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1300 Astellas Employees Volunteer at Give Kids The World

Astellas Pharma US Inc. employees assemble tables at Give Kids The World Village as part of its corporate social responsibility event called Changing Tomorrow Day.  Some 1300  Astellas volunteers participated in the event at Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Fla.

Astellas Pharma US Inc. employees assemble tables at Give Kids The World Village as part of its corporate social responsibility event called Changing Tomorrow Day. Some 1300 Astellas volunteers participated in the event at Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Fla.

Give Kids The World Village (GKTW), a resort for children with life-threatening diseases and their families, hosted its largest single contingent of volunteers in its history on Wednesday, June 13, when more than 1,300 Astellas Pharma US, Inc. employees trade their iPhones and corporate focus for brushes, rakes and wrapping paper to help make dreams come true for children with life-threatening diseases.
In town for the company’s annual national sales meeting in Orlando, the Astellas volunteers descended on the 70-acre Village to spruce up the grounds and wrap gifts for the Village’s weekly “Winter Wonderland Parade,” a weekly gift-giving extravaganza for the children and their families.
Here's what the Astellas volunteers accomplished, according to GKTW:
• They spread 110 TONS of gravel and completely resurfaced the access road to our Reservation Center and Auxiliary Development Area as well as the entire front parking areas for our families, our visitors, and our guests.
• Made repairs on and applied fresh water seal product to the entire Bob’s Sparkleberry Nature Trail.
• Pulled weeds, leveled, and spread 14,000 pounds of recycled automotive tires at Keaton’s Korral to enhance the safety and comfort of our Wish Children and our equine partners.
• Repainted an entire semi trailer as well as a back-of-house staircase and service area wall.
• Removed old privacy fence slats, installed over 1000 new ones, and repurposed the old ones to improve the view for our Guests.
• Completely “de-vegetated”, leveled, and prepped a new area which we are designating for Volunteer Group “gatherings”, and assembled new picnic tables for these future groups to enjoy.
• Created literally hundreds of Gift Bags for our arriving Families.
• Cleaned and/or painted 280 rocking chairs and 140 side tables on our Families’ patios.
• Cleaned and shined over 850 windows in our Families’ Villas.
• Spread over 100 cubic yards of cypress mulch to beautify our Villas’ landscaping.
• Pulled millions and millions of Florida summertime weed infestations.
GKTW spokeswoman Colette Krahenbuhl said that the Astellas group will be “the largest volunteer group the Village has ever welcomed at one time. On April 18, we celebrated more than two million documented volunteer hours at a single location, and now with Astellas’ volunteers, we will be well on our way to three
million hours.”
Located in central Florida, GKTW creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW
provides accommodations at its whimsical resort, donated attractions tickets, meals and more for a weeklong, cost-free fantasy vacation.
“I know that our experience at Give Kids The World Village will be a gratifying and memorable experience for our employees, but more importantly it will positively affect the thousands of kids and families that visit the Village each year,” said Jim Robinson, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Astellas. “We are proud to partner with Give Kids The World, which shares our mission of bringing about a brighter
tomorrow for patients around the world.”
To get the most of the event, Astellas is partnering with You and Who, a buy-one-give-one t-shirt company, to make an additional donation to the You and Who’s “Who’s Hungry” program. For each You and Who t-shirt worn by an Astellas employee, Astellas will donate a meal to Covenant House Florida,
which serves runaway, homeless and at-risk youth under 21, including teen parents and their babies. In addition to their time, Astellas employees will be making donations to GKTW and Astellas will match dollar-for-dollar all contributions and donate the money to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Covenant House Florida Executive Director James Gress said: “Each night in Central Florida there are hundreds of adolescents, and young children whose parents are adolescents, who struggle to find a warm meal and safe shelter. This generous contribution from Astellas Pharma will assist Covenant House Florida in providing nutritious meals to all the kids residing in our Orlando Crisis Shelter for an entire month.”
This event is part of the company’s annual corporate social responsibility event called Changing Tomorrow Day, which is a global volunteer initiative that empowers Astellas employees to make a difference in their local communities. Through the Changing Tomorrow Day initiative, Astellas employees throughout North and South America and around the world commit an entire day to community service.
The employees volunteering at GKTW will join more than 800 other Astellas employees at affiliate locations throughout the Americas who will hold their Changing Tomorrow Day activities later this fall.

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