In 2018, CSX launched Pride in Service, a signature initiative to support and recognize military, veterans and first responder service members and their families. The initiative was quickly embraced by employees across the company’s 23-state footprint who have shown their passion for those who serve and generously donated their time to volunteer with nonprofit partners: Blue Star Families, First Responders Children’s Foundation, Operation Gratitude, Operation Homefront and Wounded Warrior Project. “From connecting with families to bridge the civilian-military divide, to raising funds and participating in events, to writing letters of gratitude and packing care pouches, CSX employees have contributed nearly 5,000 hours to the cause and reached 85,000 individuals in the first full year of this program.”
The Halo Awards, presented by Engage for Good, are “North America’s highest honors for corporate social initiatives and cause marketing.” This marks the 18th year that Engage for Good will honor businesses and nonprofits with Halo Awards.
While the pandemic has postponed in-person service events in CSX’s markets of operation, it has not stopped CSX from supporting the issue in creative ways. Employees have continued with virtual volunteerism by writing thank you letters, and CSX has donated transportation support for needed supplies and gifts of gratitude across the country and into the hands of front-line workers in hard-hit cities.
CSX has been recognized as one winner among a total of 28 category awards given out to programs judged the best social impact campaigns of 2019 at the first-ever Engage for Good Virtual Conference. A list of the Halo Award winners can be seen here.
“CSX is honored to be recognized by Engage for Good with this prestigious Gold Halo award for our Pride in Service program,” said Nathan Goldman, EVP, Chief Legal Officer, CSX. “At CSX, service is an integral part of our culture and we are so proud that approximately one in five of our employees have served our country and communities, either in the military or as a first responder.”
“If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of companies leading with purpose,” said Engage for Good President David Hessekiel. “The companies that have been able to quickly pivot and make a meaningful impact are the ones that already had a strong corporate social impact foundation they could activate and further engage during this time of crisis.”
“This year’s recipients provide tangible examples of effective and innovative, purpose-driven efforts and demonstrate the many ways companies and causes can collaborate to create meaningful business and social returns,” said Hessekiel.
In related news, in partnership with Operation Gratitude, CSX will deliver “Jumbo Care Packages” containing handwritten letters of appreciation from grateful Americans, as well as Starbucks coffee, single-serve snacks, candy, and hygiene and comfort items to Chicago frontline workers and first responders.
Transported by CSX from Operation Gratitude’s California warehouse to Chicago, the shipments contain more than 241,000 individual items and aim to lift the spirits of more than 18,000 members of Chicago Police and Fire Departments and more than 3,750 medical workers on the frontlines of COVID-19.
Chicago PD has been hit hard in the last few weeks, with a staggering 500-plus cases of the virus impacting their officers, including a few deaths. “As the third hardest-hit state in the nation and a city bearing the brunt, our target hospitals—Little Company of Mary Hospital, Christ Advocate Hospital, and St. Anthony Hospital—are facing capacity and financial struggles in the wake of the pandemic.”
The deliveries are part of Operation Gratitude’s national Coalition to Support COVID-19 Frontline Responders, which aims to positively impact more than 300,000 doctors and nurses in hospitals; police officer, firefighters, and EMTs; and National Guardsmen across the U.S. with $1.5 million in support and $5 million in product donations.
CSX and Operation Gratitude’s partnership is part of Pride in Service, the company’s community investment initiative, which directly supports military, veterans and first responders.
CSX’s Pride in Service Initiative Receives Gold Halo Award
By: Andrew Corselli
May 29, 2020
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