FedEx Heroes Help Rebuild New Jersey
Note: In 2013, FedEx is launching its ninth annual FedEx Cares Week – a focused celebration of team members’ culture of service, collaboration, and community. Around the world, FedEx team members are giving back through volunteerism, charitable support and collaboration with local organizations and causes.
From building transitional homes with TECHO in Latin America and planting trees in Thailand to rebuilding homes lost from Superstorm Sandy and supporting local food banks, FedEx team members care deeply about the communities where they live and work. With a global theme of “Uncommon Heroes, Common Good.”, FedEx volunteers are generating goodwill in their local communities by making a difference in people’s lives. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, FedEx Cares Week is one of the many ways FedEx is giving back to the community. Since FedEx Cares Week first launched in the U.S. in 2005, it has expanded to more than 60 countries and territories around the globe.
When I think of the word “Hero” it reminds of leadership, bravery, and selflessness. It reminds me of doing what’s right with no reward and recognition expected. It reminds me of the FedEx Community who banded together as one against the devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New Jersey on October 22, 2012. The storm’s 80mph winds and 100mph gusts damaged 346,000 homes, caused 37 deaths, and over $30 billion in damages.
It’s hard to believe it will be a year since the storm. Can you imagine losing your entire home and having to start over again? I know I can’t. I was lucky to only lose power for a few days, but that wasn’t the case for many people affected by the storm.
I remember going into work for first day back in which vehicles were allowed on the road. It was tough, taking calls from countless employees who lost everything. They had no home, car, or personal belongings, but still found time to call their job just to check in. These are the people that work at FedEx. Great people who care.
All I could do was think, “How I can help those in need?” As I was staring down at the floor I was inspired by all the FedEx Purple Tote bags I had for the United Way campaign. I thought to myself, “Why don’t we get all the bags filled with canned food and toiletries for the people affected by Hurricane Sandy?” I immediately spoke with some of my fellow team members about spreading the word.
We are all part of the NJ Community Relations Team so we were able to communicate this to our team members as well. We immediately got the message out to some nearby facilities to increase the food donations. This resulted in a partnership with the Community Food Bank of NJ to not only provide donations but volunteer efforts.
On November 14, 2012 we were able to have our FedEx Cares Van deliver a truck full of canned food and toiletries donated by our employees. Also, we had 2 pallets of MRE’s donated by FedEx Corporate in Memphis. Even greater, we had over 60 FedEx employees though out the NY/NJ area to volunteer at the Community Food Bank of NJ. FedEx Corp made a Charitable Contribution of $20,000 to the Community Food Bank of NJ. FedEx NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin even stopped by with his team and volunteered as well.
Today, the NJ Community Relations Team has banded together to help spearhead “Rebuilding the Jersey Shore” in Union Beach NJ. This small town in NJ was completely devastated by Hurricane Sandy leaving countless families homeless and living in temporary housing arrangements.
The team of volunteers is helping rebuild homes and continues to provide volunteer efforts in October as well. Our team members in the area are currently filling the FedEx Purple Tote bags with personal toiletry items as Disaster Care Kits. The bags will be given to the United Way to provide to agencies they support in need.
It will take over 10 years to rebuild the homes and even longer for the town to get back in stride. But through volunteer efforts like FedEx Cares Week, we’re all pitching in to lend a hand.