A Commitment that Makes a Difference
This is the first in a series of 10 guest blog posts from the Executive Directors of Safe Kids Worldwide affiliates that FedEx works with around the world in support of child pedestrian road safety initiatives. With tens of thousands of vehicles on the world’s roadways, FedEx is actively engaged in promoting road safety. This month we will hear from Monica Cui, Executive Director of Safe Kids China.
Every year, I look forward to Walk This Way Month, an annual campaign dedicated to providing road safety education to kids in schools. This is the time of the year when we (FedEx and Safe Kids) truly work as a team to fulfill our mission of keeping kids safe while walking.
This time of year is so special for me because we make such a difference in the lives of children and families. I still think about one second grade girl from Beijing named Joy Li, who we met last year during Walk this Way Month. Joy Li walked to school every morning across four major roads. She told us how she learned a lot of bad habits from adults. She didn’t cross the streets at the crosswalks and she ignored the light signal when she was in a hurry.
After our Walk This Way Month activities, Joy Li changed many of these habits. FedEx volunteers, who donate so much time and energy to the cause, showed her how to cross the road safely. Thanks to their inspiration and guidance, Joy Li started to follow the signals and paid attention to cars from different sides of the street. She even took these lessons to the adults and they started to walk safer as well.
That’s what this program is all about, and we’re doing more every year.
When we first launched Walk This Way month in 2009, we educated children in 7 cities and involved 98 FedEx team members. Now that reach has expanded to 13 cities with more than 600 FedEx team members participating.
This year was a particularly exciting because the Chinese Badminton Team (who are equivalent to NFL Players in terms of popularity in China) joined during an event in Shanghai, which means that the visibility of the program is at an even higher level.
We have only four Safe Kids staff members, so reaching 13 cities and having an increasingly successful program is not possible without the time donated by the FedEx team members. I feel lucky to have a company like FedEx at the core and as the first supporters of our organization.
I think FedEx team members, Li Tao, who is one of our FedEx heroes in Beijing, said it best. “After our in-school activity, students told me that they would like to join in such activity in the future, too. I think this is power of safety, and this is the impact of contributions.”
We couldn’t agree more.