Every year, the holiday period throws the needs of many in our communities into sharp relief. We report on how our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in the US are supporting disadvantaged women and children, and those facing homelessness and addiction, through volunteering and fundraising, in the run-up to year-end.
Employee Resource Groups are independent, voluntary groups of RX employees who share common interests and want to make a difference in the workplace, and the wider community. There are three such groups in the US, whose members work to promote diversity and inclusion. They are the African Ancestry Network (AAN), focused on race, Women Connected which supports gender equality, and PRIDE, which serves the LGBTQ+ community.
RELX Cares is our global community programme, which supports employee volunteering and giving that makes a positive impact on society. This year, the US ERGs are focusing their efforts on three charities with which RX has developed long standing local relationships over years of volunteering and fundraising.
On Saturday 27th November, volunteers from the RX US office and members of the ERGs came together to support Trees of Hope, Ronald McDonald House’s annual fundraiser which takes place at the Maritime Center in New Haven, Connecticut from December 4th to 12th.
Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut’s Trees of Hope holiday spectacular is an annual holiday event supporting their mission of providing a “home-away-from-home” to children and their families who are being treated at nearby hospitals and healthcare facilities. The event is open to the public and features over 150 beautiful holiday displays donated and sponsored by individuals, local businesses (RX included) and community organizations.
This year, in addition to donating a basket filled with goodies from local vendors, RX volunteers decorated a tree which was raffled off to raise money for Trees of Hope.
RX US’s AAN and Women Connected ERGs have also elected to support the Bridgeport Rescue Mission which provides vital services to men, women, and children facing hunger, homelessness, and addiction, offering help to heal and return to the community whole. They offer a community pantry, supportive housing programs for men, women, and children, and programs to support the disadvantaged people of the community.
“We would typically fundraise money during our 5K run around this time of year, but we are supporting the BRM with a few different initiatives this year instead” explained Jackie Williams, of the Women Connected ERG. “As an organization, we are collecting much needed holiday foods, including stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy to the community pantry. We will also be doing a fundraising initiative in the office that will culminate at our Town Hall meeting and involved our senior team members doing something fun!”
PRIDE is supporting Kids in Crisis, which each year provides holiday help to over 500 children and families with essential items like food baskets, new clothing (like winter coats, boots/sneakers, pj’s, etc) as well as toys during their “Holiday Central” event where families can “shop” for donated gifts for their children. RX’s relationship with Kids in Crisis goes back eight years, and previously our people have purchased gifts for at least 50 children via what we call the “The Wishing Tree” gift collection project.
“The children and families on KIC’s Holiday Central list are those they work with via their Safe Haven Shelter for children newborn-17 years old, their 24/7 Helpline and Outreach support services, their TeenTalk program and some through Lighthouse, their program serving LGBTQ youth. They are people KIC knows well and who truly need and appreciate our support” said PRIDE Chair, Keith Davis. “If any readers would also like to participate, this year you can actually purchase gifts through Amazon which are shipped directly to KIC!”