During our 2018 Power of Us Week, AstraZeneca employees gave back in far too many ways to count. The generosity of our employees is demonstrated by their engagement with charitable activities year-round, and Power of Us Week is a special time we set aside to volunteer with our colleagues all across the country. We are focused on supporting a wide variety of organizations that are significantly assisting those in need and strengthening our communities. The week is an important part of our Power of Us employee volunteering and giving program – learn more about it here.
Power of Us Week is a time where we at AstraZeneca pause our busy days, come together as teams and donate our time to make our communities better. We’re all proud to work for a company that values and prioritizes this initiative.
Here are just four of the ways that our employees came together to support their communities.
1. Working together on-site
Many of our locations across the U.S. organized outstanding on-site volunteer activities. The Pack Shack, an organization that facilitates groups to prepare meals that are donated to nonprofit organizations, came to both our Wilmington and Gaithersburg sites to coordinate the assembly of over a combined nearly 50,000 meals for people in need! These meals were donated to the Food Bank of Delaware, and Women Who Care and Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, both located in Maryland.
Also on our Gaithersburg campus, employees assembled 3,000 comfort care kits for pediatric patients in the region undergoing treatment for cancer and other serious diseases. These kits had the added touch of personalized notes of encouragement and support, hand-written by volunteers.
2. Getting outside
With summer just around the corner, many organizations requested assistance in their gardens, campsites and playgrounds. Teams helped spruce up the campgrounds at the Western YMCA of Delaware to prepare for the upcoming summer camps. Others worked in the gardens at Cancer Support Community, an organization that assists cancer patients and their families in Delaware. The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Delaware (NAMI Delaware) owns 64 homes throughout the state of Delaware, providing safe and affordable housing to individuals living with mental illness. One team of employees helped with the maintenance and landscaping of one of these homes.
If we can help individuals living with cancer and their families even a little bit, our time is worthwhile. Cancer Support Community offers valuable support services to cancer patients in Delaware and we’re eager to dig into the dirt to help out.
In Nebraska, a group of colleagues helped to build three houses with Habitat for Humanity, and in Frederick, Maryland employees mulched the flower beds of Waterford Park, in addition to planting three trees. Hundreds of other employees got outside and rolled up their sleeves to improve the outdoor spaces of a variety of nonprofit organizations.
3. Lending a hand
Sometimes the best way to help is to show up and do whatever is needed that day. Teams in Washington, D.C., Wichita, Kansas and elsewhere supported Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), homes that keep families together while children receive medical care due to serious illness or injury. The volunteer work at RMHC involved preparing food, cleaning and helping out wherever needed. Others assembled toiletry bags to be given to families visiting RMHC.
A Wider Circle is an organization focused on ending poverty in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Employees spent an afternoon moving furniture, cleaning donated items, and sorting and moving clothing, linens, bedding, kitchenware, toys and more.
We improve our communities by coming together and offering our skills and talents to lift those up who are in need. Volunteerism makes change happen.
4. Making science come alive
Ruud Dobber, President AstraZeneca US, and Executive Vice President, North America, pulled from his background as a former scientist and taught a Family Science Night Out class at Delaware Biotechnology Institute for local students. Joined by several AstraZeneca colleagues, Ruud helped lead experiments with strawberry DNA, polymers and microscopic organisms called water bears.
It is essential that we inspire young minds to be curious about science from an early age. Delaware Biotechnology Institute’s Family Science Night Out does just that, and I was thrilled to make science come alive for these kids.
We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our dedicated employees who took the time during this year’s Power of Us Week to support so many important causes. Collectively, the thousands of hours AstraZeneca employees spent volunteering during Power of Us Week made a significant impact and though the week is over, our charitable efforts will continue throughout the year.