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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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What is it Like to Make a Difference?
Backpack in the Park

When I attended high school in Russia, we had a Peace Corps volunteer (named Todd) from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He taught English as a foreign language and worked in after-school programs. Todd made a difference in my life; he inspired me to experience what it is like to be a volunteer. Giving back to our community and knowing that we make a difference in someone’s life is an awesome feeling. We are not only helping our community grow stronger, but we are also helping ourselves become stronger.

I always did volunteer work; no matter where I lived in the world. In Russia, I volunteered at local orphanages. In China, I taught English and Russian in kindergarten. In Florida, I volunteered for Junior Achievement, United Way, American Heart Association, IABC and other organizations. When I started my career at UPS, I joined the newly created Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) & Allies Business Resource Group. Being a member of the group has opened a new window of volunteer opportunities for me.

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UPS to Ship 100+ Metric Tons of Food and Supplies to Aid Famine Relief in The Horn of Africa
UPS 767

Today, 11-to-13 million people are starving and are fleeing southern Somalia for camps in Kenya.  Experts are calling it the worst drought in 60 years. More than 2 million children (under the age of five) in Somalia as well as in parts of Kenya and Ethiopia are acutely malnourished, including almost 500,000 children in an immediate life-threatening state.  In addition, children are more vulnerable to the spread of killer diseases, especially to outbreaks of measles, diarrhea and pneumonia. 

In response to this tragic situation, UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) have officially released urgent appeals for assistance.  This week, UPS committed to leverage its global logistics network to help speed emergency supplies to the region.

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Give the Gift of Hope this Holiday Season

Toys for Tots Literacy ProgramAs President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, I am honored to be working with The UPS Store network as we join forces once again to deliver joy and hope this holiday season to our neediest children.

The Toys for Tots Literacy Program offers our nation’s most economically disadvantaged children the ability to compete academically and to succeed in life by providing them direct access to books that will enhance their ability to read and to communicate effectively.

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Celebrate National Summer Learning Day

On Monday, our nation will not only celebrate the start of summer but also National Summer Learning Day, a day to observe the importance of summer learning. Studies show that “more than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.”*

To help fight this “summer slide,” The UPS Store franchisees in Washington, D.C., and the Toys for Tots Literacy Program last month donated 1,200 books to five elementary schools, one age-appropriate book for each student to take home and enjoy over the summer.

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You’re Never too Old to Learn: Alferd Williams Literacy Award

At one time or another, have you wanted to fulfill a dream – earn a degree, run a marathon, visit a distant land – but the thought, “I’m too old,” creeps into your mind?

Well, let me introduce you to Alferd Williams, who will teach you that you are never too old to live your dream.

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Logistics in Haiti: UPSers Feed the Supply Chain and Haiti’s Children

UPS and UNICEF volunteers box up clothing for Haitian children.This weekend was busy for UPSers focused on helping Haiti:

  •  In Miami, more than 50 UPS volunteers boxed up over 2,000 cartons full of blankets, sleeping mats and towels in a UPS warehouse  
  • In Carteret, NJ volunteers from UNICEF and UPS boxed up 2,000 sets of underwear, shirts, shorts, sandals, toothbrushes and toothpaste Read More »
Wrapping up the Holidays

I’ve always looked forward to the holidays.  The word “Christmas” conjures up fond memories of some of my favorite things:  baking cookies, school closing (and therefore no homework) for weeks, sledding in the Ohio snowfall, and of course the magic and excitement as a young child over what Santa would bring. 

Christmas morning as a child was the apex of the year, and I can’t imagine a child waking up with no gifts to open.  Apparently, neither can the more than 1,200 UPSers here at our corporate campus, who have adopted a local elementary school in our annual Project Angel volunteer program. Read More »

The Greatest Gift is the Gift of Giving

Toys for Tots Donation CardFor more than 60 years, Toys for Tots has been bringing smiles to the faces of less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy. The Toys for Tots tradition is well known and respected in every community nationwide. In 2008, with the help of The UPS Store®, Toys for Tots extended its reach and impact in a meaningful way by providing children in need with the gift of a new book. Read More »

Do the Right Thing, Start a No-Idling Campaign

Like a lot of parents, I worry about keeping my child safe and making sure she eats enough vegetables. But I hadn’t really thought about air pollution until last February. That’s when The UPS Foundation announced a grant to help take the Clean Air Campaign’s No-Idling initiative nationwide.

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