A legacy of service: Today and every day, UPS honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader whose dream changed the world. In 2022, The UPS Foundation provided more than $8.3 million in contributions to organizations that honor Dr. King's legacy like the National Urban League, the NAACP, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, United Negro College Fund and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. And this year, The UPS Foundation will donate another $25,000 to the King Center, the organization dedicated to continuing Dr. King’s work of promoting nonviolence as the pathway to social justice.
Doing the work: In the past year alone, UPS employees contributed nearly half a million volunteer hours in support of underserved Black communities. This MLK Day, UPSers across the country are once again organizing to serve their communities in honor of Dr. King. Here are some inspiring examples:
Patrick’s day of service: Patrick Smith, community relations manager, is organizing a volunteer event with Atlanta-area UPSers to prepare for Hosea Helps’ annual food drive. The charitable organization was founded in 1971 by Hosea Williams, key civil rights leader and strong ally of Dr. King.
“I’m a proud UPSer … being of service to others is in my DNA. But it’s more than just my job – it’s my passion,” said Patrick.
Hosea Williams’ daughter, Elizabeth Omilami asked Patrick to share this message: “I’m so proud of my father’s tireless activism. MLK Day is a day that calls us all to service. I’m glad UPS is a company that encourages and enables this charity on the part of its employees.”
Taj’s observance plans: Taj Mustapha, account manager and chair of UPS’s African American Business Resource Group Great Lakes chapter, has organized a day of service with Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Founder and civil rights leader, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., will host the Let Freedom Ring event, a celebration of local leaders who continue moving Dr. King’s legacy forward. Fellow UPSers will also converge at Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School to participate in the 14th Annual Legacy March and pay tribute to the life and work of Dr. King.
These are just two of 14 local organizations the Great Lakes chapter has partnered with to host 22 events over the last year, from elementary school drives and food packing volunteer events to meal and gift donations.
“Volunteering is an everyday thing with our BRG. It’s about service and volunteer hours. In the past year alone, we volunteered more than 1,400 hours. We work hard to lead with our heads, hearts and hands,” said Taj, who joined UPS during the holiday shipping season 22 years ago.
Committed 365 days a year: Christine Weber, diversity & inclusion manager and leader of the Toledo Great Lakes AABRG and Jay Spooney, training manager and co-chair, will host a blanket drive for Rosa Parks Elementary School to help underserved communities without access to heat and proper bedding.
“Last year alone, Toledo UPSers collected more than 100 blankets for children during the two-week drive. It was wonderful to see the appreciation from the staff, students and parents,” Jay said. “It’s a reminder that there are still so many children in the community who are lacking the basic need of warmth during a northwest Ohio winter.”
“I believe it’s an obligation for UPSers to serve their communities,” said Christine who is celebrating nearly 21 years at UPS. “We’re a company that provides service to the public – from the frontlines to leadership. And service is what being a UPSer is all about. It’s important to show our customers what we already know – what a great company this is to be involved with.”
Did you know: UPS Global Headquarters has been located in Atlanta, GA, Dr. King's birthplace, since 1994.
How you can give back this day of service:
- Volunteer, donate and attend upcoming events at The King Center.
- Get involved with year-round Hosea Helps programs.
- Learn more about Rainbow PUSH Coalition's mission of promoting peace and justice around the world.
- Check out civil rights icon, Ambassador Andrew Young’s recent visit to a UPS facility and volunteer or donate to the Andrew J. Young Foundation.
- Get acquainted with longstanding UPS partners like the National Urban League, the NAACP, United Negro College Fund, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ Education Fund.