Never Ever Give Up: Supporting Kids and Families Fighting Cancer

George Willis, UPS Vice President of Operations, was at a charity golf tournament in California in 2011 when he met Jessie and Erik Rees.

Jessie was a beautiful little 11-year-old girl who had more heart than a tiger, and more energy than anyone should have with what she was going through,” remembers Willis.

At the time, Jessie was in the middle of a ten month battle with two brain tumors. To spread hope, joy and love to other kids who were fighting cancer, Jessie began filling jars with her own toys and games.  These jars became known as JoyJars®. Her dad shipped them to other sick kids and each JoyJar cost the Rees family about $20.

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UPSers Provide On-Demand Relief in Wake of Hurricane Isaac
Ray Waguespack, UPS LAT Coordinator, supports restoration operations in Gulf Coast

Tuesday night, August 28, exactly seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans and battered a broad swath of the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Isaac crawled ashore at roughly the same spot.

Ray Waguespack, UPS Logistics Action Team coordinator in Louisiana, began serious emergency management preparations as soon as Isaac rounded the Florida Keys as a tropical storm and headed north, gathering strength over warm Gulf of Mexico waters.

Coordinating with authorities, Ray oversaw preparatory efforts, he says, by “a whole handful of UPS drivers,” along with Tulane University volunteers for the American Red Cross of Southeast Louisiana, UPS Freight personnel, and other volunteers.

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Heisman Trophy Finalist Tyrann Mathieu Raised on UPS Values

It’s possible that one of the most famous 19-year-old college football players learned his best moves from his dad.

Just watch UPS driver Tyrone Mathieu, age 44, manuever a package car through the tricky streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans. And deliver a package with a bright smile, much the way his celebrated son, Tyrann, delivers the football to a ref when crossing the goal line after one of his astonishing punt returns.

Tyrone has run packages for UPS in New Orleans for 20 years. His son Tyrann, aka The Honey Badger, has run down receivers and outrun punt coverage the past two years for the Louisiana State University Bayou Bengals, the No. 1-ranked college football team in the nation. Tyrann has proven so talented as a cornerback and punt return specialist that he’s a finalist for the 2011 Heisman Trophy, awarded yearly to the best player in college football. This year’s ceremonies take place Saturday evening in New York  City.

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The Art of Rebuilding

LEGO bricks might seem like child’s play to some but they’ve helped make a whole new man out of Reed Cowan.

Reed, a five-year UPS employee, who clerks at the UPS center in Orem, Utah, rediscovered LEGO bricks during recovery from two serious surgeries. He started snapping together the little Danish colored-plastic building blocks that have excited the imaginations of children, adults and, more recently, visual artists for nearly 80 years.

Before long, he and a community of LEGO enthusiasts were busy creating an entire LEGO train layout – a working train and the landscape it runs through. He formed The Great Basin LEGO Train Club (Reed proudly serves as president) and is also a member of the Utah LEGO users group. Both dedicated sections of the track layout to different periods of history … and even the club’s vision of the future.
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Haydel’s Bakery and UPS Deliver Traditional Mardi Gras Sweets to a Waiting World

Haydel’s BakeryThere’s an orchestrated beauty to the chaos that is Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Colorful beads rain down from second-story balconies, blaring brass bands float down Bourbon Street and masses of body-painted, parade-goers cheer and dance throughout the French Quarter.

A year’s worth of celebration is packed into the long weekend leading up to “Fat Tuesday,” the final day before Lent begins. The Haydel family knows the energy of that intense pace well. In the two months before Fat Tuesday, Haydel’s Bakery ships 60,000 freshly baked and sweetly iced Mardi Gras “king cakes” all over the world. It’s the business’s greatest moneymaker, but distributing its delicious product is no piece of cake.

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