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Corporations Lend a Helping Hand During Make a Difference Day

November 10, 2011

Montclair: UPS Headlines Volunteer Effort to Spruce Up Senior Citizens’ Yards 

In Montclair, volunteers from UPS and the Montclair High School Key Club headlined a stellar effort that saw members of the local community team up with City Code Enforcement to cut down overgrown trees in the yards of senior citizens.

UPS volunteers trim overbrush

UPS volunteers trim over-grown tree branches for senior citizens in the city of Montclair

Kalena Fitzpatrick, Supervisor of Plant Engineering at UPS Ontario, was proud her team was able to take part in Make a Difference Day. “I’ve been going around telling people that if they can’t give their money, let’s figure out a way where we can give time,” said Fitzpatrick. “Time is a valuable commodity as well. If you come in and give a couple hours, you feel good about yourself.”

On their end, the City of Montclair was extremely grateful for the support they received from volunteers. Colin Shull, Volunteer Coordinator for Montclair’s Human Services Division, was quick to point out that cutting down the overgrown tree branches would increase the overall safety of the yards for the homeowners and for pedestrians walking nearby. “I was talking with volunteers earlier about how we know this project will help create a safer environment,” recalled Shull. “”I think that’s going to be the real lasting impact of a project like this.”

Redlands: Kohl’s Volunteers Help Throw Literacy Celebration Event

Kohls Cares Volunteers

Kohl's Cares volunteers pose for a picture after reading to kids at Mustard Seed Tutorial Center

In Redlands, volunteers from Kohl’s of San Bernardino and local high schools teamed with Mustard Seed Tutorial Center to host a day of educational fun for kids. Working with the children, volunteers played games, told stories, and made sure each child left with a free book.

Many of the kids in attendance are regular patrons of Mustard Seed who need extra encouragement to work on their math and reading skills. Volunteers worked with these kids to play fun games and find exciting ways to make learning an enjoyable activity.

Eric Goddard, the Executive Director of Mustard Seed, was thrilled with the turnout, largely because of the message volunteer presence sends to kids. “When a kid comes in and they see a person and they know the person isn’t being paid to be there, I think that says a lot to them about how much they as a person matter,” says Goddard.

San Bernardino: FedEx Volunteers Deliver a Stellar Effort in Revitalizing Local Mission  

In San Bernardino, FedEx joined the Make a Difference Day party by supplying dozens of volunteers to Arrowhead United Way’s effort to renovate Central City Lutheran Mission. Volunteers worked together to paint rooms, plant trees, and construct a colorful new play area for kids to play on after school.

FedEx volunteers paint hopscotch

FedEx volunteers paint hopscotch at Central City Lutheran Mission.

Central City Lutheran Mission, located in one of the neediest areas of San Bernardino, provides an array of vital services to the public, including housing for the homeless, after school programs for families, and support for individuals who are HIV+. Yet admittedly, its facilities were in great need of renovation.

“As you can see, our buildings are really in need – they’re fixer-uppers,” said Central City Interim-Executive Director Maria Medina. “That’s why a day like today means so much to us. Without it, we not only don’t have the help, but we don’t have the funds or the means to do a project like this.”

Luckily for the Mission, there was a great deal of public interest in helping to beautify the buildings. Volunteer efforts were headlined by FedEx, who supplied dozens of purple-shirt-clad volunteers who were anxious to make a difference.

“We didn’t find out until late last week [about Make a Difference Day], but as you can see, a lot of volunteers just jumped at the chance to come out here,” said Rich Greene, Senior Manager of the FedEx Rialto hub. “It’s very important for FedEx to be involved in our community. It’s one of our philosophies and our management team and employees really back it up.”

Medina’s message to all of the volunteers who turned out for the event was simple but heartfelt. “I’m super excited to have you all here,” she said, “and I’m definitely very grateful for all your support!”

Thank you to all of our corporate friends and volunteers for making Make a Difference Day 2011 an amazing success!!! 

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