It's Back to School Time (Almost)

Aug 16, 2013 12:00 PM ET

Helping people do more, feel better, live longer is our mission at GSK. In addition to the medicines, vaccines, and consumer healthcare products we make, one of the ways we do this is by providing employees with opportunities to give back to the community. The annual Durham Rescue Mission Back-to-School party is one of those opportunities.

The Durham Rescue Mission provides shelter, meals, and clean clothing to residents.  They help residents overcome addictions; they provide spiritual guidance, financial planning, vocational training, education and employment assistance.  For residents with children, they provide a colorful playground, daycare and parenting instruction.  They also work with the local healthcare community to provide low cost or free quality health and dental care to anyone those living below the federal poverty line.

For more than a decade, GSK employees have been stuffing backpacks with school supplies and handing them out to children in need at this event. Children who might otherwise come to school unprepared are better equipped for class work. In addition to school essentials, we provide balls for fun and physical activity and to promote a healthier, more active lifestyle to children.  The event also offers games, food, refreshments, free clothes and groceries and so much more. I remember the excitement I felt when I was asked to work on the Durham Rescue Mission Back-to-School event project. As I left GSK that afternoon, I was ecstatic that GSK sponsors this outreach event and that I could be part of it.  

We see people put their best foot forward when we serve the community.  Workers from at least four departments at GSK (Procurement; Finance; Public Policy, Payers and Vaccines; and IT), our warehouse, our vendors and the Durham Rescue Mission staff all work together, going above and beyond for this project. 

I was overwhelmed with hope as I watched the young children leave wearing a new backpack and smiling with pride and excitement. The untold hours of planning, preparing, and the actual event itself all lead to a satisfying culmination--helping underserved people in our communities to do more, and feel better. And through our service, we also live longer, more enriched lives.