Caring for the Common Good: FedEx Cares Week
I must admit: Before 2005, I was not a United Way donor.
I didn’t understand why I should if I already gave to local agencies in my community. But that year, I participated in the United Way “Loaned Executive” program, a FedEx effort that provides professional talent and leadership to help the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign. During orientation week, I visited more than a dozen nonprofits in the Mid-South that receive support from United Way.
Certainly I was aware of larger organizations with local affiliates, such as American Red Cross, but I didn’t know organizations such as Hope House, which helps children affected by or infected with HIV or AIDS; Memphis Oral School for the Deaf; or Shelby Residential and Vocational Services (SRVS), which provides comprehensive services for people with developmental disabilities. Such agencies provide the safety net that keep communities and their people healthy. Many of them rely on the United Way to keep their doors open. That year, I became a leadership giver to United Way.
After that experience with United Way, I was lucky enough to land my dream job in the Global Citizenship department at FedEx. Coincidentally, one of my first projects was to manage a little-known program called FedEx Cares Week, which had just launched to support the United Way campaign. Over the next several years, I worked with FedEx volunteer coordinators around the U.S. to nurture and foster the program, growing it from eight cities to the program it is today – a global initiative supported by all of our operating companies with more than 6,000 participants in 60 countries and more than 40 U.S. cities.
Though there is still a tie to the United Way, today FedEx Cares Week is so much more –a celebration of the FedEx culture of service, our willingness to collaborate to solve problems, and our commitment to give back to the communities where we live and work.
The most rewarding experience has been watching the FedEx community come together to serve as a resource to coordinators around the world as they launch volunteer projects in communities large and small – from China and San Francisco to Chile and Boston. In a time when there are many skeptics of corporations, it is refreshing to see that the FedEx culture of service that is the foundation of this company is still alive and well in the hearts of its team members.
In celebration of its 40th anniversary, FedEx Cares Week is one of the many ways FedEx is giving back to the community. As a program coordinator, I see firsthand how excited local FedEx team members are about giving back to organizations and causes that matter most to them.
On the eve of FedEx Cares Week, I am so thrilled to watch these projects unfold and to see how the work of so many FedEx team members has paid off. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be sharing the stories of FedEx Cares Week activities, including:
- New Jersey Shore – FedEx team will work with United Way of Essex and West Hudson in Union Beach to rebuild homes in an area completely devastated in the wrath of Superstorm Sandy.
- Atlanta – We’re joining The Heart of America Foundation® and the DeKalb County School District to give Jolly Elementary School a vibrant, new READesign Reading Corner stocked with additional books for the library.
- Colorado Springs – FedEx, along with Lowe’s and Target, will remodel a playground at the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Community Center.
- Australia – FedEx will volunteer on behalf of Oz Harvest’s “Cooking for a Cause”, spending hours at a commercial kitchen with a professional chef to produce more than 1,000 meals for needy in the area.
- Guangzhou, China – Volunteers will educate local residents about recycling through a presentation,brochures,and organized games.
- Latin America – FedEx will work with TECHO to construct transitional houses, changing lives for homeless families and helping communities overcome extreme poverty.
In addition to the larger events, FedEx Cares Week also gives team members the chance to support the smaller organizations in their community. On September 20, I will be donning my own purple FedEx Cares T-shirt, and with a team of 15 FedEx team members, spend the day in the heart of the Mississippi Delta at the Tunica Humane Society, an oasis for abused, abandoned and neglected dogs and cats. As an animal lover and foster parent to more than a dozen homeless animals over the past decade, this is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.
As we begin FedEx Cares Week, I want to thank all of the FedEx team members who are coordinating events and the thousands of FedEx volunteers. You truly are ambassadors of this great company and I am proud of the work that you do to deliver a better world for people, businesses and communities.
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.