PRESS RELEASE: Fernandez Commends UPS for COVID-19 Response in Rural & Tribal Communities
For Immediate Release
February 2, 2021
YUMA, Ariz. – In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Representative Charlene Fernandez encouraged delivery giant UPS to do more to help struggling communities, particularly the Navajo Nation and Somerton – in her district – which were among the hardest-hit in the nation.
UPS stepped up, donating and delivering shipments of badly needed masks and personal protective equipment to both locations. Today, Fernandez recognized the company for quietly continuing those efforts throughout the year, impacting tens of thousands of families in effort to slow the spread. Remarkably, UPS expanded its effort to include hundreds of thousands of dollars in education grants and scholarships for college-age youth in tribal communities.
"What began as an emergency request to literally help save lives has transformed into an effort by one company to transform lives," Fernandez said. "I can't commend UPS enough for the way in which their frontline workers and leaders threw their arms around our communities and our state at time when we really needed it. Thank you!"
Bruce DD Mac Rae, Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs for Ups, added, "We have a saying at UPSL Determined people working together can accomplish anything. We are all family here in Arizona, on the Navajo Nation, across the USA and the world. I personally thank former House Democratic Leader Charlene Fernandez for opening our eyes to the needs of the Navajo Nation. We are in this as one family, and we at UPS are honored to help out. May we all walk in friendship--always."
UPS COVID-19 support on the Navajo Nation and other rural and tribal Communities included:
· One truckload of mixed items containing water, hand sanitizer, emergency meals, dry goods, canned goods, hand soap and paper towels sent in March to support 300 people of the White Mountain Apache tribe in Fort Apache.
· 12,000 disaster relief meals to Partnership with Native Americans. These meals were assembled and packed by volunteers and donated to PWNA for its disaster relief program to tribal communities. They are stored in PWNA's warehouse in Phoenix and delivered with other relief supplies when tribes request assistance.
· 30,000-plus bottles of UPS hand sanitizer provided in one UPS truckload were delivered to Chinle, Arizona.
· 60,000 masks delivered to the Chinle School District/Navajo Nation were delivered in July from Good360.
· 13,000 masks were transported by UPS to Yuma farm workers.
· Three truckloads of water including 4,000 five-Gallon emergency source water boxes delivered to Navajo Nations Donations center in Window Rock. Each truckload provides water for 5,000+ people – donated by Aquene Springs.
· Seven additional hand sanitizer shipments were sent to the Toolbank, Good 360 and Salvation Army in Phoenix. While not directly for Navajo Nation, if they receive donations from these NGOs, the products were most likely transported by UPS.
Education and Economic development funding provided by UPS included:
$275,000 grant to American Indian College Fund in May 2020. Used for the UPS Foundation Scholarship ($175,000) providing 40 academic scholarships to Native American students attending tribal colleges and universities and Native Pathways Program ($100,000), to encourage students to pursue higher education.
$75,000 grant to the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development in March 2020. Goes toward development of Native Edge, an online business-development and training system supporting commerce between tribal nations, government entities and corporations across the United States.
$10,000 sponsorship to the American Indian College Fund in March 2020. Provides sponsorship support of the American Indian College Fund, Epicurean Award to Support Scholars (EATSS), which replaced the Flame of Hope Gala.
$30,000 to the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development in March 2020. Provides sponsorship support of the Annual Reservation Economic Summit 2020 to be held in March.
$75,000 Brigham Young University for 20 scholarships for Native American students for the 2020-2021 academic year.