ERT’s Corporate Outreach program was established in early 2011 with the mission to make a difference in the health and well-being of the communities we serve. A committee from each office location was tasked with choosing a core charity and offering opportunities for fundraising and volunteer involvement. Read on to find out how ERT’s offices, around the world, managed to raise over $85,000 in donations for numerous charitable organizations.
Philadelphia – ERT Headquarters
The Philadelphia Outreach Committee met earlier this year to evaluate a large list of nominated worthy organizations. After thorough review and discussion the committee selected The American Cancer Society (ACS) as a core charity, but also chose to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Philabundance, and Child Advocates.
The Philadelphia Committee decided to move forward with an ambitious schedule to include as many fundraising and volunteer opportunities as possible. The first event of the year was Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Many volunteer participants sold lemonade and baked goods at stands set up in the office building of ERT’s headquarters. The event raised $1,521.28 for pediatric cancer research.
In August, Philadelphia Outreach sponsored a supply drive for the ACS’s AstraZeneca Hope Lodge. ERT volunteers served dinner and socialized with the lodge’s guests. Although it may seem just like a dinner to some people, an event like this means a lot to the patients and caregivers who are undergoing treatment in the Philadelphia area. It creates normalcy in a time when nothing seems normal and as many of the guests stated, it gives them one less thing to worry about during this trying time. During dinner, ERT hosted games of Bingo with winners receiving one of five gift cards to Target. In addition to the evening’s events, approximately $500 in items from the organization’s wish list including cleaning products, paper products, linens, towels, and food were donated by ERT employees.
The committee kicked off the autumn sports season in September by hosting the first annual “Tailgate for a Cause”. Participants donated money and bought raffle tickets and in turn, enjoyed a “tailgate-themed” luncheon. [Definition: A tailgate party is a social event usually occurring in the parking lots of stadiums and arenas, before a professional sports game.] The event raised $1,182.00 for ACS.
October was another busy month for the committee. A group of employees teamed up to participate in the ACS “Making Strides for Breast Cancer”, raising $910 during a huge five-mile walking event in the Philadelphia area. ERT Philadelphia also participated in the ACS “Party with a Purpose Gala” as a Bronze Level Sponsor, contributing $5,000. Also, as the holiday season commenced, different departments competed in a competition to bring in as much food as possible for the annual Philabundance Food drive. In total, employees and the committee donated over 500 lbs (approximately $1,000 worth) of food to Philadbundance, the region’s largest food bank!
The December Outreach event was a huge success when employees banded together and sponsored 81 under privileged and neglected children by donating toys, clothes, and gift cards to the Child Advocates program. Child Advocates provides legal assistance and social service advocacy for abused and neglected children in Philadelphia County. In addition to the employee donated gifts (estimated at $3,500), the Outreach Committee donated $1,200 worth of laptops for the program.
Just as important as monetary donations, is volunteer time. A group of ERT employees at the Philadelphia office generously donated their time by participating in the ACS “Road to Recovery” Program. Volunteers went through training sessions to provide transportation for cancer patients who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves, to and from treatment.
In total, including monetary donations as well as sponsored events, the Philadelphia Outreach Program was able to give over $17,397.36 to their selected charities, $8,338.28 of that coming directly from employee donations!
Bridgewater, New Jersey
After careful consideration, the Bridgewater committee selected the following organizations for sponsorship:
• American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
• American Heart Association
• Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America
On June 4-5, from dusk to dawn, ERT employees participated in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s “Out of the Darkness Overnight” event. Our brave participants walked an 18-mile stretch of New York City out of the darkness, shedding light on the issues of suicide and depression. Proceeds fund research, advocacy, survivor support, education, and awareness programs. The participants actively collected donations from friends and family and ERT was able to match their donations, raising a total of $5,836.
ERT participated in the American Heart Association – Heart Walk 2011 event on Saturday, October 1, 2011 in Bridgewater, NJ. Employees took a scenic 2K walk (OK, some ran) at Duke Island Park. The event consisted of a rally before the walk as well as many informational booths on the grounds to help raise Heart Health awareness. ERT sponsored each employee who participated in the walk and contributed over $5,000 in donations. Donations were also made on behalf of ERT to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America in the amount of $5,525.
The German Outreach Team gave its support to the ANCKER.e.V. Training Center in Würzburg for sick children and their parents with a donation of €7350 ($10,000). The center works with children and parents to learn how to handle their illnesses and is involved with asthma, neurodermatitis, adiposity, anaphylasis, and ADS/ADHD. The outreach team also wanted to make a personal contribution to the project and, with their own efforts, sold cakes to ERT employees, raising an extra €700 for the Training Center!
The Peterborough Outreach Committee has gained momentum during 2011 and decided to give the assigned $10,000 to the Arrhythmia Alliance in support of a national advertising campaign, which encourages the formation and support of local patient groups. The launch of this campaign was on December 6 in the Peterborough office with a speaker from both the Arrhythmia Alliance and a Cardiac Nurse from the Peterborough City hospital. The Arrhythmia Alliance aims to improve awareness, treatment and diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias as well as working to improve the quality of life for those who are suffering.
The UK office also raised £208.55 for Children in Need, an organization devoted to raising money exclusively destined for charities working with children in the United Kingdom. Additionally, several other brave ERT members in Peterborough decided to take on the mammoth 13.1-mile Great Eastern Run and raised over £500 in support of the British Heart Foundation.
Other ERT Corporate Charity Efforts
Heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined and as such, ERT decided to aid the American Heart Association’s efforts to raise money for their Go Red for Women Campaign by participating in National Wear Red Day on February 4, 2011 and raising $716 in employee donations. Donations support medical research, awareness, education and community programs that will help women live longer heart-healthy lives.
Also, as we are sure most of you have not forgotten, in March of 2011, the north coast of Japan was hit by a horrible tsunami after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake occurred 80 miles offshore. Tsunami waves caused massive destruction and massive loss of life in northern Japan. During this tragedy, ERT provided the American Red Cross $5,000 USD in disaster relief aid.
One of our favorite charity events occurred on an early Saturday morning in April, when ERT contributed $3,500 to participate in the 4th annual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Sports Challenge. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Sports Challenge is a mini Olympic-style competition where teams from corporations, businesses and professional groups compete against each other in a series of fun, athletic events at the New Meadowlands Stadium (home to two NFL teams in northern New Jersey). View more photos.
Also, on September 24, 2011, ERT employees helped raise a substantial $21,767.11 dollars to help fight multiple sclerosis. ERT formed a Bike MS team for the fourth consecutive year because we know that riding 150 miles is nowhere near as difficult as confronting a lifetime with multiple sclerosis. In addition to supporting novel research projects around the globe, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society also provides much-needed education, programs, and services to everyone who is affected by MS – including the diagnosed, their friends and families, and the healthcare professionals who work with them.
Additionally, during the holiday season, ERT offered its customers a chance to nominate their favorite charity on ERT’s Facebook page for a $5 donation to be made in their name. Popular charities included the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Wounded Warriors Project, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The American Heart Association and others. With 12 charities nominated, ERT donated a total of $60.
…AND THE GRAND TOTAL IS: $86,822.37! The committee would like to express their extreme gratitude to the incredible staff and our colleagues at ERT. It is because of the time and generosity of the people, that the Outreach Program was such a huge success this year. We look forward to continuing this success in 2012!