Connected Community

Volunteer Efforts

We’re more than UPS employees. We are your neighbors. We live and work in your community, and we are dedicated to volunteering time, sharing knowledge and donating funds to make it better. At UPS, there’s a culture that supports community service, helping us harness our collective effort in ways that make a real difference around the globe. That’s why we pledged to complete 20 million hours of global volunteerism and community service by the end of 2020. We are more than half way toward this ambitious goal: UPSers, friends, and family contributed 2.7 million volunteer hours in 2016, driving our 2011-2016 cumulative total volunteer hours to more than 12.8 million.

UPSers around the world take part in an annual celebration of volunteerism, Global Volunteer Month, a time when UPS promotes organized opportunities for employees to help reach specific goals. Together, UPSers, with their friends and family, exceeded our goal for Global Volunteer Month in 2016 and contributed 335,000 hours in our communities. Each year, we conclude the month of volunteerism with a US$10,000 grant from The UPS Foundation to a nonprofit organization that a UPS employee volunteered with in each region and business unit. In 2016, The UPS Foundation’s charitable giving totaled US$59.1 million to more than 4,300 nonprofit organizations. Community service also plays an integral role in our immersive Community Internship Program and The UPS Foundation Local Grants Program.

UPS Sustainability Ambassadors

The Sustainability Ambassador program is a global network of UPSers committed to doing more to positively impact communities and our environment. More than 6,000 UPSers around the world have joined the team to take part in challenges and activities, build their knowledge and skills, and find new ways to collaborate to achieve real results.

Jim Casey Community Service Award

The Jim Casey Community Service Award is given to a UPSer who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to helping others in their community. Each year, one employee out of more than 434,000 active UPSers is selected and recognized for demonstrating an exceptional commitment to helping others in their community.

Big Brown’s Big Heart

James Joseph, a UPS package car driver in Baton Rouge, La., has spread so much love around Louisiana in his 21 years at UPS that he just received the highest honor bestowed upon a UPS employee, the Jim Casey Community Service Award. Everyone in the Baton Rouge area seems to know Joseph as “Big Brown” – that’s a nickname easy to decipher. Joseph stands 6 feet 8 inches tall and wears a lot of brown.

Joseph’s community service is far-reaching. In fact, it is so vast that he started a nonprofit, Big Brown Reaching Back, to bring order to all his work. He selflessly supports those around him, just as his mother, Lillie Joseph, did before she passed away in 2006. “We didn’t have much to offer,” Joseph remembers about his childhood, “but we shared all we had.”

Joseph’s Big Brown Reaching Back fund supports 20 different organizations, and has helped people made homeless by recent flooding in Baton Rouge, delivered toys for needy children, equipped schools, and provided meals for those in need. Many of Joseph’s fellow UPSers in Louisiana also have donated their time and money to assist with these efforts.

Previous Jim Casey Community Service Award Winners

Pat Grace’s Gracious Gift

Pat Grace’s dedication to helping lift his hometown of Lansdowne, Maryland out of decline and provide a safe place for youth is truly remarkable. His efforts have earned him the UPS 2016 Jim Casey Community Service Award, which recognizes one employee each year for exceptional community volunteerism.

Lansdowne is afflicted by a tremendous amount of distress, with one-in-four families living below the poverty line and an unemployment rate that is double the national average. This hardship affects the children of the area, where only 63 percent of the students graduate the eighth grade. These systemic issues lead to higher crime rates and drug use – and Pat felt an obligation to help make things better.

Pat, along with his brothers, created the Leadership Through Athletics organization and community center in 2004 to provide a place for children and teens to go after school. Through the program, children participate in team sports, gain leadership skills and receive mentoring. “We talk about the fundamentals of basketball, but we also teach the kids about leadership, the importance of education, and making good decisions,” says Pat. The facility also supports seniors, giving them a safe place to stay active and connected, and a chance for a better quality of life.

Pat’s leadership by example speaks to one of UPS Founder Jim Casey’s great truths – “one measure of your success will be the degree you build up others who work with you. While building up others, you will build up yourself.”

Kuohsien Huang’s Spirit of Service

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake occurred off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku. The quake triggered a tsunami that destroyed an entire landscape and caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. It was the most powerful quake in Japan’s history, and the fourth most powerful ever recorded.

Years later, the people of northeastern Japan are still working to recover, rebuild, and reclaim their lives. But they have a friend in Kuohsien Huang, who continues to be an active, dedicated partner in the recovery effort. His tireless efforts to help have earned him the UPS 2015 Jim Casey Community Service Award.

Much of Kuo’s volunteer work begins by looking at social media posts by volunteers, who join together to aid the recovery effort. In 2014 alone, he spent 26 of 52 weekends traveling 5 hours each way in a rental van with other volunteers. The volunteers are total strangers who gather to help those in need.

“No matter how tough or capable we are individually, there will be times when we have to rely on others,” says Kuohsien, who, in addition to his disaster recovery efforts, also tutors disadvantaged children in computer literacy and is involved in tree planting and Japanese culture awareness in Tokyo.

“People needed help, and I thought I could contribute,” Kuohsien simply states. “At the Minamisoma City volunteer center we have a motto: Those who can, when they can, do what they they can. I’m fortunate that personal circumstances allow me to contribute.”

Tony Heath’s Heart of Gold

Tony Heath has been dedicated to helping everyone around him for his entire life. That’s why he received the UPS 2014 Jim Casey Community Service Award, which recognizes one UPS employee each year for their exceptional community volunteerism.

Even though it’s an hour away from his home, Tony chooses to support Chester, PA, because that’s where he’s needed most. He worked with community leaders and helped to gain support from The UPS Foundation to establish The Better Living Center, a community resource center where people can get health screenings, and children can use computers for after school programs and homework help.

When Tony travels to Camden, NJ, he takes his sense of community with him. There, he helps the homeless residents of “tent city” get clothing and propane tanks to stay warm on cold winter nights.

It’s no surprise that Tony Heath won this award. He has focused his life on making a difference for the people in his community.

“Martin Luther King, Jr., said we should look out for the least, the lost, and the left out. That’s what Tony is doing.”

– John Linder, Mayor, Chester, PA