Community engagement is at the heart of our Corporate Social Responsibility work.
We are proud of the numerous community-focused initiatives we lead at Astellas, and we continue to identify opportunities to align that work with the work of Astellas USA Foundation’s partners.
Astellas Employees: The Front Lines of Giving Back
We encourage our employees to bring what they are passionate about to the workplace.
Changing Tomorrow Day
Changing Tomorrow Day is Astellas’ global day of service. It’s the day employees get out of the office, roll up their sleeves and help where they are needed. Working together, we bring our commitment to our communities to life.
Changing Tomorrow Day is when employees work alongside students to paint murals to inspire their school. It’s when window boxes get nailed together and filled with flowers to brighten cancer patients’ days. It’s when meals are prepared to bring comfort to patients’ families caring for their hospitalized child. It’s when we not only build bookshelves and benches, but also teams, connecting with our communities and each other.
In 2016, more than 2,200 Astellas Americas employees in the U.S., Canada and Brazil volunteered at 87 sites for a total of 9,038 hours. Their efforts supported local community organizations, patient support organizations, schools, food banks, veteran institutions and 50 Ronald McDonald Houses across the United States.
In Brazil, 145 Astellas employees planted seeds, painted dance rooms and cared for the elderly — making an immediate difference with their community partners and volunteered 725 total hours. Changing Tomorrow Day took place in 15 different locations across Brazil, with organizations such as Conviver é Viver, an organization that supports people with HIV, and Ação Social Aliança, an organization that welcomes children who are victims of family abandonment, drugs or violence.
Rise Against Hunger: Continuing the Partnership
In 2015, Astellas made a $100,000 donation on Changing Tomorrow Day to Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), an organization whose mission is to end hunger in our lifetime. In 2016, that donation helped the children of Nepal and Haiti.
In Haiti, children have an ongoing need for food — and Rise Against Hunger, with support from Astellas, is there to help. Haiti is the poorest country in the northern hemisphere, where approximately one in five children is chronically malnourished. Rise Against Hunger proposed a pilot project to provide peanut butter paste to children in school feeding programs, and used Astellas’ grant to start it.
In 2016, the organization served a total of 2,967 children, or 165% of its target. Astellas employees also packed more than 30,000 meals that Rise Against Hunger distributed.
Paid Volunteer Time Off Program
We go beyond just grant-making and partnering with nonprofits in our community — we invest in the happiness of our employees and support them in their own volunteerism goals.
Through our Paid Volunteer Time Off Program, Astellas offers full-time employees up to five days of paid time off per year to volunteer at qualified charitable and community-based organizations. We recognize that the ability to volunteer with one’s company is strongly linked with job satisfaction and retention.
To increase use of this benefit, Astellas Americas set a goal for the region to volunteer 15,000 hours in FY 2016.
We encourage employees to identify organizations with which they want to volunteer. In addition, we identify volunteering opportunities for them to do individually or as part of a team. We also hosted our second annual volunteer fair; in 2016, 22 nonprofit partners of Astellas and Astellas USA Foundation hosted booths at our headquarters in Northbrook to share opportunities to support these mission-driven nonprofits working to better the community in Chicagoland.
In February 2017, Christeen Moburg, director, Stakeholder Engagement, Corporate Affairs, took her five paid volunteer days to join Family Medicine Cares International (FMCI) to provide much-needed health care services to the people of Haiti — working alongside in-country partner Heart to Heart International (HHI). This was Christeen’s third trip to Haiti with FMCI and she feels it is a great way to give back by helping to try to address some of the unmet needs of the Haitian children.
“During our time in the Leogane/Fondwa region, we were able to paint the interior and exterior of two schools and assist with the construction of a cafeteria for the orphanage,” said Christeen. “The team connected with the children at all of the facilities and assisted the Patient Care team to organize children for the well-child visits at the Place l’Or school.”
— Christeen Moburg,
Director, Stakeholder Engagement,
To coincide with Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving back, we launched a new volunteerism campaign on November 29, 2016 — #TakeADay — and saw an unprecedented uptick in employees volunteering in their communities.
We asked Astellas employees to #TakeADay out of the office and use their five days of Paid Volunteer Time Off to give back to their communities in a way that inspires them. As a result, employees shared their experiences and photos on social media using the hashtag #TakeADay to raise awareness of their community service.
Matching Gifts Program
Astellas offers a Matching Gifts program that allows employees to magnify the impacts they make in the community. Through this program, we match employee contributions to four partner organizations: American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and Starlight Children’s Foundation Midwest.
In 2016, we donated $124,970 to our four Matching Gifts partner organizations. Employee contributions made up 28%, or $34,435, of that amount.
Over the holidays, our employees donated more than 770 toys and 488 hospital gowns, aided by the Astellas Matching Gifts program, to support hospitalized children and bring courage and comfort during the holidays. The donations helped Project Angel Eyes Organization deliver 500 stockings filled with toys to children receiving treatments at three Chicagoland hospitals.
Employees donate and wrap presents for Project Angels Eyes Organization.
Aligning Under Living SMART™
To cement our commitment to the community through our Living SMART platform, Astellas and Astellas USA Foundation work in unison to bring programs that strengthen our communities by providing access to resources to help them face the future with confidence. We also connect the passion of our employees to the important work of our community partners through volunteerism and matching gifts.
The goal of the Brighter Tomorrows program is to improve health literacy in the aging population to ensure inclusive access to health and expand patient and caregiver community support, through disease resources and peer networking.
In the same way that we are forward-thinking in the medicines and therapies we create, we are committed to creating a future we can all look forward to — one filled with good health and with loved ones to share it.
So how do we use our leadership as a pharmaceutical company to ensure a healthy future for our patients and the communities in which we live and work?
We developed and continue to build the Brighter Tomorrows program to find new ways to provide patients, communities and caregivers with access to health and wellness information. That information can help them support family members and others struggling with disease, giving them one less thing to worry about and a community on which they can rely. To that end, Astellas has committed to donating more than $500,000 annually in charitable grants to patient-focused organizations.
To effect change in the area of Brighter Tomorrows, we are committed to improving health literacy in the aging population. We are focused on prevention with a particular commitment to diverse populations. We also want to ensure inclusive access to health while aligning with Astellas therapeutic areas.
Patient and Caregiver Community Support
We also provide funding to nonprofit organizations that bring patients and caregivers together with support, and peer networks that increase disease and resource awareness that tie back to Astellas’ therapies. One way we do this is by providing funds to support workshops and educational resources to patients and caregivers on organ transplants, cardiology, cancer and overactive bladder.
To learn more about Astellas corporate grants, please visit the Corporate Grants and Contributions web page.
Astellas USA Foundation is dedicated to increasing STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to inspire innovative thinking through Science WoRx programs that expose students to STEM careers and hands-on learning experiences.
Most recently, we launched the Rural Spark Project™ to change STEM education in targeted rural areas for middle and high school students and help attract and retain vital STEM teachers in these underserved regions.
Astellas employees serve as Science WoRx Mentors to amplify the Foundation’s impact in the community. Examples of how mentors support Foundation partners includes:
- Participation as judges at the Chicago Zoological Society’s science fairs
- Mentoring students through Crossroads Community Outreach Foundation’s P.S. Science program to support 725 underserved students in Los Angeles-area schools
- Engaging kids at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago through “science in action” presentations and sharing their career stories to inspire the next generation of innovators
- Assisting educators at iBIO EDUCATE’s annual STEMgirls Summer Camp to strategically engage young girls in science work to underscore the importance of continuing their science education
Under our Disaster Response umbrella of work, we help communities become resilient by strengthening partnerships with organizations dedicated to preparing for and responding to disasters.
We partner with the American Red Cross throughout the year, both through Astellas and Astellas USA Foundation programming.
In April, we helped sponsor the American Red Cross Heroes Breakfast, and at our May 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Town Hall, one of the American Red Cross Heroes spoke to Astellas employees about his experiences to encourage them to further support this important organization.
Specifically, we support the American Red Cross through our Matching Gifts program, blood drives, employee volunteering opportunities and Astellas USA Foundation grants.
Five times a day, someone dies from a residential fire. Thanks to Astellas USA Foundation and Astellas employees, homes in the Waukegan, Illinois community now have 309 more smoke alarms. This work is part of the Astellas USA Foundation supporting Red Cross’ National Home Fire Campaign, which is attempting to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to home fire by 25 percent over the next five years. The Foundation provided funds for 46,000 smoke detectors reaching 18,400 families.
Astellas volunteers helped maximize the impact by partnering with volunteers from the Waukegan Fire Department and the Great Lakes Naval Base to install the smoke alarms and provide fire safety education to residents.
Volunteers in Action
All of our community engagement work is interrelated and is informed by our commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of our patients, our employees and the communities around us.
Here are a few more exciting updates from across Astellas in 2016.
Preparing Homes for Families in Need
Following our partnership with PGA TOUR, a group of Astellas employees volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, Florida, to help prepare homes for three Tampa-area families in need. Habitat for Humanity is a StarGIVING organization to which Astellas matches employee contributions dollar for dollar.
#TakeADay: Going Green to Support Girl Power
In October, a team of 36 employees from Astellas’ Contracts & Outsourcing department took a day to volunteer to support Astellas USA Foundation’s Science WoRx programming. Working together, they built six solar cars from kits and a recycled car from discarded materials — then raced them! The employees also assembled 40 car kits for youth, donating them to the Stellar Girls program at Lincoln Hall Middle School in Illinois.
Cooking for Family Members of Hospitalized Patients
For the second year, Astellas continued its program to support Ronald McDonald Houses around the United States with “Meals from the Heart” cooking events. In 2016, events took place at 50 different Ronald McDonald Houses and employees prepared more than 1,700 meals to provide a home-cooked meal and nourishment for families staying near their hospitalized child.
Since the program began in 2015, Astellas teams have prepared more than 5,700 meals for patients’ families at Ronald McDonald Houses.
Taking a Day to Support Leukemia Patients and Families
Sometimes it takes a personal connection to make a difference.
Astellas employee and senior executive Hospital representative Lisa Dougherty volunteered with her son, Collin, to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night® walk in Arizona. They spent the day helping the event run smoothly — they set up tables, chairs and tents and put on tablecloths. They staffed water stations and assembled boxes of lanterns.