NORTHBROOK, Ill., Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees from Astellas Pharma US, Inc. (Astellas Pharma US), the U.S. subsidiary of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc., will step away from their computers and conference calls to volunteer throughout Chicagoland as part of the company's fourth annual global Changing Tomorrow Day. They join thousands more Astellas employees who have completed similar health and environment focused projects throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In the Americas alone, nearly 2,300 employees are expected to participate in the annual day of service.
"Astellas has a strong culture of giving back to the communities where we work and live. Personally, I'm excited to be volunteering at Cove School, which serves children with learning disabilities, where we'll be creating an outdoor classroom, re-surfacing the playground and beautifying the school," said Collette Taylor, Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Corporate Administration. "Changing Tomorrow Day reenergizes our employees and connects them to the people we strive to serve every day."
Chicago Cares, a non-profit organization, helped identify worthwhile sites throughout Chicagoland where employees will be teaching kids about health and wellness, beautifying buildings and grounds, painting health inspired murals, and assembling hygiene kits for local veterans.
"We're delighted with our partnership with Astellas and commend their leadership and commitment to improving our communities through Changing Tomorrow Day," said Patty White, Vice President, Corporate Engagement Strategy & Development of Chicago Cares.
This year, Astellas also teamed up with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive and charitable donation drive in conjunction with the company's annual Changing Tomorrow Day. For every $1,000 raised through the campaign, an entire family will get the food, clothing, shelter and medication they need to replace everything they've lost in a house fire. In Chicago alone, the American Red Cross responds to 3 to 5 fires every single day. Contributions will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the company.
"The American Red Cross is proud to partner with Astellas to help change lives and build more resilient communities," said Fran Edwardson, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. "Whether it's supplying much needed blood for patients in the region or comforting a family by providing a safe place to stay and a warm meal after their home was destroyed by a fire, together, with the support of the corporate community and employees who care, we can alleviate suffering and give people hope when they need it the most."
Astellas is committed to being a company that is known for its corporate citizenship. Volunteerism is entrenched in the Astellas culture and the company has created the StarGIVING program to help employees increase the impact of their own charitable giving. In fact, each full-time Astellas Pharma US employee is given up to five days paid time off to provide volunteer support to charitable organizations. Astellas also matches, dollar for dollar, annual employee contributions made to the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity and Starlight Children's Foundation Midwest.
The Astellas culture and brand is committed to building community, helping others, encouraging integrity and inspiring people to make a difference, today, tomorrow and every day. Astellas Pharma US, Inc., located in Northbrook, Illinois, is a U.S. affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The organization is committed to becoming a global category leader in focused areas by combining outstanding R&D and marketing capabilities. For more information about Astellas Pharma US, Inc., please visit our website at www.astellas.us or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/AstellasUS.
About Chicago Cares
Founded in 1991 by Leslie Bluhm and Mary Prchal, Chicago Cares is a nonprofit organization that has mobilized nearly 500,000 volunteers to meet Chicago's most challenging needs. As the leading service organization in the city, Chicago Cares creates programs that foster civic engagement by educating and empowering volunteers to be agents of change. With 250 monthly group service projects, corporate programs and annual events, our model connects needs with action. For more information, visit www.chicagocares.org.
About American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @ChicagoRedCross.
Video with caption: "A video montage of the 2012 Changing Tomorrow Day event held in Chicagoland. Employees taught kids about health and wellness, beautified buildings and grounds, painted health inspired murals, prepared and served nutritious food and assembled hygiene kits for the homeless." Video available at: http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/PRNA/ENR/FX-CG86616-20130927-01-ASTELLAS.mp4