UPSers Helping Each Other — and the Community — When Disaster Strikes

Images of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey were everywhere last August—on TV, online, and in the newspapers. Flood victims in Texas were in desperate need of help.

Restoring hundreds of communities would require logistics, teamwork and help. A lot of help. UPSers are no strangers to streamlined collaboration, as they spend their days orchestrating the operations of our nation’s largest logistics company, moving 20 million packages from sorting hubs to delivery trucks to doors across the globe.

UPS is a team that comes together no matter the task—and in true UPS fashion, when Harvey hit, employees from across the country got up, got out, and did what they do best, helped those in their community.

Evacuating, rescuing, sheltering, rebuilding—UPSers and their company pitched in after devastation of the Category 4 storm, brought winds of 100 mph and torrential downpours. “This whole ordeal was like a war zone,” recalls part-time supervisor Ron Gobert. “The piles of trash looked like a debris mound from exploded bombs.”

Package handler Abe Minor used his motor boat to rescue neighbors through treacherous conditions. “There were actual currents in the street,” Abe says. “Some moving eight to nine mph and flowing rapidly.”

Rescue should have been easy in his boat, but it was not. Obstacles were everywhere—above and under the water. The rising tide played with depth perception. Cars and trucks were submerged. Debris floated all around—gutters, trees, bushes, poles and street signs bent and mangled.

He was a community man and he knew he had a job to do. “Seeing one of the ladies bring her infant baby out in her arms and how the storm impacted them,” says Abe, “that pretty much made me want to cry. I wanted to get her to safety.”

When disaster strikes, UPS moves quickly to support first responders like FEMA, the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and other humanitarian aid partners. In August, UPS announced more than a $1 million dollar pledge in support of recovery efforts in Texas and Louisiana.

Aid in the form of cash grants will be supplemented by transportation and technical expertise from the people who work at UPS. People like Ron and Abe.

“In this enormous time of need, it is critical to establish and support extensive networks of public-private partnerships to get aid to those who need it, as quickly as possible,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation.

Houston is already rebounding due in large part to the selfless dedication of thousands of volunteers from across the region and country. We’re proud that the time and financial resources donated by UPS and our employees brought relief to our neighbors.

Did You Know?

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Last year, The UPS Foundation responded to 20 major world disasters and invested more than $13 million in funding, in-kind, and technical support for community safety initiatives that included enhancing urgent disaster response preparedness, response, and recovery.

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Also last year, the UPS Foundation provided in-kind support for 468 shipments of humanitarian aid and relief in 53 countries—almost $6 million worth of in-kind services.

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Volunteerism is a core belief at UPS and the company has a goal to reach 20 million volunteer hours by the year 2020. With two years to go, UPSers are almost 80 percent of the way to this goal.