Tony Heath is honored for exceptional community service.
UPS employee Tony Heath has made serving people in need the focus of his life. His work to change the lives of people around him has earned him the UPS 2014 Jim Casey Community Service Award.
Looking for an inspirational uplift? Learn how Tony Heath is bettering people's lives.
He has followed the creed of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.: "Look after the least, the lost and the left out."
Named for the founder of UPS, who started the company in 1907 with $100 borrowed from a friend, the Jim Casey Award is the highest honor that can be bestowed on any UPS employee. Each year, one employee out of 400,000 is chosen above all others for demonstrating "exceptional commitment to helping others in their community."
Here are just a few examples of the way Heath, a UPS community relations supervisor, helps others:
Community resource center
Heath worked with religious and community leaders and UPS to establish a Better Living Center in Chester, Pa., an area outside Philadelphia with great need.
"The poverty rate is high, the homeless rate is high, and without a supermarket in the city, it is a challenge just for people to get canned goods," he says. "We decided to find a way to engage this community and help this community get back on its feet."
Now schoolchildren have access to computer workstations. Residents in the area can get health screenings and even food for the family.
"Anything to get them to self-sufficiency," Heath says. "The logo [at the Better Living Center] has a butterfly, so what we're trying to do is to metamorphosis, if you will, the people in the community from where they are to greater."
Helping people who are homeless
Miles away from Chester, across the Delaware River in Camden, N.J., there's a tent city filled with hundreds of homeless people. "They're no different than we are," says Heath. "They've just hit a bump in the road and are trying to re-establish their lives and get back into society."
Heath wanted to help them get more clothing, more propane tanks and whatever else they need to cope, especially with heavy snow endured this winter. He worked with UPS to bring aid to the tent city in 2014 to relieve the distress there.
Meals for those in need
According to Brian Jenkins, executive director of Chosen 300 Ministries, headquartered in downtown Philadelphia, Heath has partnered with that organization year-round.
"He's been very helpful in bringing volunteers down to help distribute over 100,000 meals throughout the Philadelphia region," Jenkins says. "It's exciting to see people's lives being touched this way."
Heath has inspired and energized a multitude of people to better the world and their communities.
"Tony can speak to a homeless person on the corner, train a new driver at Christmastime, or go deliver packages in Texas after an ice storm," says Jill Schubert, UPS Chesapeake district manager. "He's really a total package, and with that comes that sense of community, regardless of where he's at, whether it is Houston or Philadelphia or in his backyard."
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