Commitment to the Community
Since its founding in 2005, the FedEx Racing program has made a commitment to community service a priority and team hallmark. Through national initiatives with the March of Dimes, The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross, and cooperation with local human service organizations, FedEx Racing has touched the lives of thousands of individuals and offered much-needed support in the form of charitable contributions and the volunteerism of FedEx team members.
The #11 team helped FedEx celebrate a variety of charitable organizations during the 2015 season. As part of the FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks weekend at Dover International Speedway in May, Denny Hamlin drove a special #11 FedEx Cares paint scheme that highlighted10 organizations: American Red Cross, Autism Speaks, Direct Relief, March of Dimes, Safe Kids, Junior Achievement, United Negro College Fund, FIRST, Arbor Day Foundation and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In the fall, Hamlin visited Memphis and teamed up with the NBA's Grizzlies point guard — and fellow #11 — Mike Conley for a basketball shooting contest on Veteran's Day to raise money for the USO. Hamlin also stopped by the Target House, a long-term housing facility in the St. Jude network, to meet with children for a fun afternoon of painting. Hamlin donated $11,000 to St. Jude through the Denny Hamlin Foundation as part of the program.
2014 marked the seventh consecutive season that Hamlin and the FedEx Racing Team raised awareness for the March of Dimes and March for Babies initiatives. The special #11 FedEx Office and March of Dimes paint scheme raced at Texas Motor Speedway in April, and the team hosted 2014 March of Dimes national ambassador Aidan Lamothe at the track. Additionally, during the fourth annual FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover, Delaware, the entire #11 team filled a FedEx truck full of toys from a nearby Toys "R" Us and donated them to Autism Delaware for use during the race weekend inside a special hospitality area designated for families with children with autism. The toys were selected from the Toys "R" Us "10 Toys that Speak to Autism" list that the company establishes each year with Autism Speaks. FedEx also helped raise funds for Autism Speaks through a special program allowing fans to have their names printed on the #11 FedEx Freight and Autism Speaks Toyota for an $11 donation.
Denny Hamlin and the #11 FedEx Racing® team again used the NASCAR platform to raise awareness for charitable organizations in 2013, including special #11 paint schemes for the March of Dimes at Texas in April and for Autism Speaks at Dover in June, in conjunction with the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks race weekend.
In September, the March of Dimes recognized Hamlin with its highest honor, the prestigious "Champion for Babies" Award. Hamlin became just the fourth recipient of the award, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath, golf legend Arnold Palmer and veteran broadcaster Greg Gumbel. Hamlin accepted the award at the March of Dimes Volunteer Leadership Conference and Gala in Washington, D.C.
Joining with the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Red Cross, FedEx, Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs helped spread the message of disaster preparedness during the annual America's Small Business Summit. Speaking to news media and small business owners, Hamlin and Gibbs provided critical information for small business owners to better respond to emergencies and ensure the safety of employees and customers.
The #11 FedEx Racing® team highlighted immediate relief and ongoing recovery efforts following major disasters that struck different parts of the country. Prior to the race at Talladega (Alabama) Superspeedway in May, Denny Hamlin and #11 FedEx crew members visited nearby Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on the one-year anniversary of the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the area in 2011. FedEx helped donate and deliver appliances to the first house rebuilt in the Alberta City neighborhood, and made a $10,000 donation to the local chapter of The Salvation Army.
In the fall, 'Superstorm' Sandy caused extensive damage along the east coast, including major flooding and power outages in New York City and surrounding areas. In addition to the tireless efforts of FedEx team members, who volunteered their time to get much-needed supplies into the area, Hamlin and the #11 crew flew into Newark, New Jersey, prior to NASCAR's season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, to pitch in. The team helped unload a truck full of supplies donated by FedEx to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, volunteered at the facility and delivered a truck full of frozen turkeys to a food shelter in the area one week before Thanksgiving.
Also during the NASCAR season, FedEx helped raise awareness for the March of Dimes with a special #11 FedEx Office/March of Dimes paint scheme at Texas in April, and Autism Speaks through its title sponsorship of the FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks at Dover (Delaware) International Speedway in June.
Disaster preparedness was again the program's focus in 2011, as the "Race to Prepare" initiative reached local communities near San Francisco, Louisville, Kansas City and Dallas. FedEx made $10,000 donations to each of the local chapters of the American Red Cross in those markets, and to date, more than 1,000 children have participated in the program. At Texas Motor Speedway in April, Hamlin ran a specially-designed #11 FedEx/March of Dimes Toyota to raise awareness for the organization. The car was designed by Dallas-area twins and healthy survivors of the March of Dimes program, who traveled to Joe Gibbs Racing in Huntersville, N.C., and with the help of Denny Hamlin, designed the car from a blank white canvas.
The #11 FedEx Racing® team and driver Denny Hamlin teamed up with The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross in 2010 to encourage communities to get prepared for weather-related disasters. To celebrate the company's long-standing relationships with the two charities, FedEx worked with local American Red Cross and Salvation Army Groups in Boston, Chicago, Atlanta and Miami in order to highlight the need for disaster relief and education.
In Boston, FedEx donated a disaster response unit (DRU) to the Massachusetts Chapter of The Salvation Army alongside representatives and employees from FedEx, the local Salvation Army command, and the City of Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino. This event and donation marked the 13th DRU that FedEx has donated worldwide.
The Chicago and Atlanta events were dedicated to delivering preparedness lessons to school children through an educational assembly and interactive emergency kit building game. Both local American Red Cross chapters received $10,000 from FedEx to support the cause.
With a cholera outbreak in Haiti making headlines, FedEx made a special in-kind donation in Miami to ship 250,000 hydration salt packs to Red Cross workers assisting the victims, as well as provided a $10,000 donation to the South Florida American Red Cross Chapter to support disaster relief efforts locally.
Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs made two deliveries in Washington D.C prior to the Dover race - helping FedEx present a custom Disaster Response Unit (DRU) to the Salvation Army National Capital Area Command, and making a visit to the Washington D.C FedEx Express Station (DCA).
At the Salvation Army, Hamlin and Gibbs handed the keys to the DRU, a custom built vehicle capable of serving up to 2500 meals a day in a time of need, to Salvation Army Area Commander Steve Morris. It is the twelfth DRU donated by worldwide by FedEx.
FedEx worked with community service agencies in Boston, Washington D.C., Indianapolis and Los Angeles, to help in their mission of providing food to those in need. Denny Hamlin and the #11 FedEx Racing® team delivered new Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles to the agencies on behalf of FedEx, enabling them to more efficiently serve their community while supporting FedEx's continued commitment to new technologies. Each visit also brought large teams of FedEx employees who volunteered their time to assist the groups.
Also in 2008, the FedEx Racing team teamed up with the March of Dimes to support the annual March for Babies. After a kick-off event in Dallas, Hamlin raced a special #11 FedEx March for Babies Camry in Phoenix. The event raised awareness and funds for the organization.
The FedEx commitment to children's hospitals came to life in the form of the FedEx "Wear Your Heart on Your Helmet" program. Over the course of the season, FedEx worked with children's hospitals in seven NASCAR race markets, and also with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to find patients interested in designing the race helmet Denny Hamlin would wear in 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
The creativity of the children led to great designs that renowned helmet designer Jason Beam then transferred onto the helmets Hamlin would wear on the race track. Following the season, all 11 race-worn helmets were put up for auction and cumulatively raised over $20,000 to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.
By season's end, Hamlin and the FedEx team had visited children's hospitals in Los Angeles, Richmond, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, and Kansas City while meeting with Make-A-Wish program participants at several races throughout the season. FedEx generously presented each participating hospital with a donation of $25,000, and presented the Make-A-Wish Foundation with a donation of $50,000.
Denny Hamlin and the #11 FedEx Racing® team made special deliveries to five children's hospitals, where Hamlin was presented with specially designed helmets for him to wear in Cup races in the hospital's home market. In addition to donations on behalf of FedEx for $25,000, the events featured activities for the patients and staff.