Sharing hampers with holiday joy

When 35 team members from across Europe and the U.S. gathered to write letters for older adults during a virtual volunteering session for World Mental Health Day in October, they had no idea their messages would be delivered by another group of FedEx Cares volunteers at Christmas!

Nicola Swaine, Sales Solutions Specialist in Ireland, and a longstanding FedEx Cares volunteer, tells her story behind this surprising coincidence, “In Ireland, we’ve been supporting the charity Friends of the Elderly for years. They’ve become part of our Christmas FedEx Cares projects, where my colleague, Ray O’Connor, and I schedule a day to collect and deliver Christmas hampers to elderly living alone across Ireland.” 

Friends of the Elderly is an Irish volunteer-based charity established in 1980 to bring friendship and companionship to older people living alone or who feel lonely by offering emotional and social support. Their goal is to enable older members to maintain their independence while helping them feel connected to a larger community.

This year, when Nicola reached out to the nonprofit to organize their collection and deliveries, they told her that FedEx U.S. had sent them letters, which had been written by volunteers to be placed in the Christmas hampers.

Nicola says, “Intrigued, I reached out to our FedEx Cares team in the U.S. and I found out the messages in our hampers had been written by FedEx volunteers on World Mental Health Day! This is a true example of how FedEx Cares collaborations can span the Atlantic Ocean." 

The team delivered 63 hampers filled with the usual holiday treats, food items and hygiene products. The personal messages inside written by our team members made these hampers extra special. 

"I delivered one of the hampers to Betty Tucker whose nieces were visiting. She was such a gorgeous lady, really chatty. It was my pleasure to meet and read her the letter. For me, it’s so important to take part in these charity events as it allows us to show kindness and support where we can. I’d encourage others to take part in FedEx Cares activities - the feeling you get from doing something good is priceless,” shares Nicola.

According to Deborah Costello, Fundraising & Communications Manager, Friends of the Elderly, “Many think of Silent Night as the most beautiful Christmas carol, but for many older people Christmas is just another silent night, when nobody calls and nobody visits. Thank you to the wonderful help from FedEx of helping us spread a little Christmas magic to an older person this year letting them know there is somebody out here thinking of them and letting them know they have a friend.”

Team members around the globe “Drive forward. Give back.” by volunteering and doing countless acts of caring throughout the year. We encourage team members to give their time, talent, and resources to drive positive change. Together, we multiply our impact to improve communities where we live and work.