Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can be difficult for families who are facing financial stress. That’s why the LeBron James Family Foundation, which is committed to creating generational change for the kids and families of James’ hometown in Akron, Ohio, delivers hundreds of food parcels every year.
Twice a year, high school students from the program help to prepare and distribute holiday food parcels for elementary and middle school families: turkeys and all the fixings for a celebratory family meal at Thanksgiving, and snacks and comfort foods at Christmas. In 2023 the Foundation served 650 families for Thanksgiving and 600 at Christmas.
Making all those deliveries involves a small army of 60 volunteer drivers — a big route optimization challenge for the Foundation! Since 2020, Routific has helped out by providing free route optimization services, enabling the team to make all its deliveries efficiently. In the past, the team would plan out routes by using Google Maps or just use their understanding of the city to navigate around town, hitting one stop at a time.
“We wouldn’t be able to do this without Routific’s route optimization,” said the Foundation’s Stephanie Myers. “We work with a large team of volunteers to get hundreds of families everything they need for the holidays. Routific helps us make sure everything is done quickly and efficiently.”
How the delivery magic happens
Before each delivery day, the Foundation uploads over 600 addresses into Routific, along with the volunteer drivers. Then Routific’s intelligent routing algorithm automatically creates efficient routes and allocates them to drivers, in a matter of minutes.
When it’s time to hit the road, the team dispatches the routes to each volunteer driver using Routific’s Driver app. Drivers use the app to navigate through town, updating their progress along the way so the team can monitor the day’s deliveries. In total, the drivers cover around 500 miles every delivery day.
“The features from the driver app are so useful,” continued Stephanie, who was able to track completion progress of the deliveries from Routific's dispatcher view. "We are able to smoothly navigate from one stop to the next and can mark progress along the way. This is such a great way to have visibility of our entire project from start to finish.”
Routific reliably produces 40% shorter routes for the volunteers, compared to planning using Google Maps.
About the LeBron James Family Foundation
With a commitment to redefining community and building stronger families, The LeBron James Family Foundation invests its time, resources and passion into creating generational change for kids and families through a focus on education and co-curricular educational initiatives. With its foundational I PROMISE Program, LJFF serves more than 1,600 students and their families by providing them with the fundamental resources, wraparound supports and family programming they need for success in school and beyond.
In 2018, the Foundation built all of its family-first programming and academic interventions into the groundbreaking I PROMISE School that has created a new model for urban, public education. The Foundation has layered in additional resources including higher education and family supports at the I PROMISE Institute, transitional housing at the I PROMISE Village, long-term affordable housing at I PROMISE Housing, job training and financial health programming at House Three Thirty, and soon, primary health care services at I PROMISE HealthQuarters. These life-changing resources, combined with the Foundation’s “We Are Family” philosophy, are re-defining what a family and community looks like.
Suzanne Ma is a former journalist and published author turned co-founder at Routific, a route optimization platform. She loves to capture inspiring stories from small business entrepreneurs, and share their journeys of growth alongside Routific. As a Product Marketer, she ensures that the community stays up to date on the latest innovations at Routific.
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