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MLK Day: A different kind of day off

To honor the life of Dr. King and keep his legacy of respect, tolerance, inclusion and service to others at the forefront of the holiday, our African American Alliance (AAA) Employee Resource Group commemorated the day by making Martin Luther King Day a ‘Day On’ through engaging in a series of service projects with local community partners.

On January 15th, GSK employees in Raleigh and Philadelphia joined hands and hearts to give back to their local communities.

A team of more than 20 volunteered in Raleigh with 2017 GSK Impact Award recipient, Families Together NC.  Families Together is doing significantly impactful work in NC by supporting families out of homelessness, and often, out of multi-generational poverty.  Volunteers from GSK came together to help build a community garden, do some light landscaping, and organize donations and welcome home gift packages for the program’s families.  

In Philadelphia, several colleagues volunteered locally in support of small community efforts.

Nicole Fulton (based in the Navy Yard) volunteered w/ the Boy Scouts of America, at the Germantown Friends school in Philly. She joined 43 scouts and leaders to perform service for the local homeless shelters, families & children in NW Philadelphia. Among other things, they made lunch for the children, created baskets and sorted donations.

In another part of Philadelphia, colleagues teamed up with a local non-profit and 2016 GSK Impact Award Winner, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, an organization bringing volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners. This year’s MLK Day of Service, the non-profit partnered with A. Philip Randolph Career & Technical High School. GSK volunteers upgraded a classroom with new plumbing, added additional storage, repainted the most highly trafficked hallways in the school as well as touched up the walls in the front office and a number of areas around the school.

Families Together NC and Rebuilding Together Philadelphia were selected from a competitive GSK Impact Award process and each received a $40,000 award to support their programming.  Families Together NC also won our 2017 Employee Choice Award of an additional $10,000 to move homeless children and their families out of shelters, cars and campsites and into safe, dignified permanent housing.

“It was important for us to not just celebrate the holiday by merely remembering a quote from Dr. King. For us and for all who volunteered with us – the importance of the day was three-fold.  It was important to honor the legacy of Dr. King through serving the community in which we work and live.  It was equally important to create an opportunity for our colleagues at all levels within the organization to fellowship as a team.  Lastly, the work achieved through our volunteerism directly aligned with GSK’s purpose  to help people do more, feel better and live longer. We’re thankful for the partnership with Families Together NC, and we’re looking forward to serving on MLK Day again in 2019!” – Sam Warren, on behalf of GSK's African American Alliance Employee Resource Group 

Thanks to all who chose to make MLK Day a different kind of day off.

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