FedEx Cares Week 2012
Campinas, SP, Brazil
Ana Rita Bosshard
During FedEx Cares Week, our team visited Escola Francisco Brasileiro School in the Viracopos airport area. Our purpose was to help serve over 200 children from low-income families who study at the school.
This year we focused on a project called “Planting and Growing”, using vegetable seeds to teach the children how different types of vegetable plants grow.
We showed them how easy it can be to maintain a garden, giving them access to nutritional vegetables. We introduced the kids to different kinds of vegetable packs as well as seedlings that had already been planted so they could see how the plants would grow.
Students from each class planted their own seeds in a vase, which was identified by a label with their group name so that they would be responsible for the seeds they had planted and would be able to follow the along throughout the growth process. They were instructed to water the plants, protect them from excessive wind and provide them with the right amount of sunlight.
In the process of talking about planting, we also chatted about life. We explained that sometimes we may not succeed on the first, second or third try but that persistence pays off in the long run. We taught the kids that learning from our mistakes can result in success the next time. We encouraged the children to never give up.
The children sang us songs to show their excitement and gratitude. One of the songs was about preparing healthy soup for a baby. They even mentioned vegetable seeds. It was so cute! Then the children brought the vegetable mentioned in the song, put it in a pan to imitate making soup and the girls brought a doll to represent feeding the baby.
The best part about the day was all of the wonderful attitudes. Every time we said good morning or good afternoon, the kids answered “Good morning/afternoon, wonderful one!”
Our experience was indescribable. FedEx truly cares!
During this year’s FedEx Cares Week, I joined eight volunteers as we visited two primary schools in Hong Kong to help refurbish and replant organic gardens. This visit was part of our continuing partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute in Asia. Our goal is to educate children about conserving the environment and to encourage healthier food choices, such as organic produce.
The schools we visited had about 60 children from ages 10 – 12 years old. When the day began, I was nervous about how the children would receive someone they couldn’t easily communicate with. Being an American, it would be generous to say my grasp of Cantonese, the local Chinese dialect, is any stronger than tenuous, but I was able to communicate with the children through hand gestures, smiles and laughter. Within 5 minutes we were all having a great time putting together flower beds, spreading dirt and planting seeds.
Over the course of the afternoon, I completely forgot about the language barrier with the children, and our small but capable team of volunteers was able to get a great deal done. We put together flower beds and planted seeds at the first school, and at the second school we cleared dozens of beds of old vegetation and weeds so the children could plant their organic garden. It was a fun and rewarding experience. I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to show that FedEx Cares!
During FedEx Cares Week, our SQA Testing Team for Servers and Online Clients here at FedEx participated in Shelter Operations training at the American Red Cross in Memphis.
The American Red Cross is often among the first responders when disaster strikes, helping to alleviate suffering in our communities during times of emergency. The willingness and compassion of volunteers to help others and the generous donations received from people and organizations that care about our community makes a world of difference.
Our team took the Shelter Operations Training course so that we can be prepared to help out in our communities when needed. We learned about the many types of disasters and situations that arise and how to be a positive impact during an emergency. When we think about the circumstances of people who may have lost everything in the wake of a disaster, it is heartbreaking to imagine the loss and the physical and emotional suffering. The training we received will allow us to turn our compassion into action so we can make a difference in our communities when disasters occur.
The American Red Cross instructors led us through several real-life scenarios that often occur during the setup, maintenance or closure of a Shelter. We worked together in groups to determine how to best handle each situation. It was amazing to see the many dynamics of Shelter Operations, from registration details and how to help family members reconnect with “Safe and Well” listings to food preparation and distribution, dormitory sleeping arrangements, activities to help people and families cope and the long list of other volunteer organizations that work side-by-side with the American Red Cross to help people to move on and rebuild their lives and return to some level of normal daily routines. We have a new appreciation for all the work effort of the volunteers and the donated resources that are needed to help people recover after a catastrophic event.
FedEx Express and FedEx Ground team members did more than transform the storage area at Foster Friends of North Carolina with paint and shelving – we helped the agency create a more normal childhood for foster kids in Guilford and Forsyth counties.
Foster Friends fills in the gaps left by government funding by making sure these kids have birthday parties, school field trips, opportunities to participate in scouts or team sports, have school pictures taken and get a yearbook. They also provide basic toiletries and a suitcase for kids transitioning to new homes.
The event began with remarks from Foster Friends Executive Director Melissa Fourrier and FedEx Express Managing Director Joe Stephens.
“Over the years of serving the Triad area, we’ve found that there’s no substitute for rolling up our sleeves and putting some elbow grease behind a great cause,” Stephens said.
Fourier echoed this comment, noting, “These efforts allow Foster Friends to divert resources to help kids rather than spending ti
me and money on painting and shelving. We’re really glad FedEx cares!”
On a beautiful September day, more than 50 FedEx team members from around the Denver area visited the Children’s Outreach Center to partake in an extraordinary experience – FedEx Cares Week. The day began with some of us clearing out old trees, leaves and trash to spruce up a trail and picnic area for the children. Other team members stained a canopy area, replenished sandboxes and painted murals and colorful graphics on the sidewalks for the children to enjoy during playtime. What a wonderful experience it was to watch the children’s eyes light up as they watched their playground transform right in front of them. We will remember this experience for years to come.
Hunger affects thousands of people on a daily basis. Volunteers from FedEx Trade Networks in Romulus, Michigan learned during FedEx Cares Week that over 6,000 families in southeastern Michigan reach out to Gleaner’s Food Bank in Taylor, Michigan for assistance.
Arriving at Gleaner’s on a Thursday morning, we delivered 814 pounds of food and personal care items that were later distributed to the community.
After delivering the food, there was still work to be done.
The Task: Take bulk bins of carrots and package the carrots into 5-pound bags, twist-tie them and stack them into boxes for distribution.
The Goal: Package 6,000 lbs of carrots in three hours.
Because of the hard work of the volunteers (and a little friendly competition), that goal was met – and exceeded! Once the carrots had been packaged, we moved on to bag, twist-tie and stack 4,000 lbs of sweet potatoes. The staff at Gleaner’s was thrilled that we were able to package 10,000 lbs of vegetables in three hours! We had a fulfilling and exciting day.
FedEx team members from all across Puget Sound gathered at Tiny Tots Development Center in Seattle, WA during FedEx Cares Week, ready to lend a helping hand. With sunny skies and seventy degree temperatures, team members tackled several outdoor projects including sanding, painting, staining, power washing, shoveling playground wood chips, cleaning gutters and more. Other team members were able to help organize classroom materials and assist with general landscaping needs.
With hard work and plenty of enthusiasm, our team members were able to transform and beautify the outdoor spaces. The Tiny Tots Development Center community was thoroughly impressed!
Fedex volunteers enthusiastically helped clean up two locations at The Leaguers in Newark, NJ during FedEx Cares Week.
The Leaguers is a non-profit organization with a 62-year history of serving the community with education, health, nutrition and parenting skills, including the teaching of English as a second language and job placement services
The enthusiasm of our volunteers never ceases to amaze me. I see many Fedex volunteers returning year after year to perform community service, including dirty jobs like cleaning broken glass in a dust-filled basement and removing thorny bushes in the garden areas. Some of our volunteers interacted with those served by The Leaguers, whether leading a Bingo game for elders or keeping a child from crying while their teacher uplifted the spirits of a whole class.
My words fail to reflect the spirit and joy one can feel at such an activity, which I return to every year with my fellow team members.
I do not feel I am giving something to the community, but taking something: JOY at doing a simple task of helping others. This feeling is not mine alone. I echo the voice of my fellow FedEx volunteers.
FedEx team members from South Florida were ready to serve at His House Children’s Home in Miami on September 11, 2012 during FedEx Cares Week. A very enthusiastic group of team members and volunteers worked on projects that included landscaping improvements on the property, playground refurbishment, painting and decorating and warehouse organization.
Jean Caceres, Founder and Executive Director at His House, said it is one of their goals to provide a nurturing and loving family environment for the children in their homes. It includes meeting their most basic needs and educating and preparing them for life. Jean and her staff are very passionate about the work they do. It was very apparent in the enthusiasm with which the His House team worked with our volunteers throughout the day.