Dispatches from FedEx Cares Week 2011
Each September, FedEx team members around the world will show they care by volunteering in their communities during FedEx Cares Week. FedEx Cares Week was launched in the USA in 2005 and has expanded to more than 40 countries and territories around the globe since then. Here are some of their stories:
Singapore – Felix Loo Sook-Yong
I have participated in the FedEx Cares Week for the last four years. This year, the coastal clean-up of the Pasir Ris beach area was especially meaningful to me as my five year old son, Zephan joined me. Zephan is aware of the importance of recycling and will place plastic bottles, milk tins, foods and drink cartons into the recycle bin placed below my apartment. The coastal clean-up further enhanced his awareness about the environment and to cut down on the amount of waste that we usually generate.
That day, Zephan found a 50-cent coin during while cleaning the beach and I suggested to him to donate the coin in support of FedEx Singapore “Jeans for Dreams” project. I shared that with him how mummy has donated $25 ($5 to wear jeans for each Friday in September) to the Children’s Cancer Foundation which supports the needs of families with children suffering from cancer. He then asked if he could donate $50 from his savings to support the cause. I am so proud of Zephan! And I am proud of my company, FedEx, for its commitment to corporate responsibility and providing volunteering opportunities for the FedEx team and our families.
This year, we are introducing the Green Footprints Program with the support of FedEx, the international transportation and logistics group. As part of the FedEx EarthSmart Program, the aim is to bring business and community together to undertake environmental challenges and turn them into opportunities for awareness and action in six cities: Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Wuhan.
Beijing, China – Cheng-Mei Quan
We gained irreplaceable joy and satisfaction during FedEx Cares Week when we guided blind persons to visit Prince Gong’s Mansion.
On Saturday September 24, Lu Wendong led 10 FedEx Beijing colleagues from various departments and nearly 20 blind people from the Hongdandan Activity Center on West Gulou Street, passing by Houhai, Qianhai and other bustling areas, to meet with the volunteer team at the gate of Prince Gong’s Mansion. We had a three-hour visit through Prince Gong’s Mansion.
Days have passed since the activity, but scenes from the activity are still present in our minds playing over and over like a slideshow. Like a good wine, the feelings become more wonderful as time passes.
For more than one month, Lu Wendong communicated and coordinated with various FedEx departments as well as with the Hongdandan Activity Center and Prince Gong’s Mansion to ensure the activity’s success. His hard work led to the volunteers entering the mansion free-of-charge, and each blind person receiving a memorial gift.
The activity started at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. The colleagues came from all around Beijing and arrived at the gathering place early. Everyone quickly had lunch so as not to delay the successful beginning of the activity.
It takes an ordinary person about 10 mintues to walk from West Gulou Street to Prince Gong’s Mansion. It took our team took more than half an hour. This was a special team. On one side were the FedEx employees dressed in purple T-shirts, and on the other side were blind persons. The blind people did not hold their canes, and they walked slowly but safely all the way. Why? Because the people in purple were their eyes and canes!
I believe that seeing this walk must have lit up the eyes of countless passers-by on the side of Shicha Lake, which was crowded with people and vehicles or in Prince Gong’s Mansion, where there were many visitors.
And the focus of all eyes was –” FedEx Cares “.
In the Mid-lake Pavilion of Prince Gong’s Mansion, the volunteers and the blind sat together and had a party. The wonderful performances made us relax and feel happy, including the wonderful flute performance of the volunteer teachers from Prince Gong’s Mansion; Little White Poplar Tree, a duet by two blind friends, as well as I love you, my motherlad, a poem recitation full of deep feeling. Oh, it is true that the radiant sunshine and the birds’ singing will fill in our lives as long as we love life.
Our splendid and harmonious party drew cheers from others.
At 1 p.m. in the afternoon, the volunteers and the blind people were strangers who met for the first time. By 5 p.m. we had become good friends who were unwilling to say goodbye to each other!
It was very hot, but everyone’s hands stayed together.
Why? Perhaps, it is because that what brought us together is not only our hands, but the ties between our hearts!
Each person senses and continues his own life in his own way. But the activity of FedEx Cares Week, just like a door, let us have an opportunity to enter into another’s world. They may be disabled, or may have a sad life, etc. Each warm greeting, each attentive hold or hand-in-hand help today from us, will be a moment to feel a beautiful life for each other.
Do you want to feel the joy of life? Do you want to embrace the opportunity? Then let us meet at “FedEx Cares Week”! See you next year!
Chengdu, China – Cheng-Shu Wen
At 10 a.m. in the morning on September 25, 2011, the volunteers from FedEx Chengdu Station came to the Parent-child Center in Jinma Town, Wenjiang District, Chengdu, and offered help to the autistic children there. They cleaned up around the center and dug a sandpit for outdoor activities.
After the volunteers arrived, they met with the Parent-child Center teachers, and then went to an area directly in the park. It had not been occupied for a long time and was full of weeds. The volunteers were assigned tasks and given tools including a hoe, axe, saw, spade and wheel barrow. Some pulled weeds and cleaned rubbish, others cleaned up tree branches and removed a stump buried in the ground. Two volunteers were responsible for transporting away the weeds, rubbish and branches. Although it was drizzling, nothing could prevent the enthusiasm of the volunteers! They worked in full power.
After lunch, they quickly returned to work. On the flat land, which had been cleared in the morning, they dug a 30 square meter sandpit, which was about 0.3 meters deep. At the same time, the soil was transported to another area – about 10 cubic meters of dirt was dug and transported! Then, the volunteers cleared all the pebbles in the pit and spread a thick layer of river sand. They buried some abandoned tires in the circumference of the sandpit as safety walls and coated these tires with colorful paint. Soon a complete sandpit was ready! We think that all the hard work was very worthwhile. Now these autistic children can play games in this sandpit!
The volunteers used the rest of the paint they had on hand to paint all the handrails for a skating arena!
The FedEx Chengdu Station volunteers spent the rest of their time creating a better activity space for persons in need in their city. Through this activity, FedEx gave the employees an opportunity to offer love. I would like to thank the company for carrying out this activity, and at the same time, I wish these autistic children can get out of their own world and become bright stars in this planet!
Shanghai, China – Darcie Goodwin
Shanghai is a fast-growing city. There are many migrant workers in Shanghai who build towers, bridges and metros. You can see them everywhere.
These workers often times bring their children to Shanghai to go to school.
On September 18, our group of FedEx employees went to one of the kindergartens that has many children of migrant workers. In an effort to beautify the classroom, we drew and painted colorful pictures on the wall, including the sun, moon, leaves, trains, stars and flowers. We paid special attention to detail. We were careful to ensure the circles were round, the lines were straight and the points were sharp. It was not easy to make them perfect, but we imagined the children’s surprise when they came to school on Monday morning!
We hope we can do more for the migrant workers and their children in the future. They leave their hometowns, work hard in a big city and try to find every opportunity to provide a better life for their family. As FedEx Trade Networks employees, we’re proud of what we do during FedEx Cares Week.
Hamburg, Germany – Dr Rainer Suessenguth (English translation below)
Etwa 2.500 große und kleine Besucher kamen am 18. September 2011 in das Altonaer Kinderkrankenhaus (AKK), das seine Türen wieder einmal für alle Interessierten geöffnet hatte.
Die Besucher – und ganz besonders die Kinder – konnten das Kinderkrankenhaus auf ganz besondere Art kennenlernen. Jede Abteilung stellte sich vor – angefangen von der Orthopädie über die Chirurgie bis hin zur Radiologie. Überall erhielten die Besucher kindgerechte und spannende Einblicke in die einzelnen Fachbereiche und bekamen einen Eindruck, was hier alles passiert.
Wer mochte, konnte sogar einen richtigen Operationssaal betreten und sich auf einen OP-Tisch oder in einen Krankenwagen legen, Ultraschalluntersuchungen erleben, seinen Arm eingipsen lassen oder endoskopisch in einem Kürbis operieren! Außerdem wurden Hunderte von erkranken Puppen oder Teddys von Puppendoktoren und den Kindern gemeinsam untersucht und „verarztet“.
So konnten die Besucher das Kinderkrankenhaus spielerisch erkunden und möglicherweise vorhandene Ängste abbauen. Bei einem später erforderlichen Krankenhausaufenthalt erleben diese Kinder dann die ihnen vertrauten Untersuchungen und Therapien angstfrei und entspannt.
Aber nicht nur der Wissenshunger wurde gestillt, auch ein Mitmachzirkus, ein Zauberer, die Klinikclowns, Kinderschminken und ein Bobbycar-Rennen begeisterten die Kinder. Und durch die freundliche Unterstützung von FedEx konnten Kinder beim Dosenwerfen kleine Preise gewinnen. Unermüdlich stellten die FedEx-Mitarbeiter die Dosenpyramiden immer wieder auf – insgesamt wurden an diesem Tag mehr als 10.000mal Dosen aufgehoben und heruntergeworfen! Außerdem sorgten die FedEx-Mitarbeiter mit einer riesigen Bücherspende für große Freude und lang andauernde Ablenkung auf allen Kinderstationen im Krankenhaus.
Und zu guter Letzt war an diesem Tag der offenen Tür natürlich auch für das leibliche Wohl gesorgt. Die Mitarbeiter des Krankenhauses und andere Unterstützer hatten über 50 Torten gespendet.
About 2,500 visitors, both big and small, filled the halls of the Altona Children’s Hospital during its open house event on September 18, 2011.
The open day allowed visitors, especially the children, to familiarize themselves with the hospital in a very unique and memorable way. Every department opened its doors to introduce itself – from orthopedics, to surgery, and even radiology. The children received kid-appropriate and exciting insights into the various departments and got a feel for what happens in each section. Those interested could even tour a real operating room and lay down on the OR table, or see the inside of an ambulance. Other highlights included experiencing an ultrasound scan, having an arm cast up, or giving a pumpkin an endoscopic operation. Hundreds of sick stuffed animals and teddy bears were given check-ups from doll doctors and their young assistants.
The open day gave kids a chance to explore the Children’s Hospital and reduce possible fears in a playful way. Should these children need treatment at a later date, their stay will seem much more natural and familiar thanks to their newfound knowledge of the hospital and its procedures.
But the visit wasn’t purely informational – a hands-on circus complete with magician and clinic clowns captured the children’s attention along with face paintings and Bobby Car races. With the friendly support of FedEx, children could also win fun prizes at the “bottle” throw. FedEx team members tirelessly restacked pyramids of tin cans time and again, with more than 10,000 cans knocked down and restacked on the day. The FedEx donation of lots of children books for the children’s ward was very much welcomed and will keep the kids busy for a long time.
And, of course, the day wouldn’t have been complete without something good for the body as well. The employees at the hospital and others donated over 50 delicious cakes.
Spain – Sumara Marletta
Think of something to change the world.
Now, put it into action.
I remember a few years ago I read somewhere that repaying good deeds with new good deeds to new people could build a new world. The concept of Pay it Forward was described by Benjamin Franklin many years ago, and now, I truly believe it is stronger than ever.
The FedEx initiative around the world makes it possible, makes it real, makes us believe in our company and, in ourselves. We can offer the best services, but also, we can offer the best to our community.
Rare diseases are those with a low incidence in the population (less than five in 10,000 people). However, they affect a large number of people around the world. In Spain there are over three million people affected. Some rare diseases, like Butterfly Skin Children, are common in Spain and sometimes terminal.
The lack of information on rare diseases affects families because it can take years before receiving a correct diagnosis. There are no specialists, no medicines, no information and, of course, it’s incredibly expensive.
During the FedEx Cares initiative in Spain, we decided to help those people. How? The FedEx Cares volunteers worked in a shop that sells donated items from companies and private individuals with the benefits destined to support the affected people and their families. FedEx employees collaborate through donations, ordering, ironing, selling, classifying all kinds of goods and helping on the shop’s daily tasks. .
Yesterday was Ian’s chance to make the difference, and they did.
I said “they” because he appeared at the shop with his 16 and 13 years old daughters, Jessica and Alexandra, with a big smile and willing to help. The schedule was from 17:00hs to 21:00hs, but they did so great that there was no work left at 20:00hs!
His daughter Alex sold seven pairs of shoes in only three hours and organized all the clothes. Jessica verified and classified all the toys and games at the back shop. Ian´s logistic background solved all the storage problems.
At the end of the day, the girls ended up buying many different articles, from books to shoes, and the volunteers that work at the shop couldn’t stop thanking them.
This morning Ian came to our office with plenty of ideas, telling us how much his daughters had enjoyed yesterday´s volunteer opportunities and with the promise that this is only the beginning of a long journey of participation.
That’s the spirit, that’s FedEx Cares Week.
Spain – Fernando Manso and Jani Haverinen
This is a true “FedEx Cares Week Story”.
Ain’t about recognition.
Neither about vanity.
It is all about teamwork and cooperation.
Last week Fernando Manso (NNP Manager Spain) went for a volunteer day at “mi desván” (a charity shop located in Madrid), an income source for those with rare diseases, particularly the Butterfly Skin Children.
He was not alone. His colleague, Jani Haverinen, shared his experience helping other volunteers at the shop with storage, pricing and other tasks. After a few hours, they realized that those people had a big problem: the end of summer is close, and they needed to store summer goods and start putting out all the Winter/Autumn items. The big problem was that the storage room was far away from the shop and there were no funds to pay a moving service, and no car to do it, either. In the past years, it they took months to move all those things, depending always on people’s charity to use their own cars to move the boxes.
Then Jani and Fernando thought: “we need to help them, and we are a transportation company… so, what about if WE do it for them? Nothing’s better for this than FedEx van!”
The next day at the office, they were looking for other people to help. Unfortunately one of the volunteers became sick and found themselves with lots of work, but Beatriz Garcia from the billing department and myself were able for help and enjoy an unforgettable afternoon of solidarity.
We started at 16:00hs, and I finally managed to get home after 22:00hs. It was non-stop working, moving boxes everywhere, up and down, inside and outside the van. We were four FedEx volunteers plus another two magnificent people that joined us. Finally, what used to take months was done in one afternoon by six people. What a great team! It showed the spirit of FedEx Cares Week and doing the very best we do: shipping goods.
Beijing, China – Peter Zhang
On September 17, for FedEx Cares Week, we had a very successful visit to the zoo with the children of Chenguang Cerecare Center. By participating in this event, we knew would benefit from the kind hearts of the cerebral palsy children, but we also learned a lot more.
We were surprised that so many FedEx colleagues were willing to volunteer. We planned to recruit 30-40 volunteers as we would take 20 cerebral palsy kids to the zoo, most of whom were in wheel chairs. We were worried about recruiting enough volunteers, particularly since the volunteers had to sacrifice their weekend and meet up early in the morning. We were taken aback when we had recruited 36 volunteers only in 2-3 days. More than 20 colleagues from the Beijing Gateway registered together and later, many colleagues from other departments were disappointed they couldn’t join because we were full.
We were surprised that our volunteers were so caring. The concern and attention the volunteers showed to the kids was very touching. On their own initiative, the volunteers bought balloons and toys for the kids. .
We are surprised that our volunteers were so disciplined and cooperative. We did not have a specific route, but our more than 50 people, including the volunteers, children and teachers stayed together the whole time.
We were also surprised that the weather was so nice and that the children were so sensible and understanding. We believe that everyone learned something from the experience. We hope there will be more opportunities for us to volunteer, and we expect to experience more wonderful surprises.
Dallas, TX – Kellie Graddy
FedEx team members in Dallas joined the purple wave of volunteerism during FedEx Cares Week. Their unique talents and skills were paired with specific needs of the Brentwood Healthcare Center to truly make an impact. In just one day, this team:
· Made over 35 lap blankets for residents
· Completed landscaping work that the staff said it would have taken them weeks to do alone
· Assembled dozens of care packages and delivered them to residents in the afternoon
· Played bingo and other games with residents
· Completed many maintenance and cleaning projects to beautify the campus
· Painted nails in the beauty salons
· Built, painted and hung birdhouses around the property
· Washed residents’ wheelchairs
· Cleaned and stained two gazebos
· Sang and danced with residents
· Assembled orientation packets
· Sorted, folded and hung clothes in the clothes closet
· Made nearly 200 happy birthday, get well soon and encouragement cards to be distributed throughout the year
· And more, such as helping with resident lunches and cleaning vans
Chicago, IL – Greg Hirsch
Chicago area team members completed our care day at Camp Kati Kani in Bolingbrook, IL. This is a camp run by Camp Fire, USA, which provides summer day camp and outdoor experiences for kids. The facility is also used by other community organizations. Over 80 FedEx team members volunteered at the event.
Tasks included clearing brush, landscaping, painting the cabin interior, staining the front porch, cleaning the supply cabinets, cutting up wood, and various other tasks. I am sure there will be a run on Advil tonight and every one will sleep well.
Memphis, TN – Pam Roberson
A lot of us think of setting aside a day to do community service work as just another ‘feel good’ activity that gets you out of the office for a few hours.
But I think we need to be reminded of how just a little effort can make a monumental difference.
Chris Murphy was one of approximately 300 purple-shirted FedEx volunteers who filled the Pipkin Building at the Mid South Fairgrounds in Memphis this morning. They were there as part of Project Homeless Connect – helping people find the services they need – including medical screenings, veteran’s benefits, housing, legal help and more.
One of Chris’s clients was Robert Richardson, who found himself homeless following a layoff at the car rental agency where he’d worked for 6 years. This able bodied father of 2 teenage sons (they live with his ex-wife) found out about Project Homeless Connect when he left a downtown shelter earlier in the day. Chris helped Robert connect with services and resources to turn his life around. “I also set him up with email, he got dental and medical exams…. and I used his new ministries location in an attempt to get back to work via www.fedex.com/careers web site – hopefully as a part-time handler or seasonal/peak worker.”
Chris says he and Robert shook hands as he left, hopefully on his way to new employment and housing opportunities. “I was blessed to meet him,” adds Chris. “It was a wonderful event.”Changing lives. THAT’S what it’s all about.
Phoenix, AZ – Robert Cumberbatch
FedEx team members show they care in the Valley of the Sun!
This year, over 160 FedEx team members will be taking part in several Phoenix community projects. We have team members working on everything from feeding the Homeless at The Society of St. Vincent de Paul to preparing School Readiness Kits with The Valley of the Sun United Way to a Home Make Over Program with the Vincentian Fresh Perspective.
Every year we look forward to this opportunity to spend a few hours making a difference in our community in whatever way we can. It makes each of us appreciate how fortunate we all are. I couldn’t help but stop throughout the day to just take in the efforts of our team members – painting, serving meals, preparing educational materials and just getting to know those less fortunate. What an amazing group of people! And as a team member said, “seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces makes me know we are truly bringing hope to someone in our community.”
Be on the look-out for further updates stories and shared moments.
Washington DC – Adrian Pomi
We took a break from packing and delivering packages to help prepare, package and deliver meals for Food & Friends. About 45 team members came together to prepare 3,500 meals for folks living with life challenging illnesses. Two managers drove the FedEx Special Delivery truck to assist with delivering meals to clients.
It’s our seventh year to volunteer at Food & Friends for FedEx Cares Day. When you watch this video of one of their clients – you’ll know why we keep coming back. Most of us have known someone with a life challenging illness. It’s rewarding to work for a company that provides the opportunity to volunteer for an organization like Food & Friends.
My friends and I even want to change their name to Food & Family because it’s so much MORE than friends. It’s like giving back to and with your family.
Nassau, Bahamas – Dominique Gaitor
Our team that consisted of a FedEx vendor and sixteen FedEx employees were involved with reconstructing the roof of the outside pantry, preparing food, and playing games with the children of the home.
For FedEx Cares Week, this year our team reconstructed a pantry roof, prepared food and played games with the children of the Bilney Lane Children’s Home in Nassau, Bahamas. The Home is devoted to providing its children with a safe and nurturing environment. They also focus on teaching them the values and skills needed to grow and become good and productive citizens in our country.
Our aim was to primarily provide much needed repairs to the roof that will prevent rain from leaking through and damaging its contents. Our team was divided into two groups. One group worked on the roof repairs while the another group prepared food for all and interacted with the administrative staff and children of the home.
At the end of the day, we accomplished what we set out to do. The kids and staff were treated to a full day of fun activities, a new roof on their outside pantry, and paint for the finishing touches. These kids felt loved and appreciated by our FedEx employees.