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NEW YORK CITY: Volunteers Return to Lower East Side to Support Community Hub

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It was a cool and cloudy day in New York, and fall was in the air as volunteers gathered at the Lower East Side’s Henry Street Settlement. This was the second year FedEx Cares activities focused on Henry Street, which delivers a wide range of social services and arts programming to more than 100,000 New Yorkers each year.

Like old friends coming together, familiar faces joined at a familiar place to paint, garden, organize, and revitalize the communal spaces shared by the senior citizens, families and children Henry Street serves.
The volunteers from across FedEx operating companies and the New York metropolitan region teamed up to tackle a variety of projects. The gardening team prepared the Henry Street community park for fall by pruning, raking, cleaning, and planting bulbs for the spring.

One volunteer asked, “Does anyone know how to trim roses?” And someone came to the rescue. As they worked, team members admired the benches which were a product of last year’s efforts and noted the improvements that could still be seen one year later.

In the Henry Street Arts Center, volunteers were hard at work pulling up carpet, moving furniture and turning rooms into much-needed functional space for use throughout the year. One of the toughest jobs of the day, this team battled the elements to improve facilities that support arts programming for all ages.

Across the historical buildings that make up much of the Henry Street Settlement, volunteers painted, organized and created brighter, more functional space. Yoatani Figuereo and Eyon Tomlinson of FedEx Office worked together to paint a newly created kitchen and lounge area. Both are veteran Cares Week volunteers.

From the Bronx to Brooklyn, Newark to Long Island, the FedEx team was excited to come together and lend a hand. For long-time volunteers, such as Angela Young with FedEx Services, today was one of many community efforts and programs they support with their time and expertise. For others, such as Albert Avila with FedEx Express, it was their first year and their enthusiasm showed.

Freddy Felton of FedEx Express summed up the day best, “I’ve worked in this community for 22 years.  It’s important to give back.”

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