FedEx Aids Daffodil Days to Help Defeat Cancer
Although she’s not the type to brag, Nan Malebranche deserves much credit for transforming the delivery component of the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days program from an amateurish operation largely run from the trunks of cars in her area into a smooth and efficient process with the help of FedEx.
Malebranche, managing director of district operations for FedEx Express on Long Island, N.Y., joined a local American Cancer Society fund-raising committee soon after she was promoted to her current position 12 years ago. A few years later, she convinced her supervisor to lend FedEx Express expertise and resources to help the American Cancer Society with local deliveries for Daffodil Days, one of the Society’s most treasured fundraising programs.
Since then, the bond the American Cancer Society forged with FedEx for Daffodil Days has blossomed, spreading from Long Island to nearly a dozen other markets across the U.S.
As the first flower of spring, the daffodil represents hope and renewal. Each spring, the American Cancer Society offers daffodils to donors in appreciation for a contribution. By sending bunches of daffodils to friends, family members and people touched by cancer, donors share a message of hope and raise awareness to help defeat cancer.
Requests for flowers are taken in January, February, and early March. The daffodils arrive and are delivered in March, coinciding with the beginning of spring. This year, most flowers will be delivered from March 16 through March 20, primarily on Tuesday (March 17) in most markets.
FedEx will help again this year by contributing in-kind shipping to deliver daffodils in several markets, including the Manhattan borough of New York City, Boston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Thousands and thousands of daffodils – more than a million in some markets – will be delivered by FedEx Express or FedEx Ground in each market. But it all started with Nan Malebranche on Long Island.
I wanted to know more about this event and why Nan and her team are so involved. I spoke with Nan and this is what she said:
Years ago, before FedEx began helping, it would take the American Cancer Society a week to deliver these daffodils on Long Island because the staff would have to deliver them in their own personal cars. It would take them a week to do what FedEx now helps them do in a matter of hours, even though they have more orders now than they did then. This was a great contrast to the delivery operation now to how it was on Long Island before FedEx became involved eight or nine years ago.
On Long Island, most of the daffodils are delivered to banks, schools and hospitals. Malebranche said FedEx Express personnel already make deliveries to most of those places every business day, which makes it relatively easy to deliver daffodils to recipients at those same locations without disrupting normal operations for FedEx Express.
In addition to delivering daffodils, managers, administrative personnel and other teammates in Long Island district eagerly volunteer to help the American Cancer Society sort and package daffodil orders.
It’s a great day for us here when we deliver. You can feel the energy all around the opeation. FedEx began volunteering with the American Cancer Society on Long Island years ago in response to employees who wanted FedEx Express to become more involved in the community.
People just love doing it. It’s great for teamwork and it’s great for camaraderie and it’s also great that our employees see what we do out in the community to help. It’s a big-dot deal for us. They know it and they love doing it.