Astellas Employees Work Together with Astellas USA Foundation in Hurricane Relief Efforts

Astellas One of Four Organizations in the US to Send Employee Disaster Response Teams to Houston and Orlando in October 2017
American Red Cross Disaster Response

Supporting disaster relief efforts for communities impacted by the recent hurricanes is just one example of how Astellas USA Foundation works together with Astellas Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to help where it is needed.

Astellas USA Foundation has an eight-year partnership with the American Red Cross. So, when the hurricanes struck, the Foundation provided funding to support the relief efforts. In 2017, the Foundation provided grants in the amount of $250,000 to the Red Cross to support those affected by disasters throughout the Americas.

"The Red Cross is continuing its relief efforts to help hundreds of thousands of people impacted by the historic devastation left in the wake of three major hurricanes,” said Don Herring, chief development officer at the American Red Cross. “The generous support of Astellas USA Foundation and Astellas employees enabled the Red Cross to respond with, food, shelter, emergency relief supplies, and allows our organization to remain in the community for months to come to help people as they work to recover from the recent disasters. We are so grateful for Astellas USA Foundation’s ongoing support as we work together to provide hope and help to people in need."

Through the strong partnership between Astellas USA Foundation and the Red Cross, Astellas became one of only four companies nationwide to deploy coordinated teams of employee volunteers to disaster sites. One team deployed to Houston to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery. The other went to Orlando to help with recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma. Team members worked +12-hour days in sweltering heat to support families in need.

Team Orlando worked in a warehouse supporting the Red Cross supply chain to get needed items from Florida to Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, Team Houston worked in a shelter for storm victims displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Each day, the teams bonded with fellow Red Cross volunteers, Disaster Responder team members and hurricane victims. Read more about personal impressions from the volunteers here.

Volunteer Richard Strong, from Astellas’ field sales team, shared how the experience impacted him, and why he encourages everyone to donate time.

"I'd encourage people who are able, to volunteer their time.” said Strong. “The Red Cross needs volunteers to help with the recovery work – it can be back breaking. If there's ever a natural disaster around where I live, I'll be willing to dive in. No task is too small. Everyone should take a step out of their comfort zone and try something like this. It was an amazing experience."

Through LivingSMARTTM, Astellas USA Foundation and Astellas Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) collaborate to enable our Astellas employees to volunteer at the programs that Astellas USA Foundation supports. So, when the Red Cross put out the call to corporate Disaster Responder Program members for volunteers to help in the disaster areas, Astellas USA Foundation reached out to Astellas. Astellas was one of only four companies in the US to send employees to help – in fact, Astellas sent two teams. Astellas gives full-time employees five paid days annually to volunteer, a unique opportunity across industries. Members of the disaster response team used their volunteer paid time off days to directly help those in disaster areas.

Astellas USA Foundation has also supported the Red Cross’ home fire campaign in 2016 and 2017, helping American Red Cross to purchase 46,000 smoke alarms to help 18,400 families be more prepared for fires.