In towns across Union Pacific’s 23-state network, our employees are supporting charitable giving campaigns this holiday season. In this first seasonal spotlight, railroaders are showing community pride in North Platte and Omaha, Nebraska, as well as North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Battle for Good: UPVETS North Platte Chapter Supports Local Families
The North Platte UPVETS chapter raised more than $500 for Adopt-A-Family efforts supporting local families at Madison Middle School in North Platte, Nebraska.
“The funds will be used to purchase gifts, clothing and other necessities,” said Mike Werlinger, manager-Locomotive Maintenance. “Any additional funds will be applied to a new, local UPVETS scholarship fund to assist the children of military veterans.”
Team members from Transportation and Mechanical, including the Locomotive and Car Departments, competed to see who could generate the biggest collection of good cheer, with Transportation securing the win.
To encourage employee participation, Troy Garrels, machinist, and his family created and donated custom wooden tabletop tree decorations for an employee raffle. Raffle winners were able to select a decorative ornament with their choice of service branch.
Omaha Red Kettle Corporate Challenge Rings in the New Year
Union Pacific led the Salvation Army’s first-ever Corporate Red Kettle Challenge Dec. 7, helping raise more than $450,000 for the Salvation Army of Omaha’s Tree of Lights Campaign.
As part of the citywide campaign, Omaha’s ABC station conducted live interviews in the Union Pacific Center atrium with Chairman Lance Fritz and Kari Kirchhoefer, vice president-Premium, Marketing and Sales. Fritz and his wife, Julie, are leading this year’s citywide Tree of Lights campaign.
Employees were greeted throughout the day with bellringers and festive rice krispie treats to raise campaign awareness.
Future-Focused: UP Ties Raises More than $29,000 for College Possible
After a full year of fundraisers and volunteer events, the Union Pacific Ties leadership team proudly presented nonprofit College Possible’s Omaha chapter with a check for more than $29,000.
“We’ve broken fundraising records the last few years – and this year was no exception,” said Aurelio Picazo Perea, associate project analyst, Tech, and Union Pacific Ties Professional Networking Committee co-chair.
The College Possible donation will support more than 1,700 students at partner high schools and college campuses, assisting with ACT prep, college and workforce exploration, college and scholarship applications, and financial literacy.
“In 2023, we’re proud to announce our partnership with College Possible will continue for a third year,” said Stevie Gerken, manager, Marketing and Sales, and Union Pacific Ties president.
Community Ties: North Little Rock BEN Adopt-A-Family and Bike Drive
UP’s Black Employee Network (BEN) chapter in North Little Rock, Arkansas, is a small but mighty group diving into its local community with a series of cheerful activities this year.
In partnership with a local school counselor, the chapter provided a full holiday meal and shelf-stable meal starters to a local Pine Bluff, Arkansas, family in need. They then kicked it up a notch by purchasing two bicycles for Pine Bluff students.
“This gives us so much joy,” said Antoine Sims Sr., facility supervisor, Mechanical, and BEN president.
Throughout the year, the local BEN chapter hopes to continue donating its time and talents to career mentorship programs like ‘Be Pro Be Proud’ which encourages the next generation of American workers to consider technical training programs.