Feeding in soup kitchen-Terry Brown UPS employee award winnerCall it a crash course in “The Shocking Facts of Life 101”, when United Parcel Service executives from around the country are air-dropped into Hell’s Kitchen of New York, or soup lines in Chicago, or the rural poverty of McAllen, TX or Chattanooga, TN.

These white-collar execs learn about poverty, hunger, and disease by living and working among inner city and rural poor, where they are required to use their problem solving skills to help make a difference.

For 30 years UPS has continued its one-of-a-kind senior management training course, the Community Internship Program (CIP), begun in 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, to help build bridges between people of all economic and social levels.

The training program is also designed to build better managers. For one month, while receiving their normal pay, CIP “interns” are taken out of their normal day-to-day routine, and are assigned to non-profit agencies. Typical activities: Serving meals to the homeless, working in AIDS homes, battered women shelters, juvenile criminal court and helping migrant farm workers build homes.

The CIP program creates an opportunity for executives to gain a greater sensitivity and empathy for people they deal with every day. Ron Childs, a recent participant from California, stayed in a Lower East Side New York housing project. He delivered hot sandwiches to homeless people living under an overpass near Yankee Stadium. “It’s an incredible experience,” he said. “A little shocking, too,” he aded, which is the point, according to UPS.

To date, UPS has spent $10 million on this unique management experience.

Photo: Terry Brown of Omaha, Neb., who donates more than 60 hours a month of volunteer service to local non-profits, won the company’s top honor worldwide for community service
Thanks to Mrs. Jane Streich, Walnut Creek, California for submitting an item about a CIP participant in her area!

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