[RECAP] Cumberland Foundation & Community Outreach
The following has been amended from Calleigh Minor’s speech at the Cumberland Employee Christmas Parties in December 2021 where she spoke to employees and guests about Cumberland’s Community Engagement.
The Cumberland Foundation was launched to DO GOOD with partners in our Communities
The Cumberland Foundation is our charitable giving initiative. The Cumberland Foundation was launched a few years ago as a way for us to partner with and support local organizations that DO GOOD in our community.
At the launch of the Foundation we partnered with St. Jude’s Hospital and End Slavery Tennessee. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital seeks to advance cures and prevention for pediatric diseases. St. Jude’s has personal significance for us as my brother Taylor was a patient there as a child. It was a difficult experience for our family, but the care we received at St. Jude’s was invaluable.
The First Years (End Slavery Tennessee and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital)
In our first year, we also partnered with an organization in Nashville called End Slavery Tennessee, which provides support services for individuals who have been victims of human trafficking. We’ve supported their efforts to complete a new housing project and in June 2021 our Lebanon, Tennessee branch hosted a Drive-In movie where attendees watched I Am Jane Doe, a documentary detailing the legal and logistical battles several mothers faced on behalf of their middle-school aged daughters who had been sex-trafficked on Backpage.com.
Currently the Cumberland Foundation is putting the final details in place to support a non-profit that makes wigs for those going through cancer treatments, the costs of which are often not covered by insurance [need fact check here], and can be costly for patients already facing the battle of their lives.
Cumberland’s community engagement activities don’t end with the partnerships and activities associated with the Foundation. And I can tell you… we are proud of our efforts to build relationships outside our walls and support our communities.
Wayne Wise Foundation
In Nashville, Cumberland is the lead sponsor for the Wayne Wise Foundation Annual Golf Tournament – Our customer, Western Express, lost Wayne Wise, their founder in 2010 to heart disease. In his memory, they established 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑾𝒂𝒚𝒏𝒆 𝑾𝒊𝒔𝒆 𝑾𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝑭𝒖𝒏𝒅. The purpose of which is to raise money for various charitable organizations that promote health and wellness. In addition to numerous fund raising and charitable event each year, some Cumberland employees participate in a local MS Bikeathon (To Jack & Back) with the Western Express team.
Special Forces Charitable Trust
We also support the Special Forces Charitable Trust annually to the tune of $25,000. SFCT is a 501(c)(3) that provides meaningful and sustainable support to Green Berets and their Families. The SFCT offers timely, innovative, and comprehensive programs and services designed to enhance the well-being and health of both the Special Forces Soldier and his family.
Cumberland Employees Mobilize to Help when Tragedy Happens
An illuminating recent example of how Cumberland employees pull together comes out of tragedy. On August 21st in the small town of Wavery, Tennessee 17” of rain fell in 12 hours. We had several employees who wanted to assist in any way they could. Our contingent went to help a bus garage clean up. This particular bus garage lost their entire fleet. Additionally, our sales team spent time reaching out to customers to see if anyone else in the “Cumberland Family” had been affected. And then our employees raised over $1600 of their own money to assist the City of Dickson’s employee who had extensive home damage from the flood.
This is not the only example of Cumberland employees jumping to action when their community has been faced with extreme adversity. In September 2018 Cumberland employees, with the help of the Idealease team delivered more than 30, 000 bottles of water to Second Harvest Food Bank in Winston Salem, North Carolina after Hurricane Florence.
And in 2020 after a tornado tore through much of Middle Tennessee the Idealease team worked with one of their customers in the clean up effort.
Idealease Team Routinely Partners with Community Organizations
The Cumberland Idealease team in Middle Tennessee has worked with a number of organizations in recent years including Habitat for Humanity, GraceWorks Ministries, which is a non profit whose founders recognized that local low-income residents have diverse needs – food, clothing, housing support, and financial assistance and sought to build an organization to meet this comprehensive list of needs.
Most recently the Idealease team partnered with Lifest Music Festival, an organization dedicated to instilling hope in youth via events and school assembly programs that focus on bullying and suicide prevention. Middle TN Idealease also routinely participates in local 5K races to raise money for cancer research.
Working with Our Local Trucking Associations
We make great efforts to support and get involved in our state trucking associations, the Tennessee Trucking Association and Florida Trucking Association. These organizations exist to unify the trucking industry around common goals. Our involvement with the trucking associations ranges from participating in fund raising events like tournaments, raffles and auctions to visiting with members of congress to advocate for the needs of the trucking industry. And we often have employees judging technician rodeos or serving on trucking association boards and councils.
One recent event in partnership with the TTA, their Young Professionals Council and Cummins Global Technical Education for Communities Initiative was to raise money for McGavock High Schools Aviation and Transportation academy.
Another effort by the Tennessee Trucking Association and their Young Professional’s Council is the Annual Haulin’ for the Holiday’s Statewide Toy Drive, where we’ve partnered with organizations across the state of Tennessee to collect and donate Christmas toys to those in need. Each year thousands of toys are dispersed to families throughout the state. Nashville’s donations go to Youth Encouragement Services, whose mission is to enrich the lives of Nashville’s youth by providing opportunities that encourage them to reach their full potential spiritually, academically, socially and physically through daily programming.
In the Florida region we currently have the opportunity for employees to use payroll deduction to donate to Camp Boggy Creek or the Camaraderie Foundation.
Camp Boggy Creek
As a year-round retreat, Camp Boggy Creek is a camp in Eustis, Florida where children with serious illnesses and their families can forget the word “no” for a little while and embrace “yes”. It was founded in 1996 by Paul Newman and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, with the simple premise, that every child, no matter their illness, can experience the transformational spirit and friendships that go hand in hand with attending camp.
The Camaraderie Foundation
Since 2009 the Camaraderie Foundation has provided access to mental health counseling services, at no expense, to more than 6,000 Military Service Members, post – 9-11 Veterans and family members in 35 states and awarded over 1200 counseling scholarships. 82 Cents of every dollar raised is spent directly on programming.
In the last three years Cumberland’s Florida employees have donated about $30,000 to these two wonderful organizations.
Daytona Tortugas Baseball Game
In Daytona each year, customers, employees, and their families gather at a Daytona baseball game. The event is designed to be family friendly and focuses on building connections. They even have a customer throw the first pitch, which everyone gets a kick out of! The gathering is well attended and a great way to spend time outside work with our coworkers and customers. This event in particular also shows us a variety of outreach efforts provide opportunities to connect with folks who traditionally won’t engage with us under normal “sales” type activities.
Ocala Team Partners with Interfaith Emergency Services
Ocala does a massive food drive in partnership with Interfaith Emergency Services of Marion County Florida for Thanksgiving each fall and this year was no different. Interfaith Services provides basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, medications, hygiene items and much more to enhance the quality of life and ease burdens for those in financial distress. Their clients are those experiencing homelessness, senior citizens, veterans, people with disabilities and the under-employed. Several years ago employees in Ocala were looking for a way to give back to their community. They connected with Interfaith Services and have done 3 food drives, a clothing drive and a hygiene drive. One of their food drives was 600 lbs of food! Last Christmas several employees adopted a few families and got Christmas gifts for them through Interfaith.
Thanksgiving Feasts for Customers, Employees and Families
In Tennessee, the Thursday before Thanksgiving each year our Murfreesboro branch hosts a Thanksgiving feast where employees bring dishes from home – We invite customers, employees and their families to come break bread and give thanks. It’s always a successful event and this year our newest branch in Lebanon, Tennessee has adopted the tradition.
There are a whole host of reasons it’s important to participate in community engagement efforts. We can certainly talk about tangible benefits to our company. Community engagement provides name recognition and awareness. It allows us to build relationships and connections – some of which have clear end goals (like selling more).
There are less tangible benefits to building connections with our communities. The individual and personal benefits of forming relationships run deeper. Our partners (and our industry) benefit from our financial support, volunteer hours and manpower of course. But we as employees recognize the value of participating in something bigger than ourselves, something greater. It’s good to gain perspective, to be reminded that we can make a difference in someone’s life. It’s difficult to put into words, but you know it when you feel it.
In 2022 we want more of that for our employees, customers and surrounding communities. We’re excited for what the new year will bring!