As an extension of Biogen Idec’s philanthropic giving, our employees volunteer their time to support patient communities, science education and local community needs.
Care Deeply Volunteer Day
On September 30, 2011, we launched a pilot employee volunteer day across several of our large locations to encourage Biogen Idec employees to give back to their local communities. From Zug, Switzerland, to Greater Boston, the first ever “Care Deeply Volunteer Day” drew nearly 1,100 employees to assist 42 non-profit projects, logging some 3,500 hours.
A sampling of the volunteer projects included:
- In Zug, Biogen Idec employees took a day trip across the Sattel suspension bridge with patients from Zentrum Elisabeth, a community center for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
- In Maidenhead, UK, employees participated in one of several activities, ranging from building homes for vulnerable youth to volunteering in a local hospital.
- In Research Triangle Park (RTP), N.C., employees cleaned up trash and debris around Jordan Lake—a vital water body for the area that provides drinking water and is a recreational destination for surrounding communities.
- In Greater Boston, employees assisted at the Mather Elementary School by volunteering with students in classrooms and helping clean and organize the library.
As an extension of the Care Deeply Volunteer Day pilot, Biogen Idec employees in India hosted a celebration for Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights), inviting children from the Khushboo Welfare Society, a non-profit organization that supports young people with disabilities, to take part in the celebration. Employees in Brazil were also inspired by Care Deeply Volunteer Day activities and learned circus skills to create a special circus for disadvantaged children, many from a local orphanage. In addition, the company created a portal that helps connect employees with local volunteer opportunities that match their individual interests and facilitates grassroots team initiatives.
Supporting Patient Communities
Biogen Idec contributes to non-profits, through grants and volunteering, to help educate and support patient and provider communities. In 2011, we awarded grants to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, Chronic Disease Fund, National Hemophilia Foundation, ALS Association, Multiple Sclerosis Societies of Canada, India, Ireland and Sweden, among others, and various academic institutions. These grants were largely a combination of employee donations and fundraising, and company matches and incentives for volunteering, such as providing a donation for every employee who participates in an MS walk in the United States.
Employees also actively fundraise for patient support organizations, including participating in walks and donation drives. For example, in 2011 approximately 30 percent of our employees in RTP, along with their family members, joined in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Walk MS event, making the Biogen Idec team one of the largest in the United States. Nearly all RTP employees supported the company’s team in some way, including with pledges. Additionally, employees in other Biogen Idec locations, including Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, India, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland participated in MS walks in 2011. On an annual basis, employees in Austria hand out apples to help raise awareness and donations for the Vienna MS Society, while employees in Japan pass out literature on World MS Day to educate passersby.