This past week FedEx Express donated a Boeing 727-200F to California Baptist University for use by its new aviation science program. The aircraft will be on permanent display at the Riverside Municipal Airport (RAL) and will provide a working laboratory for aviation students. The plane had been in service for 33 years and is the 60th donation by Fed Ex of a Boeing 727 aircraft. Since 2000 Fed Ex has donated these aircraft to various organizations around the world including museums and colleges for educational purposes. When you think of community involvement and charitable donations by corporations, this is pretty big, but not as big as the "Baby Jessica" story.
In October 1987, like millions of other Americans, we were riveted to CNN as emergency service crews in Midland Texas worked for 58 hours to free "Baby Jessica" McClure from an old backyard well where she was trapped 22 feet down in a shaft 14 inches wide. We had a baby just about the same age and had just relocated from Texas.
Scores of local and state government workers and paramedics worked round the clock to pull Jessica from the well. The government few in a special investigator with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration and FedEx flew in the drill that ultimately enabled crews to rescue Jessica. The story was followed around the world and the world cheered when the paramedic rescuer came up with Jessica and she was safe. Since then I've taken an interest in FedEx's community and charitable giving, from rescuing babies and delivering hearts to supporting disaster relief to local involvement.