We continue to grow our partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). In 2011, the CVS/pharmacy photo team partnered with WWF to celebrate their 50th Anniversary as the exclusive sponsor of the “Life Grows On” photo contest, which launched on Earth Day 2011. The contest was aimed at raising awareness of species and land conservation issues and sought photos in three separate categories: wildlife, wild places and people connecting with nature. The winners in each category received a Polar Bear expedition in Churchill, Canada. In addition, CVS Photo created a customizable photo collage poster for CVS/pharmacy customers including photos of endangered species taken by WWF field photographers. Five percent of sales were donated to WWF with a minimum guarantee of $10,000 in 2011.
While our community work is focused on services that directly support children with disabilities and provide access to health care for underserved populations, CVS Caremark has a strong commitment to supporting those who work hard every day to serve and protect us and our country. Over the years, we have provided charitable support to military and veteran-focused organizations, including the Air National Guard, Fisher House and Operation Military Embrace. Most recently, we launched a partnership with the United Service Organizations (USO) and worked with them on several initiatives to support our troops in 2011. The USO is a nonprofit, congressionally chartered private organization with a mission to lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families through its many programs and services.
We partnered with Operation USO Care Package for two service projects where our colleagues came together to create care packages of CVS Brand products for troops stationed in Afghanistan and other areas abroad. Through both events, colleagues made about 13,000 care packages and CVS/pharmacy donated more than $210,000 worth of personal care items and snacks. In addition, to mark Veteran’s Day, and in honor of our military heroes, CVS/pharmacy donated $3 to the USO for every flu shot given at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic during that week, which resulted in a $50,000 contribution.
ALS Therapy Alliance
Since 2002, our CVS/pharmacy customers and colleagues have participated in our annual in-store fundraiser benefiting the ALS Therapy Alliance. This consortium of scientists and researchers is working on a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a nervous-system disorder that affects 25,000 Americans. There is no known cause or cure for ALS, which brings about a progressive degeneration of motor nerves in the brain and spinal cord, leading to paralysis and death, typically within three to five years of diagnosis.
In 2011, the 10th annual CVS/pharmacy in-store fundraising campaign, “Researching a Cure,” provided $4.3 million to boost ALS research. The most recent fundraising efforts – which included celebrity support from former New England Patriot and Philadelphia Eagle Kevin Turner and Grammy-nominated country music star Ty Herndon – brought the total amount raised by CVS/pharmacy colleagues and customers for ALS research to more than $27 million over the campaign’s 10 year history.
St. Jude Thanks and Giving Campaign
Funds raised by CVS/pharmacy colleagues and customers through our annual in-store fundraiser supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and contributed $6 million to the Thanks and Giving campaign, now in its eighth year. The campaign supports the CVS Caremark Rehabilitation Services Center at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where children with deadly diseases, like cancer, work to overcome developmental, cognitive or physical impairments that result from their illnesses.
In the world of health care, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility. Our partnership with St. Jude, dating back to 2004, has included the development of the CVS Caremark Rehabilitation Services Center, which opened its doors in 2009. This facility plays a critical role in helping St. Jude provide care that enhances children’s quality of life during treatment for catastrophic diseases, providing more than 8,000 visits each year and extending the hospital’s ability to care for children during and beyond their treatment.
In 2011, we worked to provide additional resources and opportunities for our colleagues to help their communities and launched the new CVS Caremark Community Crew volunteer and employee giving portal, making it easier to track individual and team community impact and allowing colleagues to enroll in payroll deduction to support nonprofit partners.
Similar in concept to Facebook or Linkedin, this internal social media platform allows colleagues to create a profile, search for and track volunteer activities, enroll in payroll deduction and connect with colleagues to create group events. As a result, we saw an increase in colleague community engagement and support in 2011, with thousands of CVS Caremark employees donating more than $1.2 million worth of hours toward a long list of volunteer initiatives.
Employee Relief Fund
The spirit of caring established by the company externally is also represented internally through the launch of the CVS Caremark Employee Relief Fund (ERF). Established with an initial donation from CVS Caremark of $400,000, the ERF is also funded through employee payroll contributions. Colleagues began supporting the ERF during the company’s 2011 Annual Giving Campaign and to date, nearly 1,300 employees have supported the fund.
The ERF provides short-term, immediate financial relief to employees who have suffered significant hardship as a result of a natural disaster, family death, medical emergency or other unforeseen event.