By Ashley Clement
Account Executive, FedEx Services
The FedEx culture is shaped by our ‘People-Service-Profit’ philosophy, which our founder started many years ago. Investing in people and giving back to our communities is at the forefront of everything we do. As a company, we support United Way of Salt Lake through our annual campaign. This year the Utah FedEx teams decided to support local students in need through what we called our “Purple Totes Drive”.
Through collaboration with Cherie Stater, Community Investment Advisor from the United Way of Salt Lake, we identified two underprivileged Community Schools to work with, Oquirrh Hills Elementary and Kearns Junior High. Both had a significant number of students, upwards of 80 percent, suffering from poverty. Students and their families were in need of items like socks, underwear, winter hats, and hygiene products and we were thrilled we could provide support by gathering these basic items in our Purple Totes!
What we didn’t anticipate was the impact these students and families would have on us as a team. In years past, each FedEx operating company did their own community project, but this year all four operating companies decided it was time to join forces to make an even bigger difference. By doing this project as one team, we discovered the power of one. Employees had the opportunity to meet new people in our company, which has since improved working environments and increased cross-collaboration.
Through this shared experience, we realized the extensive power of many working together as one, whether it occurs in our personal or professional lives. Gratitude was another valuable lesson we learned. Our team personally delivered the 142 Purple Totes, which allowed us to fully understand how our donations bettered the lives of over 950 students.
Following the school tours, many emails and sentiments were exchanged about how grateful we all should be. One team member, DJ Kelly, shared, “This makes you realize how great you have it and that you can always do more to help others through hard times. It makes me thankful for what life has given me.” Sheila Chavez stated, “FedEx has blessed me and my family for many years, so I am more than happy to give back to those around me suffering.” The power of one and gratitude were just a few of the many positive takeaways from our recent “Purple Totes Drive”, and it reinforced the influence community service can have on corporate culture.
United Way of Salt Lake works incredibly hard and does a phenomenal job providing a positive and supportive environment at community schools. We understand it is challenging to meet the needs of students and families while they are outside the classroom, but this event enabled us to do just that. We were truly humbled by our experience, and we look forward to making this an annual tradition, shared across all of our operating companies.
Thank you, United Way of Salt Lake, for making this event possible!