Estes Express Lines, a privately held carrier based in Richmond, Virginia, is delivering 20 checks totaling $1 million to numerous national charitable organizations chosen by company employees.
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 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 provides short-term monetary grants to Estes teammates experiencing natural or manmade disasters.
“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.”
The company aided several employees who were victims of the wildfires in California last year.
“I visited Chico in the wake of the California wildfires, and what I saw was devastating,” said 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.”
A little further from home, many Estes employees have been trips to Puerto Rico, helping orphanages rebuild after Hurricane Maria.
“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)
- Our Heart (employee-directed charitable giving)
Founded in 1931 by W.W. Estes and still family-owned, Estes serves all of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico through more than 235 terminals, as well as service to and from Mexico.