Community Impact Education Pathway Faces of Success: Andrea Orr & Raul Hernandez
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Title Education Pathway

Faces of Success: Andrea Orr & Raul Hernandez

It is not uncommon for Nashville companies to compete against each other in all phases of business. The Stuff the Bus Days of Action Corporate Challenge takes this competition to an entirely different level for United Way corporate partners like Cummins and Bass, Berry & Sims.

“We thought the Corporate Challenge was something that our employees could get excited about,” said Bass, Berry & Sims employee Andrea Orr. “Many of the individuals in our organization have kids and can relate to the rising cost of school supplies.”

The Stuff the Bus Corporate Challenge is one of five unique opportunities (Collection Drives, Corporate Challenge, Field Day, Sort-A-Thon and Backpack Delivery) offered to United Way of Metropolitan Nashville corporate partners through Stuff the Bus Days of Action. Each participating company selects a specific supply for their employees to collect. This creates the opportunity for friendly rivalry among co-workers and among companies. It is also a critical component of the Stuff the Bus program with a 2016 goal of providing backpacks and school supplies to 8,500 Metropolitan Nashville Public School (MNPS) students.                                                                                                        

About 75 percent of MNPS students are economically disadvantaged. Many of their parents can’t afford to purchase school supplies for them. The donated backpacks and supplies from Stuff the Bus promote an environment where learning can begin on the first day of school.   

“It makes our people feel great when they know they have helped children in our community through Stuff the Bus,” said Orr. “Last year, we created an internal competition between groups on each floor of the building. We ended up collecting 18,000 glue sticks; it was unbelievable.”

Bass, Berry & Sims beat out 12 other participating companies and won the Most Supplies Collected Award for the second straight year. United Way corporate partner Cummins also was the recipient of a Corporate Challenge honor last year. Employee Raul Hernandez is proud that his organization sets an example for others in Nashville to follow.  

“Cummins is committed to supporting the community where we live because it is part of our organization’s culture,” said Hernandez.

In 2015, he and his colleagues created 33 different internal teams at three separate Cummins facilities in Nashville. Their mission was to collect as many crayons and markers as possible. They accomplished that task and more by creating an unbelievable display with their collected school supplies.

“I was fortunate to have someone who is extremely creative as part of my team,” said Hernandez. “After we consolidated our supplies at one location, we began building our display.”

The “Minions” display was the envy of all other Corporate Challenge participants. It earned Cummins the Most Creative Display of Supplies Award.

“Employees at all three of our locations are very supportive of Stuff the Bus and also very competitive. That makes a huge difference; everybody wants to donate as many supplies as possible and help meet the educational needs of children in our community.”

Over the past eight years, the tremendous outpouring of support and generosity from a caring community through Stuff the Bus has provided backpacks and school supplies for more than 28,600 vulnerable Nashville students and 396 teachers at benefiting schools.

When organizations partner with United Way through Stuff the Bus Days of Action, they help improve community conditions at scale. These powerful partnerships address the educational needs of future employees and leaders in our community through Stuff the Bus Days of Action. United Way is grateful to all of our effective, committed corporate partners. Their generosity will provide education essentials for a greater number of vulnerable Nashville students this school year through Stuff the Bus Days of Action.

To get involved in Stuff the Bus Days of Action, please visit: unitedwaynashville.org/stuffthebus

To learn more about United Way's Education programs, click here.
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