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20 Million Volunteer Hours by 2020 Is Ambitious Commitment to Communities We Serve
David Abney speaking

Our pledge to complete 20 million hours of global volunteerism and community service by the end of 2020 is the most ambitious commitment to the communities we serve in the 107-year history of our company.

We believe this commitment – announced on Monday by UPS’s chief operating officer David Abney at the Points of Light National Conference on Volunteerism and Service – will bring positive and meaningful change to communities around the world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, our commitment represents more than $460 million in economic impact to nonprofits.

I’m confident we’ll live up to the commitment for several reasons. The first is that volunteerism and service have a long and distinguished history at UPS.

In 1960, at the company’s annual management conference, our founder, Jim Casey, spoke about their importance. “The man who is dedicated to service sees life’s problems from a different viewpoint,” he said.

Using an analogy the UPS managers understood very well, Jim added: “To put reward ahead of service is like putting the trailer before the tractor.”

Jim closed his remarks that night by saying: “Consider the added satisfaction of life as a whole if we put emphasis on what we are contributing, rather than on what we are getting.”

In the five decades since, UPSers have heeded Jim Casey’s advice and encouragement, displaying an amazing passion and concern for the communities where we serve.

I’ve seen it when they hit the ground running in areas hard hit by natural disasters, helping to get food, shelter, medicine and other critically important goods and materials to the people who need them. And I’ve seen it when they roll up their sleeves on a Saturday morning to improve a park for families to bring their children.

The UPS Foundation leads our global citizenship efforts, investing nearly $100 million intocommunities around the world each year. We also connect philanthropic dollars with our logistics expertise, our transportation infrastructure and, most importantly, the skills and passions of our employees.

Through the Foundation, UPSers around the world last year volunteered more than 1.8 million hours of their time. Those hours were directed at making communities stronger, safer and more resilient in many of the 220 countries and territories where we serve.

To reach our goal of 20 million hours, we have a lot of work to do over the next six and a half years. When we reach our ambitious goal, it will be a great achievement for all of the UPSers who volunteered their time, energy and talents. Far more importantly, it will be an expression of the appreciation and commitment we have for the people and the communities where we live and work.

Ed Martinez is president of The UPS Foundation.

Category: Caring for Communities
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