Local UPS freight driver Jeffrey Dwerlkotte presented a $10,000 check to Michelle Birkel, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County, July 12 at Park Middle School.
Through the UPS Foundation’s Global Volunteer Month Program, employees can select nonprofit organizations to receive the grant, then 14 organizations are randomly chosen to receive the $10,000 grant. This year, the Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County was chosen by Dwerlkotte to be his organization of choice to receive the donation, and the UPS Foundation randomly chose the club to receive the grant.
“I believe that a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club is investing in the future, Dwerlkotte said. "By teaching the kids the defensive skills we teach at UPS, we are giving them the tools to make themselves safer drivers.”
“With the funds being provided by the UPS Foundation, we will be able to support more summer and school year programs, buy new resources like toys and games, and make sure we have proper staffing to carry on club operations," said Birkel. "Mr. Dwerlkotte has been a long-time supporter for the club, and we are very blessed to have his continued support.
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“It is incredibly important to recognize outstanding members of the community and the impact they have," Birkel continued. "Mr. Dwerlkotte volunteers at the club by teaching classes for the UPS Road Code program. He is the perfect example of how ordinary people can make a positive impact in the community.”
Since 2009, The UPS Foundation has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to deliver UPS Road Code, a program based on the same safety training used with UPS's own drivers. Approximately 125 UPS employees trained as volunteer instructors teach UPS Road Code's safe driving techniques to help teens "Drive Change."
The program focuses on different safety principles, from basic instruction to the consequences of risky behaviors such as talking on cell phones, texting or drinking while driving. The program's driving simulators test teens' safe driving knowledge using a computer screen featuring interactive animation, a steering wheel, and life-like gas and brake pedals.
UPS Road Code is available free of charge across the country.