Learning the Value of Service, Sharing with Those in Need
Years ago, when Dan Connors was a carefree college student, his summer job was cutting lawns in upstate New York. Dan enjoyed the pleasant work, the smells of fresh-cut grass, and the intermittent schedule. He was wiling away the afternoon on the sofa on one of his days off when his dad walked by and said “Get off the couch, you’re coming with us.”
That move off the sofa transformed not only Dan’s day off, but shaped his outlook on the world for the rest of his life.
His dad was a volunteer at a local soup kitchen, and that’s where he took Dan that day, to help fill a volunteer need. This particular kitchen had table service for their visitors, and Dan vividly recalls that as he brought the basic staples of meals to families, “they were so very thankful. It was an incredibly satisfying experience.”
You might say that Dan was hooked on a lifetime of service that day. Not long after, he was hit head-on by a drunk driver, suffering extensive injuries and requiring two units of blood. This experience helped Dan realize that there are many different ways to give back to his community, driving him to become a regular blood donor; he’s given 3 gallons over the years!
Dan’s passion for volunteering has followed him through the years to play a central role in everything from his marriage to his job at FedEx. He’s continued to give blood, sponsored a home for abused families, and about 15 years ago his wife asked him to join her in volunteering at Food & Friends, an organization which helps provide home delivery of food and groceries to those facing life-challenging illness.
Dan’s volunteer work with the Washington DC area Food & Friends led directly to inclusion in the annual FedEx Cares Week volunteer activities. Now in its 10th year, FedEx Cares Week provides an opportunity for thousands of FedEx volunteers from nearly 400 cities around the world to support the communities where they live and work.
“I’ve led a blessed life. My health hasn’t been perfect, but I realize that I have been given so much, and there are so many people who are so poor and sick that you just have to give back. And it is so easy to do! After I got started I was almost ashamed of myself for not doing this more.” Dan says.
The impact on Dan’s coworkers has been long lasting. “It’s not uncommon for us to have to turn away volunteers due to space constrictions. It is so awesome to see many of my team members bring their families back on their own to Food & Friends to volunteer, so they can share their experience.”
The tradition carries on. Dan’s dad would be proud.