An Impactful Volunteer Event with Fed Ex Cares

Donors are often drawn to a cause because of the emotional connection that they feel with the mission. The connection becomes more fully realized, however, when donations are combined with a hands-on experience at a volunteer event.

Operation Warm was honored to work with FedEx Cares this past season. FedEx Cares is an organization with solid philanthropy goals. The organization seeks to provide $200 million in donations and service projects to more than 200 global communities by 2020. Through our collaboration and FedEx’s commitment, more than 960 coats were gifted directly to children in need during Winter 2016-17.

FedEx Cares sought to have an impactful volunteer event, so their employees could see first-hand the tremendous difference their time and donations made. To do so, Operation Warm and more than 70 FedEx Cares volunteers teamed up to provide brand new winter coats to children in need in Memphis, TN.

Volunteers lead school students to designated tables loaded with colorful coats in all the right sizes. The children picked their favorite colors, made sure they fit, and then had their names written in the coats. The inside tag read, “Made just for you.”

“You know, this is so much different from the other charitable work we do. This is some direct feedback. The children really appreciate knowing that someone really cares about them,” says Brett Buckhold, a Marketing Portfolio Manager at FedEx and a longstanding volunteer for FedEx Cares. “I remember the first time I wrote the name in a child’s coat. His name was Timmy, he had a big smile and he gave me a hug.”

Brett’s wife and their twin eight-year-old sons also volunteered to show their support. These are family events created around giving. Volunteers get to experience how the children gifted with a new coat feel its tangible and emotional impact.

fedex cares volunteer event child“At every event, you get a lot of smiles and a lot of happiness. That surprises the new FedEx volunteers,” Brett says. “The openness of the children – they get so excited that they just give you hugs. That catches a lot of my FedEx colleagues off-guard, and that is my favorite part of the event.”

The genuine appreciation of the children by someone who cares about them and their needs inspires hope, volunteers say. Kids cannot control their financial situation and often must do without, so this gift of something new from FedEx Cares is incredibly impactful.

With the help of employees, their families and their communities, FedEx hopes to take their passion and apply it to solving some of the world’s problems in a thoughtful way. Operation Warm is proud to have empowered such an incredible team.

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