2019 - A Year to Volunteer

In 2019, our employees and their volunteerism efforts made a substantial impact in their communities. Through our Power of Us program, they recorded an impressive 12,000 hours of volunteer service with over 350 nonprofit organizations across the country. Some of the organizations included Ronald McDonald House, Toys for Tots, local food banks and homeless shelters, Project Sunshine, A Wider Circle, Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, Habitat for Humanity and DC Central Kitchen.

Power of Us is our employee giving and volunteerism program, which encourages U.S.-based employees to donate their time and resources to the causes that matter most to them. AstraZeneca is committed to supporting our employees by providing paid time off to volunteer, as well as a 100% company match on donations made to eligible non-profit organizations.

Our employees were volunteering until the end of the year, preparing and serving meals to the families and patients at the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge in Boston. The Hope Lodge is part of The American Cancer Society and provides a free home away from home for cancer patients and their caregivers. The Lodge provides a supportive community that helps patients access the care they need in a more comforting environment.

To recognize these efforts, we recently honored several outstanding employees and groups with our annual Power of Us Awards. These award winners were nominated by their peers as role models within their communities and each given a monetary award to donate to the nonprofit of their choice. We thank them for their leadership, personal integrity, and commitment to volunteerism.

Michelle Pikel, Renal Hospital Specialist, US Business

Michelle and her children created Kangaroo Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides parents of medically fragile children with a resource binder called “The Pouch” to help them navigate their child’s medical journey. Michelle is a Power of Us award winner for a second year in a row based on her continued dedication to this organization, which has grown to serve nearly 750 families across 26 states and four countries. Her colleagues describe her as having an immense amount of character, dedication, and kindness, with a love for helping others that is contagious. If you know someone who would benefit from having “The Pouch,” please visit Kangaroo Kids.

Alyssa Hawranko, Senior Medical Science Liaison, US Business

Alyssa a Power of Us leader. She is on the Board of Directors for The Cure Starts Now, a nonprofit organization that supports research to find a cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a rare pediatric brain cancer. She is also the founder and leader of the CSN Western Pennsylvania Chapter, represents the Chapters as a voting member of the Strategic Advisory Council and is a top individual fundraiser for the organization. Her work with The Cure Starts Now, especially raising awareness for DIPG, is driven in memory of her daughter, Alyson Usher. Alyssa’s colleagues describe her as a passionate leader who is selfless in her dedication to this cause.  Please visit The Cure Starts Now for more information.

Lydia Greenlees, Associate Scientist, US Business

Lydia is actively involved in running TRELLIS ARCH, an all-volunteer, public charity that provides a quality education to children living in extreme poverty. She is the organization’s Co-Founder and serves as Director, Secretary and Treasurer. Through her volunteer efforts, she helped organize a trip to Haiti to deliver medical supplies and visit the students that TRELLIS ARCH supports. Lydia’s colleagues describe her as an incredibly selfless and giving individual, as she spends much of her free time helping run the organization and supporting volunteer activities.

Blessings in a Backpack Frederick

The volunteer team of Samantha Paro, Brittany Strope, Amanda Greene, Brittany Kesteven, Karen Rodriguez, Dilcia Villatoro, Kibret Alem and Doug Daley participated out of our Frederick Manufacturing Center. The group partners with Blessings in a Backpack twice a year to hold onsite food packing events. This year, more than 300 people from the site participated and over 5,000 bags were packed for children who are otherwise at risk of going hungry on the weekends. The mission of Blessings in a Backpack Frederick is to raise awareness of childhood hunger and improve the lives of local children who depend on school meals as their primary source of nutrition by providing food when school meals are not available.

Boys & Girls Club of West Chester

Volunteers Marsha Mergy, Mickey Bruder, Shane Elliott, Edpo Bringhuenti Figueredo, Catherine Gulley, Rebecca Fechter, Michelle Parsons and Jeff Wolf hosted a site-wide Power of Us week, during which they raised $375 through a bake sale, packed 225 snack bags for members of the Boys & Girls Club, donated 22 units of blood through a Community Blood Center blood drive, and raised $300 to support the Appendix Cancer/Pseudomyxoma Peritonei Research Foundation (ACPMP). This committee of volunteers has a passion for outreach that creates a sense of connection across the entire site and community. Many of the 2019 projects benefited the Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty (BGCWCL), which impacts the lives of young people in vital areas such as academic success, healthy lifestyles, and good character and citizenship.

The Children's Inn

This past fall, 30 members of the Rising Leaders Experience program partnered with The Children’s Inn to create over 60 care packages for the children and their families. The packages were created based on the specific needs of The Inn and each included a handwritten card. The Children’s Inn at NIH is a free residential “Place Like Home’’ for families with children participating in leading-edge research studies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has provided a place to stay for over 15,000 children and their families from all 50 states and 34 different countries.

2019 Company Contributions
In addition to the impressive volunteer efforts, our employees personally donated over $2 million* to more than 1,600 nonprofits. The causes supported by these organizations varied widely and included topics such as animal welfare, fighting hunger, and STEM education, just to name a few.


Nonprofit organizations can connect to our nationwide employee giving and volunteer program by visiting this site. There, they can add information about their organization, sign up to receive electronic disbursement of funds, and showcase specific volunteer opportunities for our employees.

*Inclusive of the 100% company match

About the Power of Us
The Power of Us is the company’s employee giving program. All US-based employees can login to the Power of Us portal via Nucleus to connect with the charities of their choice and give back through time, talent, and/or financial resources. Employee donations to eligible charities will be matched by the company at 100% up to $2,500 per year, capped at $1 million for the company in 2020. 

Our St. Louis Cardiovascular Specialty team served families at an area food pantry

Houston West Diabetes team at the Houston Food Bank

Arkansas AZ volunteers at the Central Arkansas Ronald McDonald House