Celebrating 10 Years of Volunteer Work in Los Angeles
If you bring up the subject of FedEx Cares Week around Mary Gonzales, you’ll see her face immediately fill with energy, and you won’t be able to miss the light in her eyes.
Mary will quickly tell you that she is just one of an amazing team of hundreds of FedEx volunteers who give back to their community every year in the Los Angeles area. This humble attitude, and the experience of doing something to truly help others, brings people back to sign up for often-difficult physical work, volunteering year after year.
This year marks a special anniversary of volunteerism from the FedEx team in Los Angeles – it’s the 10th year for FedEx Cares Week, a time when thousands of FedEx volunteers in nearly 400 cities around the world give back to their local communities.
The Los Angeles area team has worked with several different organizations over the past 10 years, including elementary schools, women’s shelters, and community centers.
The recent economic downturn shed light on a severe need in the LA area – food.
This year about 175 volunteers pitched in and helped sort food donations for the LA Regional Food Bank. In one day of work, an energetic group of FedEx volunteers were able to sort and kit over 8,000 food supplies. Each kit equates to about two weeks of food supplies for a local family.
“In everyday situations you can feel removed from need, and think these things impact somebody else. But when we see it up close, we are much more emotionally connected to helping. FedEx Cares Week makes it feel different, personalizing your donation. You know that you are helping somebody else because you see it right in front of your face.” says Mary’s co-worker Dan Milosevic.
Dan says, “You’d be shocked at the number of senior citizens who have to decide between medication and food. The LA Regional Food Bank helps with these situations, and it feels wonderful to help them when they need volunteers.”
In fact, just mention FedEx Cares Week around the office, and a small army quickly emerges, enthusiastic and ready to go to work for their community.
“It’s so rewarding! You’re giving your time, your expertise, your love to others.” FedEx volunteer Mo Jones says cheerfully.
She adds, “FedEx Cares Week was new for me a few years ago, and it really has impacted my life. I came from an urban background, and I know that it’s hard sometimes. It’s wonderful to be a part of a company that is helping make things better for others. We are grateful for the investment that they have made in us, to allow us to do this for our community.”
Anne Aguilar is one of many team members who has volunteered for each of the 10 years of FedEx Cares Week in Los Angeles. She chimes in, “This makes you feel like you’ve done something that really matters for someone, who just might happen to be your neighbor.”
Before heading off to volunteer, Mary Gonzales quickly adds a final comment, “I’m really humbled by the heart that our team has here. They want to do more! Sometimes it’s even hard for the Food Bank to keep up with us!”
If our conversation is any indicator, she’s right about that.
How can you help?
Contact your local United Way for a wide-range of volunteer opportunities that match your interests and skill-set.