NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., June 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, has teamed up with leading nonprofits to launch its fifth annual "Week of Possibilities" global volunteering program. In more than 50 countries, approximately 8,000 AbbVie employees will give 36,000 service hours in communities where they live and work, completing hands-on volunteer projects that enhance education and opportunities for the underserved.
The program's fifth anniversary comes as AbbVie is named as an honoree of The Civic 50. AbbVie has been recognized as one of the most community-minded companies in the United States for five consecutive years, with "Week of Possibilities" serving as a cornerstone of its community giving. In five years, AbbVie Foundation programs have impacted nearly 19 million lives in more than 85 countries around the world in collaboration with nonprofit partners like Heart of America Foundation, KaBOOM! and North Chicago Community Partners.
"AbbVie and Heart of America Foundation share a deep-rooted commitment to improving our local communities, and especially to supporting our schools, teachers and students," said Jill Heath, president and CEO of Heart of America Foundation. "We are proud to again partner with AbbVie to provide thousands of students with inspiring, vibrant spaces that encourage a lifelong love of reading and learning."
Now a global AbbVie tradition, the "Week of Possibilities" was initiated in 2014 with a focus on projects in North Chicago, Illinois, where the company is based. AbbVie employees expanded their commitment each year, and in 2018 will provide more than 12,000 students in more than 20 schools across the country with refreshed and refurbished learning, meeting and playing spaces. "Week of Possibilities" is powered by the AbbVie Foundation, which provides funding for school renovations, public libraries, computer labs and science labs, playgrounds and housing.
"Over the past five years, AbbVie employees have given their time, talent and resources to build strong communities and improve and rejuvenate education spaces. These efforts in our hometown and around the world have achieved tremendous and inspiring results," said Richard A. Gonzalez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AbbVie. "I am exceedingly proud of our employees' generosity and dedication to transforming education and strengthening our communities."
The condition of students' educational environments has a significant impact on their development and likelihood to succeed. According to Heart of America, studies have shown that poorly maintained schools communicate to children that they are not a priority and these children have lower self-esteem, lower achievement and lower overall participation in school and community affairs. Meanwhile, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) rates the condition of U.S. public schools as "D+", with an estimated $38 billion annual underinvestment in K-12 facilities needed to provide "healthy, safe, and modern learning environments." AbbVie is helping to address this critical need, including the following service projects being completed this year:
- Near AbbVie's headquarters in Lake County, Illinois, U.S.A., more than 2,600 employee volunteers will renovate classrooms and meeting spaces throughout North Chicago Community High School (NCCHS), with a focus on areas supporting the music, ROTC and athletic programs. Within the NCCHS community, these projects will provide students with engaging learning environments and resources they need to succeed. Volunteers will also begin construction on a home for a local family, assemble food kits and refurbish a playground to benefit students and members of the North Chicago community. Volunteers will also partner with Bernie's Book Bank to process and package 500,000 books to be donated to area students.
- In Redwood City, California, U.S.A., AbbVie and Pharmacyclics volunteers will revitalize spaces where students learn and play at two local schools. The media center at Kennedy Middle School will be transformed into a dynamic learning space and meeting hub with new technology, books, furniture and décor, and each student will receive three new books to take home. At Garfield Community School, volunteers will create a beautiful new outdoor playground, installing new play equipment, shade structures, benches and picnic tables for the school's 867 students and surrounding community.
- In Tampa, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; Boston, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Santa Ana, California, New York, New York; Washington D.C; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; Atlanta, Georgia; Worcester, Massachusetts, AbbVie's field and office-based teams will partner with Heart of America Foundation on additional educational renovation projects to benefit local communities.
AbbVie is a global, research and development-based biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world's most complex and critical conditions. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
About The AbbVie Foundation
The AbbVie Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation, is dedicated to having a remarkable impact on the lives of the underserved around the world through a commitment to building strong communities, sustainable health care systems and effective educational programs. For more information please visit www.abbviefoundation.org.
About Bernie's Book Bank
Bernie's Book Bank sources, processes and distributes quality children's books to significantly increase book ownership among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout Chicagoland. Bernie's Book Bank delivers 12 quality books per year to empower at-risk children, ages birth through sixth grade, to read their way to a better life. Since 2009, Bernie's Book Bank has distributed more than 9 MILLION quality books. In cooperation with 25,000+ volunteers, this year Bernie's Book Bank will serve more than 333,000 at-risk children with 12 quality children's books annually. For more information about Bernie's Book Bank, visit www.berniesbookbank.org
About Heart of America Foundation
The Heart of America transforms spaces into modern learning environments so that students and communities can learn and grow. Over the past 20 years, Heart of America has transformed more than 400 educational spaces and provided over 1.1 million children in need with over 4 million library and take-home books. The national nonprofit has engaged volunteers in more than 1,075,000 hours of service to communities nationwide. For more information, please visit www.heartofamerica.org.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open, or improve more than 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers, and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters and why cities are embracing #playability: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.
About North Chicago Community Partners
North Chicago Community Partners (NCCP) was created in 2008 to help address the significant challenges facing the children and families of North Chicago. During the past eight years, NCCP has evolved from a well-intentioned idea into a highly regarded model for supporting public education in under-funded communities. Through its unique community school model, NCCP now supports the children, families and staff of every public school in North Chicago, pre-kindergarten through grade 12. By leveraging the resources of the broader community, NCCP is able to provide a menu of programs and services that complement classroom instruction, enhance student learning, strengthen school climate, actively engage parents and address the needs of the whole child.