Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), through its Mazda Drive for Good program, has made a $500,000 donation to American Red Cross, making it the first automotive manufacturer to be involved in the organization's Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP). Mazda has a long-standing relationship with the Red Cross and has made previous donations on a disaster-needs basis.

"Mazda is honored to not only partner with the American Red Cross, but to also be an official member of its Annual Disaster Giving Program," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO. "Our Mazda Drive for Good program has enabled all of us at Mazda to focus on giving back to our local communities and our nation as a whole, so it was a natural fit for us to partner with a great organization like American Red Cross."

Members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program donate in advance of a major disaster, which provides the Red Cross with a reliable funding base to immediately respond in times of disaster.

Mazda's donation to the Red Cross was the direct result of the funds raised from last year's Mazda Drive for Good program, during which the automaker donated $100 for every new Mazda sold between November 25 and January 2, to one of four national or 32 local charities based on the customer's choice. Additionally, Mazda donated one hour of community service for every test drive given during that same time period.

The Red Cross is also known for hosting blood drives across the nation and Mazda contributes to these as well. In fact, Mazda is hosting an employee blood drive on June 11, to help contribute to the 5,600 times a day a person receives a Red Cross blood transfusion. The blood drive will take place at Mazda's corporate headquarters in Irvine, Calif.