DEARBORN, Mich., May 22, 2009 – Today, as part of CBS News’ THE EARLY SHOW “Early’s Angels” series, Jennifer Frances, the founder of “Bess the Book Bus,” was surprised with a customized 2010 Ford Transit Connect, a fuel-efficient vehicle designed especially for small business owners.
Frances, of Tampa, Fla., was selected as an “Early’s Angel” for her literacy outreach work with underprivileged children. The "Early’s Angels" series celebrates people who show courage and selflessness in the face of adversity.
Frances’ journey with ‘Bess’ began seven years ago when she cashed in her 401(k) to start the book tour in an old van, which she named Bess the Book Bus after her maternal grandmother.
Since, she has given away an estimated 30,000 books each year to children in need.
“This is yet another game changer that will take us to the next level,” said Frances. “Nobody makes a better truck than Ford and the dependability of this van will be great. Plus it’s more compact, so it will be easier to drive than my old van. She’s adorable and the kids will love her!”
“Jennifer is extremely deserving and Ford is proud to give her a vehicle that can help her achieve her goal of bringing the joy of reading to children across the country,” said Chiwei Lee, chief designer, of Ford Motor Company. Lee presented Frances with the keys to her new vehicle.
“With the Transit Connect, Jennifer can have a unique eye-catching vehicle that the kids will love. The great thing about the Transit Connect is that it drives like a car, works like a van, and is engineered to be as tough as a truck,” said Lee.
The 2010 Transit Connect was designed and built especially for small business owners. It has 135 cubic feet of cargo capacity, up to 1,600 payload capacity and an easy-to-enter low-load floor. The Transit Connect goes on sale this summer.
For more information on Bess the Book Bus, visit www.bessthebookbus.org.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 213,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s wholly owned automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.