At the Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, Florida, children struggling with life-threatening illnesses and their families enjoy a weeklong, cost-free vacation that includes accommodations, meals, donated attraction tickets and more. Mears provides all of the transportation to the families at no cost. Since its inception, Give Kids the World has served over 100,000 families from all 50 states and 70 countries. Mears Transportation Group takes great pride in helping make a difference in the lives of these families, as you’ll see in this video.
Take Stock in Children
Mears Transportation Group pledged $1 million in memory of company founder Paul Mears Sr. to support the Orange County Take Stock in Children program. In recognition, the West Campus Student Services Building was renamed the Paul Mears Sr. Student Services Building.
Take Stock in Children provides underserved children with a college scholarship and a mentor in an effort to help them earn a high school diploma, graduate from college and enter the workforce. Participating children must sign performance contracts agreeing to get good grades, exhibit positive behaviors and remain drug and crime free. In return, they will receive a 2 + 2 Florida Pre-Paid scholarship, which provides two years tuition at any community college followed by two years tuition at any state university. For more information, visit http://www.takestockinchildren.org.
March of Dimes Walk for Babies
Mears Transportation Group has been a leading sponsor and participant in the March of Dimes Walk for Babies for the last five years. Hundreds of our employees participate in the family-friendly 5K walk in downtown Orlando. The Mears team has raised nearly $50,000 to help find preventions and solutions for the 120,000 babies born with birth defects in the United States each year.
Annual School Supply Giveaway
Each year, Mears hosts a fun-filled school supply giveaway for our employees and their families. Hundreds of students receive a supply bag filled with everything they need to start the school year, and the event also includes a blood drive, free vision screenings and blood pressure checks, and raffle drawings.
Russell Home for Atypical Children
The Russell Home in South Orlando is the only private, non-profit facility of its kind for severely handicapped children in Central Florida. For more than a decade, Mears has supported the Home through its holiday raffle and toy drive, raising several thousand dollars each year to assist the home and these special children.
IDignity helps the disadvantaged in Central Florida obtain the personal identification that is crucial to enabling them to become self-sufficient. IDignity coordinates events for hundreds of homeless or otherwise disadvantaged individuals to walk them through the paperwork and logistics of obtaining current identification so they are eligible for employment and government assistance programs. During these events, Mears provides free transportation for these individuals to take advantage of IDignity’s services on event days. Often times, transportation is required to the federal courthouse or Social Security office to ensure proper paperwork is completed, and Mears ensures free and convenient transportation.
Mears and the Environment
Mears Transportation Group understands the importance of managing and reducing our impact on the environment. We take pride in the fact that motor coaches are considered one of the greenest transportation options available. In fact, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), persons traveling on a motor coach will generate nearly 50 percent less global warming pollution than they would by driving a fuel-efficient hybrid car. With more than 200 motor coaches, the Mears motor coach fleet moved approximately 8 million passengers in 2011 making our organization one of the “greenest” charter bus companies in the world as it relates to fuel consumption per passenger mile.
However, in order to enhance our commitment to the environment, we have developed a comprehensive sustainability policy to address the immediate and long-term impact of all aspects of our business. We are implementing an ISO 14001 compliant Environmental Management System that includes strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fuel consumption, electricity use, supply purchases and waste disposal. Specific areas include:
Replaced our Field Operations fleet with hybrid vehicles
Replaced our trolley fleet with “clean diesel” vehicles
Replaced more than 40 motor coaches with “clean diesel” vehicles
Testing hybrid vehicles for potential integration into taxi fleet
Reviewing potential for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or Propane as an alternative in commercial vehicles
Accelerating engine and vehicle replacement with most current emission standards
Maximizing system-wide recycling practices, including filters, vehicle fluids such as oil and antifreeze, and tires
Utilizing gray water system in vehicle car wash
Implementing a paperless workplace
Educating and incentivizing “green behavior” for all employees
Utilizing green vendors
Maximizing “load” factors with chartered business
Our goal is to achieve GHG emissions reductions of 15% over the next 5 years. Further, we will be working with the US EPA’s Climate Leader Program to diligently strive to achieve the emissions reduction targets expected of transportation based organizations. At Mears Transportation, we continue to evaluate strategies to reduce our carbon footprint and adopt responsible sustainability practices.