AKRON—The Goodyear Foundation, a charitable private foundation acting as the philanthropic arm of the tire maker, has awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant to Akron Children's Hospital to support its “Safe Mobility Project.”
According to the foundation, the grant will enable the hospital and community partner organizations to expand child safety programs focusing on child passenger seats, bike helmets, pedestrian safety and teen drivers. Goodyear said the Safe Mobility Project will distribute 2,500 child passenger safety seats and more than 2,700 bike helmets and will conduct car safety seat and bike helmet safety events in Akron-area neighborhoods where children are at high risk for injury.
In addition, a teen driving program new to Akron Children's safety programs will become sustainable after the grant's conclusion, Goodyear said.
Goodyear Chairman and CEO Richard Kramer said the project will build on the tire maker's long support of the hospital, engage its associates in promoting safety and expand programs that promote safe mobility.
“The Goodyear Foundation is excited to collaborate with Akron Children's Hospital on the new Safe Mobility Project to increase the hospital's reach with existing childhood injury prevention efforts, such as child passenger safety seat and bike helmet programs and to add a new teen safe driving program,” Kramer said. “We're committed to helping promote safe mobility to make our communities stronger, and ultimately help prevent childhood injuries in our community.”
The program's effectiveness will be measured on regularly, using Summit County, Ohio, statistics on pediatric unintentional injuries, Goodyear added.
“We have made great progress in getting safety information to more parents and removing the barriers to getting bike helmets and child passenger safety seats to those families who need them,” said Heather Trnka, Akron Children's injury prevention coalition coordinator. “But we know from research that young children still ride in cars without being secured in a car seat or booster seat and as many as 73 percent of child safety seats are not properly installed in cars.”
Trnka said the grant will allow Akron Children's to partner with additional child care facilities, Head Start programs and government agencies to reach children in high risk communities.
“Car seats and bike helmets are proven—and affordable—means to protect children from serious harm,” she said. “We just need to get them to more families. It's wonderful that this grant from the Goodyear Foundation will help us do just that.”