The Mazda Heroes program is finally announcing its winners. If you recall our original story back in October this year, Mazda said it was giving away 50 MX-5 Miata 100th Anniversary Special Edition models. Each car is destined for individuals who “tirelessly dedicated themselves to their communities throughout 2020” through “selfless acts, creative thinking and contributions to community.” The battle against Covid-19 has been long, and it’s not over, but Mazda is trying to bring a little convertible happiness into an otherwise bleak year.
One of the winners, Jason Erdreich, is featured in the video at the top of this post. He used his skills as a shop teacher and access to 3-D printers to print thousands of pieces of PPE for medical workers who were in dire need of it. He also appears to own an NA Miata, so he’s no stranger to Mazda’s roadster.
Five other winners were announced today: Triana Davis, Christie Purviance, Jennifer Williams, Leandro De Arauja Pessoa and Michael Star Thompson.
Davis is a teacher who went above and beyond to keep her kids engaged and inspired during at-home school. She personally delivered custom work packets to student’s doors and crafted a huge number of items like medals and commemorative T-shirts.
Purviance is an ICU nurse in Texas. She’s worked 15-hour shifts through the pandemic. Her coworkers say she goes beyond the normal standard of care, treating her patients like family throughout her grueling days on the frontlines.
Williams is a school teacher in West Virginia. Throughout the pandemic she has put together and personally delivered packets of schoolwork and school supplies to her students to reduce the amount of travel parents must do for their kids. She’s even adjusted her curriculum to teach students about cooking and other home-related necessities. On top of that, Williams has tried to keep children’s spirits up by delivering special treats and prizes to doorsteps.
Araujo Pessoa lost his job after the lockdown hit in March, but he ended up using all his extra time to become the leader of a food pantry run by a local church in Lansing, MI. He has devoted his time and much of his unemployment checks to the food pantry to keep it stocked with all the items necessary.
Thompson lives in Georgetown, Kentucky. He volunteers often at a local homeless shelter where he runs a Bible study and cleans bathrooms. He’s also a football coach who started a youth football camp at his alma mater. All proceeds of the camp go to benefit a learning center for kids. Throughout the pandemic, he’s been coaching kids in one-on-one settings for free to keep the risk of exposure down.
Mazda says it heard countless stories of people putting others first, and there are plenty of winners yet to be announced. We’ll update this post as Mazda highlights even more stories of selfless and giving acts folks have done throughout the pandemic.