Download PDF



Volunteered 2,500

community-service hours

Collected enough food and cash for

11,000 meals

Giving back to communities

The Thoroughbred Volunteers, Norfolk Southern’s formal volunteer program, is all about employees giving back and being a part of the communities where they live and work. In 2015, Thoroughbred Volunteers played active roles in Norfolk; Atlanta; Harrisburg, Pa.; and Greenville, S.C.

These volunteers recorded 2,500 volunteer hours during chapter-sponsored events. Those hours do not include the time NS employees invested volunteering on their own for schools, churches, civic clubs, and other community organizations across 22 states.

In Altoona, Pa., for example, employees on the Juniata Locomotive Shop safety and service committee held fundraising drives for the local Toys for Tots and three area food banks.

“We look at volunteering as part of social performance.
It strengthens our ties with local communities.”
Marjorie Heard, chair, Atlanta Thoroughbred Volunteers

Ways We Give Back

Packed 90 boxes of medical supplies for countries in need for MedShare medical relief.

Assisted food banks in Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania, sorting more than 800 pounds of food for the Atlanta Food Bank and collecting more than 1,000 cans of food and $1,600 in donations for southeastern Virginia food banks. The efforts provided 11,000 meals for residents in need.

Cleaned nature trails
and planted trees for
Hands On Atlanta Day.

Offered a workshop on resume writing and interviewing and held a business-clothing drive in partnership with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta and Toastmasters to help 15 citizens get job-ready.

Removed more than 1,300 pounds of debris from the Chesapeake Bay watershed near downtown Norfolk on Clean the Bay Day.

Assembled Back-to-School backpacks for children in Harrisburg, Pa., area schools through Volunteers for America.

Stephen Young: Building a tradition of volunteering

Before joining Norfolk Southern in 1999, Stephen Young had never been involved in community volunteer work. Now, Young, manager intermodal equipment, is a fixture with the Norfolk Thoroughbred Volunteers. He has twice earned Volunteer of the Year award for most volunteer hours and has chaired the group for the past year.

A favorite project of his is the annual Hampton Roads Family VOLUNTEER Day, a half-day food-packing event to assist local charities. Young and his daughter, Amber, have made it a family tradition, participating together for the past 15 years – since Amber, now in college, was five years old.

For the 2015 event, Norfolk Southern employees who work in the 21-story headquarters building collected canned foods by floors as part of a competition Young helped organize. Over Thanksgiving weekend, the father-daughter team joined more than 1,000 local volunteers to pack nonperishable food items for 14 nonprofits ranging from homeless shelters to food banks.

Initially, Young said his motive for getting Amber involved was to help her develop a history of volunteer work for college applications and job resumes. Now, both are hooked on volunteering for its own sake.

“We caught the spirit,” he said. “We love experiencing the benefit of seeing joy on people’s faces.”

Young hopes to make Family VOLUNTEER Day a multigenerational tradition. “The company introduced me to it, I introduced my daughter to it, and I’d like to introduce my grandchildren one day,” he said. “We feel good when we volunteer, and we know we’re lucky to be in a position to be able to do it.”

“I think it’s important for us all to give back and
show our support for the initiatives our communities have.”
–Porshia Cross, chair,
Piedmont Thoroughbred Volunteers