every citizen, government official, health worker and company in the region – to provide the education, resources and supplies needed to stop the spread of this disease,” said Yutaka Yamaguchi, Bridgestone Group’s vice-president and senior officer.  “More support is needed and we hope others will join Bridgestone in supporting organizations that are on the front lines of this global health crisis.”

The money given to Samaritan’s Purse will go towards a home-based care program which provides help kits to those caring for sick family members.

“We thank Bridgestone Americas for its support in the fight against Ebola,” said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse. “Firestone Liberia is working tirelessly to protect and treat the approximately 80,000 people living within its community, and with their support, we’re able to broaden those efforts in the larger Liberian community.”

The money donated by Bridgestone given to UNICEF will be used towards its mass public awareness efforts and help orphaned children.

“The current Ebola outbreak is unprecedented and requires an urgent global response. UNICEF is racing against time to control the spread of the disease among children and families,” said U.S. Fund for UNICEF president and CEO, Caryl Stern.“We greatly appreciate the donation from Bridgestone Group, which will help UNICEF expand its critical work in West Africa.”

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