FedEx Headquarters Giving: Memphis, Tennessee

Oct 17, 2023 2:30 PM ET

Originally published in the 2022 FedEx Cares Report

Our headquarters city of Memphis, Tennessee is a city of tremendous opportunity, but growth and prosperity are not reaching everyone equally. We believe that everyone in Memphis should have an equal chance to participate in our city’s education system and workforce to achieve financial stability and mobility. This idea – inclusive economic growth – is essential to our city’s future. Our approach is to fund the ideas and innovations developed by the experts on the ground who deeply understand the obstacles and opportunities facing Memphians.

Our Strategy

Access: Helping people be prepared to secure and thrive in well-paying jobs in Memphis.

Mobility: Improving the reliability and efficiency of public and private transportation to connect more people to opportunity.

Stability: Helping Memphians meet their basic needs in order to focus their full efforts on preparing for and securing employment.


Creating financial stability through work

The workforce and poverty statistics in South Memphis paint a troubling picture: 61% of households earn less than $25,000 per year. 48% of adults are not in the labor force and 52% of all residents live on an income below the poverty line. Advance Memphis works to create financial stability through work for South Memphians by training and employing hundreds of adults each year upon graduation from their Work Life classes, which provide a unique opportunity to work, earn, and learn right in their own neighborhood. FedEx supports Advance Memphis to break cycles of unemployment through practices that focus on reconciling relationships and restoring dignity.

Supporting adult education and workforce development

In Shelby County (home to Memphis), there are more than 120,000 adults without a high school diploma, and the poverty rate is 22.6%. To connect more people to a high school education that could lead to employment and upward mobility, the Excel Center and Goodwill Education Initiatives created a tuition free public high school for adults. The program helps adults earn a state-recognized high school diploma in an accelerated format and has graduated 1,071 individuals to date, with 86% of graduates employed or enrolled in college. FedEx support helps the Excel Center remove barriers, provide relevant education, and develop workforce opportunities for Memphians to reach their potential.

At FedEx, we’re passionate about helping people acquire skills and education that allow them to access opportunities, continue their education, and build lasting careers. I have personally enjoyed serving as a member of the board for Goodwill Excel and witnessing the life-changing transformations that take place through this incredible program.

Brandon Tolbert

Vice President / FedEx Express


Making reliable transportation more affordable

Lack of access to reliable transportation is a major challenge for many underresourced individuals in Memphis. Many miss school or work or struggle to attend doctor’s visits or visit the grocery store. MyCityRides is a nonprofit - the first of its kind in the country - focused on closing the transportation gap by offering participants a package deal that includes ownership of a scooter, gear, and maintenance, for as little as $120 per month. These individuals have traveled more than 1 million miles around Memphis, with affordable, reliable transportation that helps create opportunities. FedEx support helps MyCityRides raise awareness and recruit program participants, as well as analyze data to understand where and when to scale the fleet to reach more individuals.


Feeding local families during the holidays

More than 15 percent of Memphis families wrestle with food insecurity. To address this, over 50 FedEx team members in Memphis teamed up with the Women’s Foundation for Greater Memphis to support Feed the Children’s ‘No Holiday Hunger’ campaign to raise awareness about childhood hunger. Together, the team distributed boxes of food, household essentials, as well as toys, and books to 400 families in South Memphis. FedEx and the Women’s Foundation continue to collaborate to reduce poverty in five Memphis neighborhoods by 2025.

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