An international pharmaceutical services company will be donating to three local nonprofit organizations based in the Triangle as part of a donation of £250,000, or over $300,000, to 33 different charities across the globe.
The Almac Group, based in Northern Ireland, announced Sept. 2 that it would make these donations instead of holding its annual "family fun day" this summer. The employees of each of Almac’s 11 international locations were asked to suggest and vote on which three charity organizations in their area they would support.
At the diagnostic services operation center located in Durham, employees decided to give their portion of the donation to Triangle-based groups No Kid Hungry North Carolina, WE ARE and the Triangle East Chapter of 100 Black Men of America.
Each Triangle-based organization received $13,000, Angeliki Galoozis, senior public relations associate at Almac Group, said.
“Right now with COVID-19, we recognize the pandemic has created unique challenges for nonprofits that rely on donations to keep afloat and can’t do fundraising events like they normally would,” she said. "There’s this horrible paradox where they can’t do these fundraising events that they normally do but their services are needed more than ever."
No Kid Hungry North Carolina
No Kid Hungry North Carolina, a partnership between Share Our Strength and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, is working in collaboration with a project at UNC called the Carolina Hunger Initiative.
Lou Anne Crumpler, director of the Carolina Hunger Initiative, said she was surprised when she found out that No Kid Hungry North Carolina had received the majority of the votes from the staff in Durham.
“It was very gratifying to have learned about their interest in supporting us that came basically unsolicited and as a result of the staff learning about what we were doing in the state and in Durham,” Crumpler said.
With the Carolina Hunger Initiative, UNC employees collaborate with state agencies and other anti-hunger leaders to expand access and improve the efficiency of underused federal child nutrition programs.
Tamara Baker, project and communications director for the Carolina Hunger Initiative, said the grant is particularly timely because the pandemic has increased the severity of child hunger in North Carolina.
“The food insecurity rate among North Carolinians was 11.7 percent of the state population in February,” Baker said. “By May it was 24 percent, so we know that the need out there is so much greater during COVID than it was before. And back then we already had more than 60 percent of children in public schools eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals.”
Another group that received a donation is WE ARE, a Durham-based group that provides anti-racism training for children, parents and educators.
Led by Lead Curator Ronda Taylor Bullock, the group works to provide the skills and knowledge needed to promote anti-racist education through summer camps for students, workshops for parents and professional assistance for educators.
“This gift helps us to achieve our mission of collaborating with children, families and educators to dismantle systemic racism in education and beyond,” Bullock said in a press release.
Triangle East Chapter of 100 Black Men of America
100 Black Men of America is another nonprofit seeking to diminish racial inequity in the United States, but does so through educating and empowering African American children and teenagers.
“Almac’s generous grant will support the Mentorship Program of the Triangle East Chapter, which sponsors a wide range of workshops, group and one-on-one mentoring activities for young men of color in middle and high school,” Nate Branscomb, president of the Triangle East Chapter of 100 Black Men of America, said in a press release. “Our ultimate goal is to assist them to stay in school, graduate from high school and lay the groundwork for a successful post-high school life plan.”
While the arrival of the pandemic has served to divide people in many ways, Galoozis said the Almac Group hopes to bring people together with this effort.
“We wanted to still find a way to unite even though we can’t physically be together,” she said. “And there’s no better way to unite than for a community to come together and determine what the best way is to support their community.”
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