By Jackie Norris, Executive Director, and Yvonne Siu Turner, Senior Manager, Corporate Resources and Programs, Points of Light Corporate Institute
This excerpt was originally posted on May 21, 2014 to honor the top 5 winners for The Civic 50. The post has been modified to highlight how companies, especially those in logistics can get involved with disaster relief and response.
When Hurricane Sandy pulverized parts of the East Coast in 2012, Bill Bonneau found himself in a unique position. As manager of station operations for FedEx Express, he could help deliver relief supplies throughout New York.
“FedEx’s logistical expertise and extensive network made us a key player,” said Bonneau. “Despite the logistical challenges associated with route access after a natural disaster, we found a way to answer the call.”
Together with thousands of FedEx volunteers, Bonneau directed an effort to deliver almost four million pounds of relief aid for agencies such as the American Red Cross, Heart to Heart International, Direct Relief and The Salvation Army. They delivered everything from meals and clothing to water and medical supplies. They provided logistical expertise to deliver more than 85 generators to LaGuardia Airport, police stations and even polling stations to help residents vote during the 2012 presidential elections.
Thanks to volunteers like Bonneau, agencies like Direct Relief quickly met community needs. “The residents of the area were really hit hard after Hurricane Sandy,” said Kerri Murray, vice president of communications for Direct Relief. “Thousands lost power, heat, hot water, so we distributed personal care packs, nutritional supplements and food supplies, all delivered by FedEx.”
In total, FedEx provided $1.5 million in monetary aid, moved nearly four million pounds of disaster aid supplies and shipped 23,000 meals and 17 polling stations in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
For Bonneau and his colleagues, volunteerism is part of the FedEx culture. The company has managed to connect the dots between corporate citizenship and employee satisfaction, skill development and strengthening the FedEx brand by integrating community engagement into its business – which earned them one of the top spots on The Civic 50.
In FY13, FedEx continues to work with nonprofits to coordinate relief efforts. They set aside at least four million pounds of disaster-related shipping capacity each year. Learn more about how FedEx delivers hope to victims of disaster.
Are you a pledge company that offers skills to help others before, during or after disasters? We'd love to hear from you! Submit your service story on our Storytelling page and inspire other companies to give back to others in times of need.