Entire Big Atlantic Sales Team Steps Out For a Day to Serve Community
“One-hundred and twenty people? Sure, we can use your help!”
That was the reaction from Ashley Dandridge, Director of Volunteer and Participant Services at Gwen’s Girls in Pittsburgh, when asked if she could put an entire FedEx Business Sales Region to work for a very special day during our annual FedEx Cares Week.
Founded by former Pittsburgh Police Commander Gwen Elliott, Gwen’s Girls “strives to empower girls and young women to have productive lives through holistic, gender-specific programs, education and experiences.”
Adolescence can be a trying and difficult time for girls, regardless of social or economic background. Self-worth, body image, academic obstacles and cultural expectations can lead to a daily struggle fueled by insecurity. Since 2002, Gwen’s Girls has served Allegheny County with residential services, foster care, school and community based programs.
The unique concept of deploying a large, ready-and-willing volunteer workforce proved somewhat challenging at the start. Envisioning the power and energy of the sales force redirected, and the potential of making a positive difference in our community, Myra Jenkins, Melinda Robson and I navigated the agency waters in search of a facility that might be able to accommodate a team of this size. Gwen’s Girls proved to be the ideal place.
Ready and willing, Myra empowered her staff to do whatever it would take to make it happen. Within days, boxes of purple FedEx Cares t-shirts arrived on-site; carpools were arranged, and the excitement among team members was palpable.
On October 2nd we entered the world of “Gwen’s Girls”. The entire FedEx Big Atlantic sales region embarked upon an incredibly rewarding and somewhat unprecedented day to support this powerful and inspiring United Way agency.
Throughout the day, FedEx team members cleaned, baked, painted, carved pumpkins, sorted through donated clothing, wrote donor cards, landscaped, and detailed transport vans, all in support of the facilities that provide shelter and space for girls to live and raise young children, as well as to attend after-school programs.
“Our first thought was that a group of one-hundred and twenty people would result in a lot of folks standing around,” commented Ashley. “That was hardly the case. We were so pleasantly surprised to see that everyone worked so hard and diligently all day. We can’t say enough how much we appreciate FedEx helping to support our facility and most importantly, our young women!”
FedEx Cares Week is a focused celebration of employees’ year-round commitment to giving back to communities through volunteerism, charitable support and collaboration with local organizations and causes. Last year, nearly 50,000 volunteer hours were logged at over 500 non-profit agencies worldwide.
In the words of Amy Collins, Sales Executive, “Our entire region working together to help others break the cycle of destruction was an amazing experience and one that will stick with me. This has been one of the highlights to date of my career at FedEx.”