CHICAGO - March 7, 2016 - The American Red Cross today recognized Astellas for its gift of a first-of-its-kind energy efficient emergency response vehicle, which is a high tech truck enabling the Red Cross to quickly provide food and supplies to people affected by disasters.
"When disaster strikes, Red Cross workers climb into emergency response vehicles and travel through impacted neighborhoods providing food, water and comfort to victims," said Celena Roldán chief executive officer, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. "Thanks to the generous support of Astellas, we’ve been able to add a new vehicle to our fleet that will help us reach even more people in need."
The new emergency response vehicle will be fuel efficient, easier to drive with lower maintenance costs and provide ample storage room for food water and supplies. The new vehicles are designed to be adjustable and can adapt to disasters large and small. For example, modular features allow the vehicle to quickly transform so that volunteers can either serve thousands of meals a day following a tornado or address the needs of a family displaced by a home fire.
“Astellas recognizes the need to prepare our communities for natural disasters and is committed to providing the resources necessary to meet the future with confidence” said Jeff Winton, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs and chief communications officer at Astellas Americas. “We are proud of the critical relief work the American Red Cross provides to millions globally.”
The donation is part of Astellas’ Changing Tomorrow Day initiative of volunteer service and grants to advance access to healthcare and expand community development around the world in honor of the company’s 10th anniversary. Astellas also matches all employees’ donations 1:1 to the American Red Cross through its matching gifts program, and has contributed nearly $465,000 to the American Red Cross. Separately, Astellas USA Foundation provided funding for the American Red Cross’ Home Fire Campaign.
The Red Cross currently has more than 320 emergency response vehicles across 49 states that help people in need after disasters of any size, whether it's coastal communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy or every day home fires down the street.
Over the next decade, the Red Cross expects to replace and potentially increase the current fleet while saving millions of dollars by switching to a more effective vehicle platform with reduced maintenance costs.
About American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at www.astellas.us. You can also follow us on Twitter at @AstellasUS, Facebook at www.facebook.com/AstellasUS or LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/astellas-pharma.