Making a Difference: One School Supply at a Time

By Lori Walton, FedEx Senior Communications Specialist
Nov 5, 2014 10:00 AM ET

Each new school year brings excitement for students to begin their classes and for teachers eager to inspire them. To make the school year successful, school supplies are needed … a pencil, pen, backpack, folder or paper, among many other items. It sounds simple by definition, but it makes a world of difference for students and teachers to have these basic resources in the classroom.   

What started as a simple gesture through word of mouth by FedEx team members to donate needed supplies to Hutchinson Elementary School in Atlanta, grew into a much larger contribution when long-time FedEx customer, Norcom, asked to get involved.

Norcom, who manufactures office and school-related paper products, deeply understands the importance of education and often participates in programs that aim to ensure underprivileged children receive school supplies that their families cannot afford. So, without hesitation and with the coordination efforts of FedEx Account Executive Carmen Vazquez, Norcom donated supplies of paper which was distributed to the 40 teachers at Hutchinson Elementary School. In addition, an estimated $4,000 worth of additional school supplies were donated by FedEx team members.  

With a growing student population of over 400 students, community support is integral to the success of Hutchinson Elementary School, which has served the local Atlanta area community for many years. Along with the school supplies donated, in celebration of FedEx Cares Week, over 70 FedEx volunteers spent an afternoon reading to students. Whether the students realized it or not, they had an even greater impact on the volunteers, best summarized by FedEx volunteer, Phyllis Shackleford.

“Every single one of the kids and the teacher came and hugged me and thanked me for reading to them. It brought tears to my eyes. This is why I do it because of those kids,” she said.

As part of FedEx’s commitment to the local communities where its team members live and work, the school supply drive is just one of the ways employees give back year-round through volunteerism, charitable support and collaboration with local organizations and causes. Last year, during FedEx Cares Week, nearly 50,000 volunteer hours were logged at over 500 non-profit agencies worldwide.