We Are Ready! Are You?
By Laura Coy, Public Affairs Manager, Grainger
It is hard to believe that this time last year Grainger and the American Red Cross were putting the final touches on the submission for the Corporate Citizenship Award for Best Partnership. How do you articulate in 500 words the journey of launching a program and partnership that has developed over the past 10 years?
Grainger, the leading distributor of facilities maintenance products, is the National Founding Sponsor of the American Red Cross Ready When the Time Comes™ volunteer program. This program ensures large groups of local, trained volunteers are ready to respond when a disaster strikes. To date, more than 450 companies in 55 markets have trained more than 14,000 Red Cross volunteers.
Ready When the Time Comes™ was inspired by Grainger team members wanting to give back – wanting to do more. Service is a part of our culture and helping in times of a disaster is a natural extension of our business as an industrial distributor. The partnership with the Red Cross is a great outlet for our amazing team members and Grainger’s expertise.
Over the past year, due to the success of the Ready When the Time Comes™ program and the Red Cross aim to further grow its volunteer capacity, Grainger continued its support of disaster preparedness with a $3 million commitment to the American Red Cross for the design and implementation of a nationwide volunteer database called Volunteer Connection. The new online system will enable the Red Cross to recruit, train, link and deploy more volunteers and will enhance the volunteer experience with social media tools. The database will provide connectivity and opportunities for Ready When the Time Comes™ volunteers.
We are proud of Grainger's commitment to the American Red Cross and look forward to a lasting partnership for years to come. We won the Best Partnership Award through popular vote, which was no small feat but a great reflection of how much our team members and volunteers value the program. We are extremely proud to have won the 2011 Best Partnership Award and look forward to meeting the 2012 Best Partnership recipients!
* * *
Hear from the Winners
Grainger's Chairman, President and CEO, Jim Ryan, joins American Red Cross' President of Humanitarian Services, Jerry DeFrancisco, in this video from the 2011 awards celebration.