Ramp It Up
Greg Schneider began working for UPS when he was in high school, loading packages into UPS trucks and trailers. It’s the only company he’s ever worked for during his 36-year career. But it’s not his only “job”.
Schneider has always had a heart for volunteer work, spending his four children’s childhoods coaching soccer and basketball and helping out at church events.
“We kind of always volunteered. I wasn’t always able to give money, I was able to give my time,” Greg says. “So, that’s just the way I’ve been and I enjoy giving my time if it’s available.”
As a driver, Schneider takes on additional duties such as being the volunteer coordinator for UPS in the Ohio/Kentucky River Valley area. In collaboration with UPS, Access Is Everything (AIA) and People Working Cooperatively (PWC), Schneider started “Ramp It Up For Veterans”—a project that installs ramps for veterans, or the families of deceased veterans, in need.
Giving Back to Veterans
A true ambassador for UPS, which has an initiative to hire 50,000 veterans and spend 5,000 volunteer hours benefitting veterans, Greg has organized UPS reps from Ohio to Seattle to donate time and energy building ramps for veterans.
After three years, Greg and groups of volunteers have installed twenty-eight ramps for veterans and families with disabilities.
Access Is Everything chairman, Jimmy Dee Dorset says, “We would not be able to do this for the variety of veterans we have helped without UPS’ assistance”. The UPS Foundation buys the materials and UPS employees come together to install them—quickly. One ramp should take half a day to install, but Greg and his teams do it in just two hours.
“It’s a great way to give back, and it’s very rewarding when you go to a house and there’s nothing and you could leave two hours later and there’s a ramp for that person to go all the way out of their house,” he says. Schneider and team are motivated by “seeing the first-hand impact you can make on a veteran’s life or a family member’s life, to give back to someone who has given us so much.”
Brothers and Sisters in Arms
With a nephew currently on active duty and a late father-in-law who was a veteran, Greg feels compelled by a sort of call to arms, and the community it inspires. It’s not uncommon to see a WWII veteran helping an Afghanistan veteran, Iraqi veteran or a Vietnam vet.
Greg spends a lot of time with the recipients leading up to the main event, so they understand and are comfortable with his team and the project. At the end, they ask the recipient to come outside to try out their new ramp.
“They’re like a little kid at Christmas, counting the days, Greg says. “We bring out the veteran or the family member … and then we get them to try it for us. It’s eye-watering and it’s very touching, but it’s so worth the while of what you’re doing for somebody. I can’t explain how it makes you feel. Making an impact on someone’s life. It’s a great way to make a difference.”
“UPS has been a wonderful partner”, Dowsett remarks. “I just love them.”