Providing Support For Ongoing Relief & Rebuilding Efforts
Submitted by C&S Wholesale Grocers
C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., its employees, family of companies and business partners responded quickly and resolutely after the devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010. The C&S campaign STAND WITH HAITI has resulted in approximately $800,000 in cash and in-kind donations for relief and rebuilding efforts.
"The [day after the quake], I heard from our CEO, Rick Cohen, who said, 'don't tell me how little we're doing, tell me how much we can do.' That, to me, is leadership. It's commitment, and it's passion for doing the right thing. We should be proud," said Gina Goff, Director of Community Involvement.
The company's generosity took shape through the following STAND WITH HAITI initiatives:
C&S rapidly made financial contributions to two well-respected nonprofit organizations in support of immediate disaster relief efforts: Partners In Health and Oxfam America.
One week after the earthquake, a C&S jet was sent into the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, piloted by Joe Briggs, Vice President of Aviation, to drop off a team of disaster response professionals and medical supplies, and to evacuate a team of medical volunteers from the Cheshire Medical Center, located in the C&S headquarters community of Keene, N.H.
"We approached Haiti on schedule but they put us into a holding pattern about 30 miles out. We started thinking to ourselves: are we going to have to go back? Will we miss our [landing] slot? Everybody's counting on us," said Briggs at the State of the Business meeting. Once cleared for landing, ours was the only civilian plane at the airport, according to Briggs. It was on the ground for only 24 minutes to drop off the disaster response team and its supplies and pick up the volunteers.
"The Cheshire Medical Center volunteers had been in a rowboat for an hour crossing the ocean and had many challenges to get to the airport, and to us, on time. When they met us it was quite a relief, an emotional breakdown," said Briggs. "We flew back to New Hampshire and they had a great welcome from their loved ones. It was a great thing to do."
C&S quickly donated medical supplies for the response and trauma teams in Haiti, including analgesics, bandages, gauze, medical tape, gloves and hydrocortisone cream.
Food and Water
C&S donated nearly 115 tons of water and food including high-demand items such as canned fruit and vegetables, SPAM®, juice and baby food. The water and food was brought to Haiti, via Miami, through military cargo or Federal Express planes.
Employee Donations and Corporate Match
In response to offers of help, C&S launched STAND WITH HAITI, a campaign to collect cash donations from employees across its family of companies: C&S, ES3, Grand Union Family Markets and Southern Family Markets. To inspire participation and pledges, all donations were matched dollar-for-dollar by C&S.
Employees stepped up with enthusiasm. Donations (which ranged from $5 to $6,000) and the corporate match were directed to three organizations:
Inspired by our STAND WITH HAITI campaign, C&S transportation partner, the DiSilva Companies, and its employees decided to take action too. The company offered a dollar-for-dollar match to employee's gifts and selected Partners In Health as the recipient.
C&S rolled out an at-the-register campaign that asked customers in Grand Union and Southern Family Markets stores to make a donation. It was met with great response. Twenty-nine GU stores and 66 SFM/Bruno's stores participated. Funds raised were directed to the Haiti Relief Fund of the American Red Cross.
Haiti's road to recovery will not be an easy one, and rebuilding the nation's infrastructure and systems will take years, maybe decades. C&S plans to reach out to Partners In Health, Oxfam America and Heifer International in mid-July to inquire about further supporting their work. The company is considering additional ways to offer help and hope to families in Haiti, particularly children, in the future.
C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. is a privately owned company with annual sales of more than $19 billion. The company is the 12th largest privately held company in the nation, as ranked by Forbes magazine. Founded in 1918, C&S provides distribution services to grocery chains and independent stores, delivering to approximately 4,600 locations from its distribution centers in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Vermont.
C&S community involvement programs support initiatives to stop hunger and to promote the health and enrichment of communities that are homes to the company's employees and facilities. To learn more: http://community.cswg.com.
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