GSK announces $1 million grant to protect children in North Carolina, Puerto Rico from disaster

Issued: Philadelphia, PA

New grant comes as GSK-sponsored Resilient Children/Resilient Communities initiative is honored by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation

GSK [LSE/NYSE: GSK] today announced a $1 million grant to the National Center for Disaster Preparedness to bring its Resilient Children/Resilient Communities initiative to communities affected by recent hurricanes in New Hanover County, North Carolina, and communities in and around San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The new grant to help protect children in the event of disaster comes as the Resilient Children/Resilient Communities (RCRC) initiative earned a major honor from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center. The RCRC initiative on Thursday was named winner of the Foundation’s 2018 Corporate Citizenship Award for “Best Disaster Preparedness and Community Resilience Program.” 

“GSK is partnering with the National Center for Disaster Preparedness and Save the Children to help thousands of children quickly return to a sense of normalcy following a disaster,” said Marc DeCourcey, Senior Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “Their efforts are helping communities prepare for disasters and building resilience long term.”

The RCRC initiative utilizes a community-led planning process and a suite of tools to help parents, community leaders, emergency management officials, schools and child care facilities to work together to prepare for emergencies and help children quickly return to a sense of normalcy after a disaster strikes. Some 69 million children are away from their parents every day, in daycare centers, schools, camps or with neighbors, family or friends. The initiative ensures plans are in place to help those children in the event of an emergency.

With a $2 million grant from GSK and in partnership with Save the Children, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute helped create and pilot the RCRC plans in two US communities for two years before making those tools available for free to the public. Washington County, Arkansas, and Putnam County, New York, are now measurably more prepared to support more than 76,000 children in their care should a disaster strike.

With the additional $1 million from GSK, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness will now work with community coalitions in New Hanover County, North Carolina, and in Puerto Rico to develop plans to protect and care for children in the face of disasters.

“The hurricanes of 2017 and 2018 have disrupted organizations within communities that serve children every day. This negatively impacts the children in the community as well as the ability of the community as a whole to recover,” said Jeff Schlegelmilch, the Deputy Director for NCDP. “Many child-serving organizations and community planners lack the tools and resources for meeting the increased needs of children after major disasters, but still work tirelessly to serve their communities. We are proud to partner with communities in North Carolina and Puerto Rico to help them expand the reach of their work to meet the current needs of children and to build even greater child-focused disaster resilience for their communities, and the nation.”

The RCRC initiative has produced a comprehensive online toolbox of resources for communities across the US.  With nearly two-thirds of American households lacking adequate disaster plans, the RCRC Toolbox provides the resources that parents, community leaders, emergency management officials, schools and child care facilities need to prepare for emergencies and improve their ability to help children quickly return to a sense of normalcy. The toolbox is available online at https://rcrctoolbox.org/.

“GSK is proud to continue our support of the Resilient Children/Resilient Communities initiative with communities that have recently suffered the impact of major hurricanes, including our home state of North Carolina,” said Becki Lynch, Director of Community Partnerships at GSK. “By empowering these communities to partner across sectors to meet the unique needs of children in a disaster, we hope this investment helps them to build back even stronger after the devastation of recent hurricanes.”

Inquiries

For interview opportunities, please contact:

Marti Skold-Jordan       
Marti.x.Skold-Jordan@GSK.com          
919-328-0507   

About GSK

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer.

About the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute

The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Earth Institute of Columbia University works to understand and improve the nation’s capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. NCDP focuses on the readiness of governmental and non-governmental systems; the complexities of population recovery; the power of community engagement; and the risks of human vulnerability, with a focus on children. Learn more about this initiative: http://ncdp.columbia.edu/rcrc.

About Save the Children

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Learn more at http://www.savethechildren.org/.

About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.