January 10, 2019
Estes Gives Employees $1 Million Dollars to Donate to Charities Closest to their Hearts
RICHMOND, VA—Estes Express Lines, the largest privately held freight transportation carrier in the nation, is delivering some of its most important freight yet in the first weeks of 2019. Twenty checks totaling $1 million are now making their way through Estes terminals across the country to national charitable organizations, and Estes employees were able to handpick the recipients.
“This giving campaign is one way Estes can show our commitment to improving our communities and caring for our employees,” said Rob Estes, president and CEO. “We could think of no better way to start 2019 off right than by having these employee-directed donation checks as some of the first freight we ship. This is a testament to our employees’ spirit and the appreciation Estes has for them.”
Three charities received the largest amount of votes from Estes employees and well over $100,000 each: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital™, the American Cancer Society and Wounded Warrior Project. Other deserving causes receiving sizeable portions of the $1 million include Toys for Tots, Make-A-Wish and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Two charities on the list hold an extra-special place in the hearts of employees: Team Estes Employee Relief Fund and the orphanages of Puerto Rico.
The $1 million donation was part of a year-long Estes Care Package to recognize as well as provide financial support and aid to employees and the communities Estes serves. In addition, the Team Estes Employee Relief Fund, which provides short-term monetary grants to Estes teammates experiencing natural or manmade disasters. Many Estes employees who cast their vote for this fund noted that they have relied on this generosity in their own lives after hurricanes or illness, and that it is precisely this “taking care of our own” approach to giving that they appreciate most about the company.
“I visited Chico in the wake of the California wildfires, and what I saw was devastating,” says Greg Richardson, vice president of human resources. “Several of our teammates lost their homes. Having the Team Estes Employee Relief Fund in place allowed us to quickly provide much-needed emergency grants to those employees. Of course, homeowners insurance covers the bulk of the loss, but we’re grateful to have the fund in place so that we could quickly help those who needed immediate hardship grants.” An Estes driver in Fargo, North Dakota, points out that the best way to attract and keep the best of the best on a team is to take the best care of them. “When we take care of our people, we allow them the freedom to take care of others and give their best to their job.”
Another Estes driver in Pulaski, Virginia, learned firsthand how important the Relief Fund can be in an emergency. He says, “Several years ago I had a house fire just before Christmas, and it was the charity and kindness of fellow Estes employees that helped my family through the crisis.”
A little further from home, many Estes employees have been part of FEMA mission trips to Puerto Rico, helping orphanages rebuild after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Those team members and many others who are from the area or still have family there were thrilled to select this cause for a donation, ensuring that the rebuilding work can continue.
“Estes had the privilege of assisting FEMA with Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria,” says Ken Niemaseck, vice president of strategic accounts. “In their spare time, several of our teammates volunteered their skills at orphanages. They fixed and replaced roofs, and built picnic tables and a gazebo. Other projects included fence repair and fallen-tree clean-up — and they even replaced play areas and bought new bikes for the kids.”
The $1 million donation was the fourth part of a year-long Estes Care Package consisting of four different employee-focused programs implemented quarterly in 2018: Our Thanks (a one-time cash bonus to employees), Our Future (an enhanced college scholarship program), Our Team (the creation of the Team Estes Relief Fund) and Our Heart (employee-directed charitable giving). Our Heart focuses on the caring nature of employees, who are signing the donation checks as they move through the terminals en route to their destinations.
About Estes Express Lines
Headquartered in Virginia, Estes is a leading, full-service freight transportation provider offering a complete range of shipping solutions including LTL, time-critical guaranteed, volume & truckload, global and custom solutions. Founded in 1931 by W.W. Estes and still family-owned, Estes is the largest privately held carrier in the nation. The company is now one of the most respected total-solutions providers in the industry with direct service throughout all of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico through more than 235 terminals, as well as service to and from Mexico and a global freight-forwarding service footprint.