FedEx Cares Recognizes Top Volunteers With the FedEx Founder’s Fund Award

May 21, 2024 11:15 AM ET

FedEx Cares is the company’s commitment to giving back and volunteering – values core to the company’s culture inspired and created by our Founder, Frederick W. Smith.

The FedEx Founder’s Fund Award was established in 2023 in recognition of Mr. Smith’s legacy during our 50th anniversary. It celebrates team members who give back to their communities in meaningful ways.

Join FedEx Cares in congratulating the winners of the inaugural FedEx Founder’s Fund Award, the most prestigious recognition team members can achieve within the FedEx Cares program.

The top three team members globally, with the most recorded volunteer hours, will have grants made in their names to the nonprofits of their choice in the amounts of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000 respectively.

1st place winner

Carol Cope

Sr Operations Admin

Champaign, Illinois, U.S.

FedEx Ground

First place winner, Carol, has worked for FedEx for 24 years and volunteers at eight nonprofits in her free time, most days of the week. Carol recorded an impressive 1,500+ volunteer hours this past year, making her the outright winner.

Her passion for volunteering began in 2009 with the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon. Some of the nonprofits she has volunteered for since include: the Champaign Parks Foundation, Salt & Light, Virginia Theatre, Ma+homet Freedom Celebration, Crossroads Blues Festival, Mahomet Music Festival, and Mahomet Soda Festival.

Carol, who raised five children on her own, views volunteering as her way of giving back to her community for the support she received. She cites the feeling of gratitude from those she has impacted and the connections made as reasons why she enjoys volunteering.

Cancer awareness is just one cause that Carol cares about. Her daughter is currently fighting cancer, and she has lost friends from the disease.

“I see FedEx as very committed to helping their communities. FedEx helped me get my foot in the door for one of the nonprofits I volunteer at.”

2nd place winner

Daniel Russell 

Sr. Performance and Planning Analyst

Collierville, Tennessee, U.S.

FedEx Services

Daniel enjoys helping others and giving back to his community – something he has done at various nonprofits and his church since high school. He primarily volunteers as a Scoutmaster for a local Boy Scout troop. Daniel grew up participating in scouts, eventually earning the Eagle Scout Rank, the highest rank attainable. He has since helped 70 young men earn the same rank.

An employee of 12 years, Daniel has volunteered at local FedEx Cares events like Habitat for Humanity, filling tote bags for military care packages, and the Midsouth Food Bank. These opportunities build teamwork and unity for the organization, according to Daniel.

“FedEx Cares can mobilize a small army of employees to make a huge impact in the communities around the world through various volunteer opportunities. I’ve seen neighborhoods of houses erected in a few weeks for very deserving families, provide treats for our troops, and provide meals to folks who may not know when or where their next meal will be.”

3rd place winner

Scott O’Mary 

Marketing Principal

Plano, Texas, U.S.

FedEx Services

Scott, who has worked a combined 19 years for FedEx, enjoys doing volunteer projects with his co-workers. Outside of work, his focus is on developing youth leaders. This cause is important to Scott, who views it as way to pay it forward for opportunities he had as a youth.

He began volunteering with a local scouting organization when his son participated in the program. Although his son is now in college, Scott still supports about 50 scouts in the Plano area.

“FedEx Cares is a great way to build teams and to get to know my co-workers outside of the work environment,” says Scott.

The top volunteer from each of the super regions, based on recorded volunteer hours, will have a $7,500 grant made in their name to a nonprofit of their choice.

AMEA - Top volunteer

Dwayne van Zyl 

Sr. National Account Executive

Cape Town, South Africa

FedEx Express

Dwayne, an employee of eight years, often faces gale force winds, freezing temperatures and gigantic seas while volunteering as member of a sea rescue crew. Water safety and drowning prevention are causes he holds dearly, with nearly 1,500 drownings per year in Western Cape. Although this work has its adversity, including dangerous conditions and dealing with death, saving someone’s life is an indescribable feeling, according to Dwayne.

His 10-year-old daughter has started volunteering with him and is part of the Junior Crew program. Together, they engage schools and under privileged communities on water safety.

“The FedEx Cares platform allows me to have a career in FedEx but give back to the communities I live and work in. I see this as a huge value add in my work life and personal life.”

The Americas - Top volunteer

Rose Vallee 

Sr Talent Acquisition Specialist

Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.

FedEx Express

Rose has worked for FedEx for nearly 35 years and helps others in her community through her love of cooking and preparing hot meals every week.

She has prepared about 150 meals a week year-round for the homeless and food insecure with Meals with Meaning for the last seven years. Rose’s passion for helping those marginalized by society has led her to participate in an annual Thanksgiving Day event, feeding over 350 people, and to host a FedEx Cares event at the nonprofit with team members.

“FedEx makes it a priority to give back to the communities that we all live and work in. By doing so, it gives all of us an opportunity to serve in various ways that hopefully can tap into what each of us is good at or enjoy.”

Europe - Top volunteer

Steve Miller 

Manager Continuous Improvement & Service Tower 

Atherstone, England

FedEx Express

Steve joined FedEx as part of TNT and has 30 years of combined experience with the company. He enjoys volunteering outdoors, particularly in activities that benefit the local area in which he lives.

Steve’s passion for woodland management and environmental conservation began about 10 years ago with helping his community, which historically relied on coal, transform into the national forest it is today. He spends most weekends during the autumn and winter months practicing woodland management activities. Steve’s contributions give him a chance to make a difference for the wider community that he has seen change for the better during his life.

“FedEx Cares is a great opportunity to do volunteering. It makes you feel good to be doing some good for your local community, however big or small the effort.”