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BlueGrace’s Backpacks Of Hope Goes National

Imagine it’s your first day of school, and you had a wonderful summer filled with family vacations and playing with friends, but you can hardly contain your excitement for the new school year. Your parents bought you new clothes for your first day, and you’re feeling your best. You walk into your classroom, hang your coat on the back of your chair, and eagerly await your new teacher’s instructions. Her first request-pull out your notebook and number 2 pencil because you’re going to work on your writing. You pull these supplies out of your new backpack your mom bought you and quickly begin your assignment with the rest of your classmates.

Now, imagine your first day going slightly differently.

You’ve dreaded this day for weeks because you knew your parents couldn’t afford the supplies on the list your teacher provided at the open house. You arrive to school with only the clothes on your back and last year’s shoes that are slightly too small because you had another growth spurt this summer. You walk into your classroom and choose a seat in the back. You can feel the dread climbing from your stomach up to your throat. You’ll have to borrow some supplies from another child in your class as you did last year and are sure you will have to next year. A classmate sits down next to you, and you can see their excitement as they pull their notebooks and pencil out of their brand-new backpack. You lean over and whisper your request to borrow some paper and an extra pencil. You’re embarrassed, but it’s better than telling the teacher you don’t have the materials you need.

As of 2017, the cost of back-to-school supplies was equal to the average mortgage.

The second scenario happens more often than most realize, and it happens in our own communities. Millions of children here in the U.S. live in homes that can’t provide the school supplies needed, and each year the cost of these supplies increases. As of 2017, the cost of back-to-school supplies was equal to the average mortgage. With these costs continuing to rise, more children are sent to school without the materials needed to be successful each year.

Backpacks Of Hope Goes National

BlueGrace Logistics partners with local organizations each year to help the children of their communities with their “Backpacks of Hope” drive. The drive divides each office into teams who then compete to collect the most supplies. The winning team wins bragging rights or a fun prize of no monetary value, but the competition as well as desire to help those in need truly push the drive to success each year. BlueGrace’s headquarters in Tampa, FL has partnered with Metropolitan Ministries for many years, and as the company has grown and added regional offices throughout the country, these offices have found local organizations and schools to partner with as well. “This takes our ‘Giving Grace’ program to a national level and increases the impact exponentially,” Courtney Smith, Manager, Culture & Engagement explains.

BlueGrace Chicago

BlueGrace Chicago partnered with Chicago’s Children Advocacy Center for the second year in a row. The office’s two teams were able to collect donations through traditional fundraising. Robert Rogalski, a sales associate in the Chicago office, reached out to friends and family through social media and was able to raise almost 50% of his team’s funds. At the end of the 5 week drive, the office was able to collect 980 supplies for the CAC.

BlueGrace Richmond

BlueGrace Richmond partnered with their local Goodwill® to collect supplies this year. Sticking with BlueGrace Chicago’s tactic, employees collected supplies and donations individually and brought them into the office. Together they were able to collect 312 supplies for the children in their community.

With the consequences of losing looming over them, both teams put in a huge effort to raise money and supplies, and it paid off.

BlueGrace Los Angeles

BlueGrace Los Angeles truly tapped into everyone’s competitive nature and upped the stakes for their drive. Two teams competed, and the losing team agreed to line up for a nerf gun firing squad. With the consequences of losing looming over them, both teams put in a huge effort to raise money and supplies, and it paid off. The office was able to collect 2,028 supplies to donate to La Mesa Junior High School in Santa Clarita, California. “It is incredible the impact that these donations make,” Chris Kupillas, Regional Vice President for the Los Angeles office stated.

These fundraisers along with individual donations, made it possible for the office to donate 12,061 supplies, crushing their goal of 10,000 supplies and surpassing the donation count from 2017 of 7,757 supplies.

BlueGrace Tampa

BlueGrace Tampa, the company’s headquarters and largest office, relied on contests and raffles to raise money for supplies to donate to Metropolitan Ministries. This included some usual employee favorites like a 50/50 raffle and a dunk tank contest, but Michael Brown, Senior Manager Carrier Sales, shocked everyone when he donated a week of his vacation time to be raffled off. This was a first for BlueGrace’s drives, and it went better than anyone could have expected. With the raffle open to the entire company, donations came rolling in from all over the country for the chance to win the vacation time. It quickly became the largest individual, in-office fundraiser BlueGrace has seen in many years. “Thanks to the giving spirit and core value driven mentality of our employees, these drives continue to become more successful.” said Ken Galyon, Senior Specialist Risk Management and Backpacks of Hope captain in Tampa. These fundraisers along with individual donations, made it possible for the office to donate 12,061 supplies, crushing their goal of 10,000 supplies and surpassing the donation count from 2017 of 7,757 supplies.

Not only was BlueGrace Tampa able to surpass their goal, but the entire organization exceeded their goal of 15,000 supplies with 15,381.

Not only was BlueGrace Tampa able to surpass their goal, but the entire organization exceeded their goal of 15,000 supplies with 15,381. “While it’s amazing to see what one office can do, it’s even more astounding to see what an entire company can do across the country,” Halley Shapero, Senior Enterprise Development Representative and Backpacks of Hope Captain reflects. After all of the contests, raffles, and collaborative efforts, BlueGrace was able to provide over 1,150 children with filled backpacks and supplies, and that’s what it’s all about.

Passion AND Logistics: BlueGrace Collects Over 60,000 Pounds of Food for Homeless Animals

Each year, BlueGrace female (Team Cats) and male (Team Dogs) employees compete against each other to see who can collect the most amount of pet food in total pounds. The food is then donated to a no-kill shelter to feed homeless animals in the community and used for pet owner assistance programs that benefit homebound and elderly residents on a fixed income. This year, the employees of BlueGrace collected over 60,000 pounds of food between Tampa & Chicago – reaching a new record for the contest on a location-wide scale.

BlueGrace’s “Cats Vs. Dogs” Pet Food Drive Sets Company’s Location-Wide Record in 2018

Click Below To Watch The Official BlueGrace “Cats Vs Dogs 2018” Video!

Humane Society of Tampa Bay

Employees at BlueGrace Headquarters in Tampa were able to collect over 31,000 pounds of pet food to donate to Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Lon Savini, Shelter Operations Manager, gives us a breakdown of how impactful the donation is to supporting all of the services the shelter provides to the community:


Animeals Delivery Program:

  • Current monthly average spend on cat & dog food: $4,000
  • Delivered to over 170 recipients one Saturday each month

Donation Impact:

  • Will not need to buy large bags of dog food for at least 2 months
  • Will not need to buy large bags of cat food for a at least 1 month
  • Cost Savings: roughly $6,000

Food Assistance Program:

  • Current monthly average spend on cat & dog food: $2,100
  • Food is broken down into smaller bags and handed out to the public in need of assistance to feed their pets

Donation Impact:

  • Will not need to buy food for the remainder of the year
  • Cost Savings: roughly $16,800

Shelter Operations:

  • Current monthly average spend on cat & dog food: $2,350
  • Used to feed animals living at the shelter throughout the year

Donation Impact:

  • Will not need to buy large bags of dog food for at least 4 months
  • Will not need to buy large bags of cat food for a at least 1 month
  • Cost Savings: roughly $6,500

Since inception of the ‘Cats vs Dogs’ pet food drive in 2010, BlueGrace has now donated over 206,000 pounds of pet food to Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

Since inception of the ‘Cats vs Dogs’ pet food drive in 2010, BlueGrace has now donated over 206,000 pounds of pet food to Humane Society of Tampa Bay. The drive culminates each year with an adoption event at BlueGrace headquarters in Tampa, where 8-10 dogs and cats are brought in by the shelter and employees have the opportunity to take a new family member home. Almost all of the animals were adopted and welcomed home to their new BlueGrace families this year!

Team Cats Reclaim Their Title as Reigning Champions!

The competition is fierce each year – from catchy team names (“Check Meowt” & “Woof Pack”) to secret meetings in the restrooms, it’s a good old fashioned battle of the sexes for the entire duration of the drive. BlueGrace employees are not shy about their love for competition, some would argue that drive’s success has a large part to do with the fun of competing against each other. Team Cats had been the reigning champions EVERY year… until just last year. Team Dogs finally defeated the ladies in 2017 and claimed their crown – and they didn’t think twice about rubbing it in.

But not for long. Team Cats took the W this year and regained their title as THE champions…. and to Team Dogs they say – “Who’s cryin’ meow?”

While the competition aspect of the drive is fun for employees, the ultimate goal is to provide as much food as possible for homeless animals in the community. It’s an effort we are completely dedicated to and every year try to find ways to improve the drive.

“It’s amazing to see my coworkers come together in such a big way. It’s a lot of hard work for everyone involved, we donate our own money, use our own contacts, and organize our own fundraisers.” explains Courtney Smith –  Manager, Culture & Engagement for BlueGrace. “it’s truly a genuine representation of who we are as a company and a culture.

Be Caring of ALL Others Includes Animals

With the amount of growth BlueGrace has experienced over the last few years, the contest extended to other regional locations. This resulted in a major win by our Chicago team for animals at the Animal Rescue Foundation of Illinois this year, where BlueGrace employees collected over 32,000 pounds of food. One employee even secured the largest part of the donation, 30,000 lbs., by himself.

“What one office collected as an entity, one employee collected by himself – this is just beyond epic. We just think it’s really awesome that Scott [Collack] reached out and made this opportunity happen – these animals are truly cared about, we’ve got some really great people with some really big hearts in this company” Bobby Harris – CEO of BlueGrace, on Chicago employee Scott Collack securing the 30k donation.

Putting the Passion in Logistics

Core Value #1 is Be Caring of ALL Others at BlueGrace and is probably our most called upon value. It’s essential to our hiring process, the success of our business and the energy of our culture that our employees have some sort of empathetic trait. We work best with those who have compassion for others and truly show it.

“I started in 2011 and I’ve been able to see how much heart and teamwork goes into this every year. We truly live and breathe our core values here, and I think it’s because they were strategically created to align with the environment our team thrives in” says Whitney McKay – Manager of Marketing & Brand for BlueGrace. “There’s a special place in our hearts for animals, so we choose to do something about it by making it part of our culture. At the end of the day, we believe in their mission to end animal homelessness and really try to educate our team to help spread awareness.”

It’s YAPPY Hour, Not Happy Hour

One of the biggest contributing factors to the success of the drive in Tampa was the involvement of the community.

There are two things we can always count on for a big turnout when planning a fundraising event; One: people love animals. Two: people love happy hour.

This year our goal was to get as many people and organizations as possible involved in the Tampa community, and we knew exactly how to bring everyone together. There are two things we can always count on for a big turnout when planning a fundraising event; One: people love animals. Two: people love happy hour.

Hosted by Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, BlueGrace, Humane Society of Tampa Bay and Tampa Tails, the 2018 “Yappy Hour” fundraising event was wildly successful – raising over $4,000. Silent auction prizes were donated by top local companies like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Florida Aquarium, Tampa Bay Rays and many more. Several businesses and organizations donated resources such as pet food, money, transportation services, raffle prizes and much more to make the final drive donation totals possible:

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Stepp’s Towing, Amity Benefits, XPO, Ward Trucking, Dayton Freight, Sunlife, Atlantic Screening, Spaddy’s Coffee, Chewy, Central Pet Distribution, Warburg Pincus, Cigna Health, World of Beer, MOSIClearwater Aquarium, Florida Aquarium, Outback Steakhouse, PDQ, Miller’s Ale House, Crossfit BNI, Orange Theory Fitness, Metropolitan Ministries, Chipotle, Columbia Restaurant, Southern Muscle, Crunch Fitness, Fitness for $10, Top GolfCamp Gladiator, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, AMC Theaters, Kraftologee, Mission BBQ, New Belgium, Canine Cabana, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Tampa Tails.

About BlueGrace

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the largest third-party logistics (3PL) providers in the United States.  With over 500 employees and working with over 10,000 customers to provide successful shipping solutions, the company has achieved explosive growth in its nearly 10-year operating history. Backed by a $255 million investment by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, the company operates 11 locations nationwide, and its headquarters are in the sunny Tampa Bay area of Florida.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning Announce Partnership with BlueGrace Logistics

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Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RIVERVIEW, FL – November 30, 2015 – The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced a new partnership with BlueGrace Logistics, a national freight shipping company based in Tampa. The three-year agreement names BlueGrace as “The Preferred Shipping Partner of the Tampa Bay Lightning”.
 
“Since Jeff Vinik purchased the franchise in 2010, we have looked to align ourselves with world-class brands that share our vision and values on and off the ice, and BlueGrace fully embodies that,” said Lightning CEO Steve Griggs. “BlueGrace’s community involvement and commitment to Tampa Bay is aligned with our mission and we look forward to our partnership with them.”
 
The Lightning will team up with BlueGrace for one community outreach event per year over at least the next three seasons. BlueGrace will also be one of the Lightning’s sponsors for their annual Bolt Run. The partnership also includes arena-wide signage and in-game features at Lightning home games.
 
“It’s a natural fit for us to partner with a world-class organization like the Tampa Bay Lightning,” said Bobby Harris, CEO and founder of BlueGrace Logistics. “This partnership enables us to team up with the Lightning on charitable initiatives, increase our local visibility and expand our national brand. We look forward to a long-term relationship and years of success with the Tampa Bay Lightning.”

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About BlueGrace Logistics:
 
Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is the fastest growing leader of transportation management services in North America. As a full service third party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their freight spend through industry leading technology, high level freight carrier relationships and overall understanding of the complex $750 Billion U.S. freight industry. BlueGrace is headquartered in Riverview, Florida with over 60 corporate and franchise locations across the U.S.
 
About Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, LLC:
 
Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, LLC is an entity controlled by Jeff Vinik and its holdings include the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning, the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm and the leasehold rights to the newly named Amalie Arena, the 19,092-seat downtown Tampa home in which the teams play their games. Vinik purchased the Lightning and the leasehold rights to the arena in March 2010 and has since led a complete brand and business transformation, establishing the company as one of the leading sports and entertainment entities in the United States.

5th Annual Cats vs. Dogs Contest

BlueGrace Logistics holds Fifth Annual Cats vs. Dogs Pet Food Drive Benefiting the Humane Society of Tampa Bay


2015_COMMUNITY_CATSVSDOGS 2RIVERVIEW, Fla. – September 10, 2015: Each year BlueGrace holds their official “Cats vs. Dogs” contest amongst its employees. The contest is a pet food drive in which the women compete against the men to collect the most pet food in pounds. The food is then donated to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to care for the animals in the no-kill shelter.

In 2014, BlueGrace donated more than 44,000 pounds of pet food which was enough to feed the animals for almost an entire year. Since the contest’s inception in 2010, BlueGrace has donated over 80,000 pounds of pet food to Humane Society Tampa Bay. Each year, BlueGrace plans to surpass last year’s amount. Employees come together to donate pet food, as well as leverage contacts to purchase large amounts of food. The contest will run through the middle of October.

BlueGrace Logistics takes pride in giving back to the community through our “Giving Grace” Program created by our President and CEO, Bobby Harris. Our Giving Grace charity of choice is the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and we support the organization in many ways throughout the year. Most recently, BlueGrace employees volunteered for Humane Society Tampa Bay during Creative Loafing’s BeerFest event at MOSI. A percentage of the event’s proceeds went to support the animal shelter.

Want to contribute to the 2015 Cats vs. Dogs Competition and Pet Food Drive? 

The public is invited to participate in the Cats vs. Dogs contest. For information or to donate large amounts (such as a pallet of pet food) contact BlueGrace Logistics at community@mybluegrace.comPlease be sure to specify if you’d like to contribute to the “TeamCats” (girls) or “TeamDogs,” (guys) if applicable. 

National Dog Day 2015

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Happy National Dog Day

An Announcement Regarding BG Cats v. Dogs

Every year BlueGrace Logistics holds a Cats. vs. Dogs pet food donation rally. It is girls vs. guys and all in good fun. The real winners at the end is the animals. Last year as a company we donated over 44k pounds of pet food to the humane society of Tampa Bay. You can read about it here:

Humane Society of Tampa Bay

The twitter has tag to the follow the smack talk is #catsvsdogs15

The contest runs from 8-17 through 9-28.

If you or anyone you know would like to contribute please feel free to reach out to us at 800-697-4477

“Backpacks of Hope” 2014 With BlueGrace A Success!

BlueGrace is extremely proud that the 2014 “Backpacks of Hope” drive was once again a true success! Through the month of July, we collected over 550 school supplies and backpacks which were donated to the Metropolitan Ministries. The annual drive provides kids with all new school supplies just in time for them to go back to school! On the last day of the drive, BlueGrace employees were encouraged to break out their nerd gear to celebrate the final day of the charitable drive! “Backpacks of Hope” is one of three annual drives hosted by BlueGrace. Our employees have a strong sense of pride for the company and are always looking for ways to give back to the community via the Giving Grace Program, implemented by President and CEO, Bobby Harris.

One surprise that greatly contributed to this year’s drive was the donation of 17 completely filled backpacks to BlueGrace by Images Hair Salon (www.imageshairsalon.net, located at 3967 Henderson Blvd., Tampa, FL 33629). The effort was led by Jamie Goldfarb, Images Hair Salon Stylist.

BlueGrace is looking forward to the 2015 “Backpacks of Hope” drive, and hopes to surpass the number of items collected and to continue to bring joy to the lives of many more kids!

BlueGrace Logistics Donates 44 Thousand Pounds of Pet Food to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay

Final group picOur annual “Cats vs. Dogs” Competition Pet Food Drive came to a close on Friday, February 28. This year, BlueGrace raised 44 thousand pounds of pet food – more than twice the amount we collected in 2013! This was undoubtedly one of the largest pet food drives in the country!

The donated pet food will not only go to feed the animals that call the Humane Society of Tampa Bay home, but will also go toward their food assistance programs “Casper’s Cupboard” and “Animeals.”

A number of businesses and organizations donated necessary resources such as pet food, money, transportation services and much more to make this incredible donation possible. We’d like to thank AAA Cooper, FedEx Freight, Rodney Naughton and Joe Peckham of Phillips Pet Food & Supplies, Plant City Fla., Family Feed, Plant City Fla., Kay Brown of Hi-Tek Rations Inc, Dublin, Ga., Feeding America Tampa Bay, Taiga, Riverview, Fla., Reed TMS Logistics, Del Monte, Health Mut, Tamlin Homes, BluePearl Veterinary Partners and Knights Station Feed Depot.

We’re already strategizing how we are going to beat this record next year!

 

BlueGrace Logistics Set to Collect 35,000 Pounds of Pet Food to be Donated to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay

BlueGrace Logistics will hold its 4th Annual Cats vs. Dogs Competition on Friday, February 28th. The Cat’s (Ladies) and Dog’s (Men) employees of BlueGrace, will compete against each other to see who can donate the most food to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay by Friday at 12pm. The efforts of BlueGrace Logistics are expected to raise approximately 35,000 pounds of pet food; surpassing the 20-thousand pounds raised in 2013 which cared for their animals for nearly 6 months. The Cats vs. Dogs competition is said to be one of the largest pet food drives in the United States.

Through this pet food drive, BlueGrace will literally be saving pets from going to shelters or starving because their owners can’t afford to feed them. The pet food donated will not only go to feed the animals that call the Humane Society of Tampa Bay home, but will also go toward their food assistance programs Casper’s Cupboard and Animeals.

Casper’s Cupboard help hundreds of families keep their pets when they’re going through financial hardship by allowing citizens to come to the shelter Tuesday-Sunday to pick up pet food for their animals at no cost.

The Animeals program partners with Meals on Wheels of Tampa to deliver free pet food once a month to homebound and elderly residents on a fixed income in Hillsborough County. In 2013, 310,530 pounds of free pet food were delivered to homebound residents to help feed their pets and allow them to keep their furry friends.

This video gives a glimpse into the Animeals program.

FOX 13 News

With your help, BlueGrace could reach or even exceed our goals to help feed the animals of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Donations toward the competition will be accepted until 9 a.m. on Friday the 28th! For more information call 800.MY.SHIPPING.

Media is invited to cover the donation at 2846 S. Falkenburg Rd., Riverview, FL 33578 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Representatives from BlueGrace Logistics and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay will be available for interviews.

BlueGrace Logistics & Metropolitan Ministries gear up for back-to-school season through Backpacks of Hope!

Can you hear those school bells ringing? As BlueGrace employees begin to prepare their own children for back-to-school, we’re also thinking about all the children in the Tampa Bay community and the folks at Metropolitan Ministries. Metropolitan Ministries is partnering with local school districts and organizations, including YMCA of Brandon to gather and distribute important school supplies to less fortunate children throughout Hillsborough County. Each year, Backpacks of Hope makes a difference in the lives of those in the Tampa Bay community, getting children excited about the new school year and into the learning spirit!

BlueGrace Logistic & Metropolitan Ministries gears up for back-to-school season through Backpacks of Hope!
Employees at BlueGrace Logistics pitch in to support Metropolitan Ministries and Backpacks of Hope for children this Back-to-School season.

Content to Collect:

  • New Backpack (teens and children)
  • 3 Ring Binder (1-1.5”)
  • Copy Paper
  • Thumb Drive
  • Calculator
  • College Rule Paper
  • Eraser (block)
  • 12” Ruler
  • Composition Notebook
  • 10 Pack of Pencils
  • Highlighter
  • Pencil Case
  • Colored Pencils
  • 3 Subject Spiral Notebook
  • Children’s Scissors

We’ve got a fun bunch here at BlueGrace Logistics, so we’re taking it a step further and on Friday, Aug. 3 The team is dressing up as nerds (Look out for pictures on the BlueGrace Facebook Page!) That’s right, get out the suspenders, plastic frame glasses with tape, and rolled up pants – BlueGrace Logistics is going to back-to-school in style!

It’s always important to have team building events to get departments mingling and add something new to your day-to-day business operations. Is your company helping out a local charity this back-to-school season? Share your story with us here, on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you are! BlueGrace Logistics strongly believes community involvement benefits our employees and overall morale, check out this article to see what we mean.

If you’d like to contribute or learn more about Metropolitan Ministries, please visit their website at: http://www.metromin.org/. To learn more about BlueGrace Logistics, visit www.mybluegrace.com, email us, or call 800.MY.SHIPPING. We’d love to hear from YOU!

BlueGrace Logistics Sponsors Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s 2012 “Tuxes & Tails” Event

The BlueGrace team poses for a group photo by Super Booch Party Portraits.
BlueGrace Logistics enjoyed a night out for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay's "Tuxes & Tails" event!

Celebrating 100 years of saving lives, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) hosted its 10th Annual Tuxes & Tails event at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, FL on Saturday, May 5, 2012. As a proud sponsor of this event, the BlueGrace Logistics team went out to support the cause and experience this heart-warming, black-tie affair. Attendees celebrated the night with live music, cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions and a fashion show. The community’s heart was touched by the incredible stories shared about animals in search of a loving family and successful adoptions such as the friendship of Rocky and soon-to-be 3 year old Mirielle. The event was a huge success! HSTB announced that more than $265,000 was raised, saving the lives of approximately 1,000 animals. Check out the pictures of the Tuxes & Tail on the BlueGrace Facebook page and HSTB.

Congratulations to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, staff and volunteers! Your hearts and efforts are greatly appreciated by companies like BlueGrace Logistics and others in the Tampa Bay community.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is BlueGrace Logistics’ charity of choice. The HSTB staff visit the corporate office periodically to conduct orientations and provide information about how employees can get involved. Our 2nd Annual Cats vs. Dogs (females vs males) pet food drive raised over 6,700 lbs of food for the organization. BlueGrace Logistics’ CEO and President, Bobby Harris, commented on the contest contributions by saying, “I get asked often as to what defines success, and many times people are seeking a dollar number. I can promise you it’s not dollars that make us successful but rather the things we do for others… The motto ‘People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care’ is at work here alongside each of us.”

If you would like to learn more about how you can lend a hand to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, please visit their website or contact one of their team members to get involved in events, giving, and volunteer opportunities. HSTB also offers an affordable spay/neuter and wellness clinic to keep your furry friends happy and healthy.

Meow, Woof!

-Samantha Hill, Community Manager
Twitter: @SamHill_BG

‘Tis the Season for Giving!

This week at BlueGrace, we’re jumping into the holiday spirit! Our Culture and Community Team is collecting donations from all of the staff in an effort to raise funds for purchasing gifts for the families at Metropolitan Ministries. Employees receive a raffle ticket in exchange for every $5 donation which offers them the chance to win a variety of spectacular prizes including:

▪1 Full day of PTO
▪1 Half day of PTO
▪Movie night gift set
▪Cheesecake Factory gift card
▪Liquor gift set
▪Dessert Indulgence gift set

If you plan to visit us this week, please bring a toy or stocking stuffer for Metropolitan Ministries. Check out the items on their “Bags of Joy” wish list.

Friday is looking “festivous” as the team competes in an ugly sweater contest, gathers around the table for a feast, and enjoys eggnog and apple cider!

What is your family or company doing for the holidays? We would love to hear!

Safe travels and Happy Holidays from your friends at BlueGrace!

BlueGrace Participates in “Boxes of Hope” for Metropolitan Ministries

BlueGrace Logistics is participating in the Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Drive this year. We are collecting “Boxes of Hope” for families in need during the holidays. Employees and guests can drop off items in the blue bin located at the front of the office. We challenge our group to collect for 20, 50, or 100 boxes and bags for the families we will serve this year.

We won’t be able to serve all 25,000 families in need… but each of our families can feed one family.

Inside a Box of Hope: Due Friday November 18

  • Turkey or gift certificatesBoxes of Hope, Metropolitan Ministries, Charity, Holiday Drive
  • 1 box of cereal (hot or cold)
  • 1 can of fruit
  • 1 loaf of fresh bread
  • 4 cans of vegetables
  • 2 cans of yams
  • 1 bag or box of dry beans
  • 1 bag of rice
  • 1 bag or box of stuffing mix
  • 1 can or box of potatoes
  • 3 cans of black beans
  • 2 cans of cranberry sauce
  • 1 can or packet of gravy
  • 1 box of dessert mix
  • 1 package of cookies or pastries
  • 1 family box of Jell-O or pudding

Most needed items: Boxed Cereals, Yams, Beans, Canned Fruit

Is your company doing something to get into the giving spirit for the holidays this year? Share it with us! Together we can make this a bigger and better holiday season filled with love, laughter, and giving.

Happy Holidays and stayed tuned for more info about our “Bags of Joy” drive for children in December!

Follow us @MyBlueGrace

BlueGrace Goes “Pink”

Pink Daisy Project | Breast Cancer Awareness Month | BlueGrace goes PinkAs most recognize, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. In our effort to support this cause, BlueGrace decided to join forces with The Pink Daisy Project. The Pink Daisy Project isn’t dedicated to raising funds for research or awareness like other organizations (although important). Its focus is to help young women cope with the hardships of breast cancer treatment by providing comfort and care. The Project offers these women unique services that are often forgotten in their times of need. Things like housecleaning, groceries and assistance with prescription costs are some examples of the kind of relief that the organization brings. For more info about The Pink Daisy Project please visit PinkDaisyProject.com.

Friday, October 21st has been declared our Breast Cancer Awareness Day. On this day, employees are encouraged to wear pink apparel, bring in a minimum of a $5 donation and bring in a “Pink” dessert for our “Pinkluck Bake-off”. The donations collected will be matched by the company and donated to the Project. Throughout this week, different facts regarding the disease will be tweeted and spread throughout the office to raise awareness. In addition to the bake-off, funds and facts, we are also collecting Dannon and Yoplait yogurt lids (to “Save Lids to Save Lives” and “Cups of Hope”). For more info on what Dannon and Yoplait are doing to support this cause, check out their web-sites at Cups of Hope and Save Lids to Save Lives.

– Jennifer Masters, Recruiting Coordinator
Follow me @BG_JennyD

News: Innovation and Prosperity

If you didn’t hear yesterday, the first photo was released of the woman mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009 that had a full face transplant. It is an inspiring story and it is amazing to see what we are capable as a country. Our medical field has excelled to the point that it can completely reconstruct and transplant an entire face, as well as completing hand transplants.

The US has continued to work hard to be a leader in the world and to be at the leading edge for innovation and development. The issue we hit now is, can we afford this lifestyle as a country? We are cutting back on budgets and the likelihood is that we will also be cutting back on government funding towards many projects that produce results like these.

No matter if taxes are raised or there is tax reform, it is time for Americans to put it on our backs to see that our country never stops being an innovator. If you are young enough, pursue a career in a field of medicine, research, science or technology. If you aren’t, foster a culture of innovation and prosperity in your company that those around you in the industry can see. If all that is too difficult, simply donate time or money to a charity that funds research. My favorite is The V Foundation for Cancer Research that gives 100% of donations to cancer research. Have any ideas of your own? Everything can help to make sure our country is always at the leading-edge.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow us @ben37dBG

Today’s Transportation and Logistics News:
Obama: Tell Congress to ‘get past differences and send me’ highway bill
Gas prices expected to fall
“Passengers” documentary features diverse voices on transportation
U.S. exports decline as consequence of economic uncertainty
Spot Market Truckload Index Rise 22 Percent
USPS Wants to Cut 120,000 Jobs

Donating Time to Help Animals, It Really is that Simple!

BlueGrace Logistics has taken The Humane Society of Tampa Bay on as their “pet project”, and this has given the employees at BlueGrace a wonderful opportunity to volunteer at the shelter.  I had never participated in any type of volunteer work before, but I have been a dog groomer and a vet tech as well as owned my own pet sitting business, so I was very excited to start my volunteer experience with them.

My first week there, I groomed a puppy and two shih tzus for them.   Everyone there was very encouraging and told me how great they looked, but the reward came the next weekend when I found out that they had all found homes.  It was all the incentive I needed.

My second week, I decided that I wanted to play with the kitties instead of doing the grooming.  I got there bright and early, while the staff was still cleaning.  I was able to get to know some of the cats and kittens before the public was invited into the shelter.  Each of them had their own story, and I tried to spend time with the older cats that were a little bit shy to encourage them to be more social.

The public was let in and a flood of people descended upon the cages!  I started talking to people and was able to match up so many cats with wonderful homes!  I had only intended on staying for 4 hours, but I ended up staying ALL day!  I couldn’t leave…I am hooked!

I left there and felt SO good about my day.  It was a very gratifying experience, and I couldn’t stop smiling!  Anyone who has ever considered volunteer work, but is apprehensive or says they don’t have the time, should come out and try it for a few hours.  Who can resist a cute puppy or kitten???

– Denise Overturf, Customer Loyalty Team Member
Follow me @Denise711_BG

community involvement | charity support

Rain was one of the cats that pulled on my heartstrings.  His owner passed away, and he was taken to the shelter.  I spent some time alone with him, and he is such a sweet boy who needs a loving home. For adoption information, please contact The Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

BlueGrace Makes Holiday Donation to Metropolitan Ministries

With the Christmas holiday approaching, BlueGrace Logistics donated toys for children of all ages to Metropolitan Ministries. Metropolitan Ministries’ mission is to care for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in our community through services that alleviate suffering, promote dignity and instill self-sufficiency.  We would like to thank all of you who donated money or a toy this holiday season!   Happy Holidays from BlueGrace Logistics! 

toy drive | metropolitan ministries

BlueGrace Makes Charitable Donation to Metropolitan Ministries

BlueGrace Logistics is pleased to announce that together the employees have donated a thousand plus cans of fruit to feed families that are less fortunate in the community.  In addition to donating a thousand cans of fruit, BlueGrace raised $325 to give to Boxes of Hope to provide holiday meals for families. Metropolitan Ministries’ mission is to care for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in our community through services that alleviate suffering, promote dignity and instill self-sufficiency.  BlueGrace wishes to thank all of you who donated during this holiday season! 

charity | metropolitan ministries | food drive

Extreme Logistics for Humanity, The Greatest Organization Ever?

As the President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics I am naturally biased when asked who’s the best logistics provider in the market. BlueGrace prides itself on having extraordinary capabilities, intellect and drive to outperform our peers. However, when posed with that question one must consider the word “logistics” and in that frame of reference, there is clearly an all-time greatest. The WFP (World Food Programme), an agency for the United Nations runs the most vital logistics organization in the world and is the world’s largest humanitarian agency delivering over 5 million metric tons of food to 95 million people. 

The WFP coordinates the movement of 60 aircraft, 40 ships and 5,000 trucks on any given day and considering the precious cargo they cannot let obstacles stand in the way. The challenges they face aren’t issues like high fuel prices and interstate detours in delivering the goods but rather trying to deliver to places with no roads, remote areas, war torn and ravaged countries. They may use a helicopter to drop cargo or even a team of elephants or donkeys to get food to starving people. Over a billion people are living with hunger and many of these are children. Last year alone over 6.5 million children under the age of 5 died from malnutrition and hunger-related diseases. These statistics make the cases of using “extreme-logistics” a daily occurrence at the WFP.

For so many, logistics is right next to water, air, clothing and shelter as to what it takes to live. Consider the fact there is actually enough food to feed every man, woman and child on the planet and the natural question becomes, “Why are so many suffering from starvation?”. At the core of this is logistics, which enables the WFP to send extra capacity to areas that have less than adequate resources to feed the malnourished masses.  The challenges of doing this in a coordinated way across the globe so that the food can be moved cost effectively, safely, intact and in the precise amount needed is a greater problem than I can comprehend. There is no doubt that hunger is the greatest challenge in the world, the daunting task of tackling this is something the WFP takes on everyday. To run such a diverse and critical logistics operation so effectively makes them more than the best logistics provider in the world; it makes them the most important organization in the world.

So when asked who’s the best in any area one must consider, not only about what you do, but why you do it and for whom? Those questions are why I feel so strongly about the WFP’s mission. Most anyone reading this blog is among the blessed that have sufficient food for them and their family. It’s my hope we never forget the horror or the tremendous pain of another human in hunger. While we keep that thought remember the positive in that WFP provided relief for 95 million people last year. If you would like to learn more about the WFP or even better yet donate to the WFP, you can go to www.wfp.org

Bobby Harris, President and CEO
Follow me @BobbyBG_CEO

2nd Annual ARM’s Away Golf Outing

As many of you are aware, last year we started an annual golf outing to honor my wife’s mother, Arlene Ruccio Meyer, who lost her life to breast cancer.  It’s tough to put into words how grateful we are for the amazing support we received and generosity we were shown by all who contributed.

I never actually had the opportunity to meet or know Arlene; however, I can only imagine the type of woman she was based on my blessed relationships with her husband, her son, and the love of my life, her daughter Sherri.  Every day I am so fortunate to share my life with the woman that Arlene helped create.  And for those that participated last year, I am confident that the day’s beautiful weather was a direct reflection of the happiness Arlene was feeling looking down on the start of something special.

At the time of Arlene’s passing in 1983, our technology was limited and the public’s awareness was nowhere near what it is today.  Although research has allowed us to make tremendous strides since then, we’re still far from a cure for breast cancer.  In fact, I’m sure each and every one of you knows someone who has been affected by this devastating disease.

This year, we were fortunate enough to go up to The Cancer Institute of New Jersey on Friday to present them with a check for $11,012.66.  Please see the above picture with Dr. Deborah Toppmeyer.  I can’t tell you how much praise we received for the large amount of money we raised for breast cancer research. 

– Jason Eckhardt, BlueGrace New Jersey

BlueGrace Logistics assists relief effort in Haiti

haiti relief | support for haiti

In partnership with Help Brings Hope for Haiti, Inc., BlueGrace is using its expertise in freight transport to organize a charitable truckload that will send clothing, food and medical equipment to the survivors of the devastating January 2010 earthquake.

“This type of action supports our mission statement to create an enduring and people-centered culture,” said Account Manager David Inzerillo. “It makes us an intricate part of the community.”

Help Brings Hope for Haiti