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Caring for Communities

How a Day of Service Puts Things in Perspective
soup kitchen

Yesterday we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a day when we’re encouraged to participate in acts of service in our community. “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve,” Dr. King said in 1968.

I started working for UPS in 2011 and one of the first things that caught my eye was the emphasis placed on volunteering and giving back to the community. It’s not something that is just talked about around holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Thanksgiving – it’s something that’s encouraged throughout the year.

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Some History of Sustainability with UPS
1936 UPS Electric Package Cars

As the UPS Archivist, I spend a lot of time researching documents that reveal our history and the stories of our people.

So in my search through the UPS Archives – while looking for something else I might add – I came across this document from 1933 asking for the funds for three new “Gould Batteries for two ton Walker Electric Trucks.”  These new batteries were to replace three “very old and almost useless” batteries in package cars that were serving in New York City at the time.

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UPS Drivers Rock!
UPS driver

With 102,000 drivers delivering over 15 million packages on a normal business day, UPS drivers are a familiar sight in communities across the country. If you’re a small business owner or an avid online shopper, you’re probably even on a first name basis with your driver.

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Food Delivered Where It’s Needed Most: Humanitarian Relief with the World Food Programme
relief flight

At UPS, we understand that logistics can save lives. When disaster strikes, we team up with the World Food Programme (WFP) – among other humanitarian partners – to deliver much-needed aid to vulnerable populations all over the world. We recently facilitated a flight to Entebbe, Uganda, carrying 92 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) to assist WFP efforts in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where civil conflict has driven many people out of their homes and into hunger.

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Never Ever Give Up: Supporting Kids and Families Fighting Cancer
JoyJar

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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Native American Heritage Month: Honoring Students’ Heritage
heart

The month of November—along with being the designated “giving thanks” time of the year for most Americans—is also National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

Last year, The UPS Foundation once again gave $150,000 to the American Indian College Fund to continue The UPS Foundation funding of AICF’s Tribal College Scholarship program, awarding one student in each of the nation’s tribal college and universities (TCUs) a $2,250 scholarship.

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Honoring Our Veterans
American flags

I’m proud of my father’s service as a medic in the U.S. Army for six years. Being deployed away from home for long periods of time and possibly in harm’s way is a sacrifice that is hard to repay.

UPS is also proud of their military employees. In fact, approximately 25,000 UPSers are veterans and about 2,500 UPSers are currently on military leave.

This Sunday is Veteran’s Day, a holiday honoring and thanking all United States Armed Forces members for their service. We asked UPSers to share their stories about serving in the military. Here are just a couple of them:

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A Month of Giving: Global Volunteer Month 2012 in Review
UPS Global Volunteer Month

The end of October marked the conclusion of the tenth annual Global Volunteer Month at UPS. At the start of the month, UPS set the goal of 195,000 volunteer hours—a goal we met and exceeded with more than 200,000 logged volunteer hours. And while the UPS tradition of giving back to the community continues throughout the year, October represents a highpoint of UPS corporate responsibility and charitable involvement.

Below are a few highlights and a photo album showcasing Global Volunteer Month activities from around the world. Enjoy.

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A Retired Marine’s Salute to Supporting Literacy
Toys for Tots Literacy Program

To me, the holidays are a time to celebrate with family, give back to those in need, and appreciate the people around us. As a former Marine Corps Major and The UPS Store owner in Kearney, Missouri, I know how important giving back to those in need is. I’m proud to be a part of a network of businesses that support the community and those less fortunate within it.

I’ve been supporting the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, a foundation that donates new toys to children each holiday season, for over 40 years. So when The UPS Store franchise network teamed up with them in 2008 to create the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, a cause dedicated to providing less fortunate children in our communities with new books, I immediately started to think about how well this would blend in with our existing community support of education, including providing teacher discounts and supporting the “Take a New Teacher to Lunch” program put on by our Chamber of Commerce.

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The Logistics of Saving Lives: Keeping Cool Through a Challenging Delivery (Video)
UPS PharmaPort 360 shipment

The flu season is fast approaching here in North America and the call to stand in line, roll up your sleeve and get your annual flu shot is ringing across UPS – and across the country.  And, yes, I got my shot last week. Glad that’s over with!

Back in April, Walgreens donated more than 375,000 doses of flu vaccine to the Laos People’s Democratic Republic (Laos), when their flu season was just getting ready to begin. They wanted to make a difference in thousands of lives by bringing good health to a population in need. Walgreen’s faced an enormous logistical challenge to safely transport the vaccines from Louisville, Kentucky, to Southeast Asia.

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