FedEx Teams With Basket of Hope to Deliver Smiles to Hospitalized Kids Across the Country
Twenty years ago Angela Burnett and her family sat around her 6-year-old daughter’s hospital bed and asked for help. Christina had been diagnosed with an inoperable tumor on her spine and the outlook wasn’t good. Through the love and support of family, friends, and her medical team, she persevered and today is the mother of two young children.
When Christina completed her treatment, the hospital staff asked Angela to visit newly diagnosed children and their parents to offer encouragement and hope. She quickly recognized that bringing a gift basket would be a great conversation starter and keepsake throughout their hospital stay. At that moment, “Basket of Hope” was born.
Today, Basket of Hope, a non-profit organization based in St. Louis, MO has packed and distributed thousands of baskets filled with toys, games, crafts and other items to children’s hospitals across the country. Many NFL players and alumni help deliver the baskets to their local hospitals. FedEx has provided logistics planning and transportation the past three years.
“We absolutely could not do this program without FedEx and the generosity of their wonderful employees,” said Angela, founder and Executive Director of Basket of Hope. “This is almost a year-long planning process. We have donated items that need to be shipped to our warehouse in St. Louis. Then they have to be transported to the warehouse at the Super Bowl site. From there they go to the packing site and then back out to the hospitals across the country.”
As part of Super Bowl XLIX week in Phoenix, nearly 50 FedEx team members joined local volunteers at Vineyard Church to pack and process 4,000 gift baskets. Rebecca Owrey, FedEx Freight Customer Implementation Solutions Advisor, coordinated the delivery planning with the organization.
“Our role is to make sure we get those baskets delivered and we’ve used a lot of the automation services that FedEx offers to help with the tracking of the shipments.
It’s a fairly complex operation. We have several companies donating items and we need to move them on a specific schedule to ensure we have everything we needed for the packing event. Our Phoenix operations team did an amazing job.”
Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy has been a part of the Basket of Hope program for over 13 years and personally delivers baskets to children’s hospitals across the country. He worked alongside the FedEx team members at the packing event in Phoenix.
“We players and coaches have the easy job of delivering these baskets to the children. This is a tremendous undertaking, moving thousands of items to Phoenix from all over, assembling them and then shipping them out. We could not do this without the help of FedEx and we are very grateful for their support.”
Scott DePoto, FedEx Freight Service Manager, joined the FedEx team at the packing event and noted the satisfaction that comes from working on programs that impact local communities.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to be able to team up with Basket of Hope and help kids all over,” he said. “We have been very involved with Super Bowl week on the delivery side. This project means a lot to be able to bring some smiles to kids in hospitals who are going through a difficult time.”