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BOISE, Idaho -- Albertsons, Inc. associates contributed more than 300,000 volunteer hours during September as part of the company's annual "Month of Caring" initiative, during which they participated in more than 220 service projects throughout the country.
The projects included beach cleanups, playground construction, and packing and shipping supplies for victims of the gulf hurricanes.
"This year's 'Month of Caring' results represent the most successful coordinated volunteer effort that our company has ever undertaken, and it serves as a shining example of the difference that corporations can make by encouraging community service among its associates," said Larry Johnston, Albertsons chairman, c.e.o., and president. "Now more than ever, as the Gulf Coast recovers from recent hurricanes and hundreds of thousands of Americans struggle to survive every day, we need to focus our efforts on helping those who are in need and must rebuild their lives."
The company's effort this year coincided with the nationwide Corporate Month of Service initiative that officially launched a new alliance of corporations and organizations to increase volunteerism nationwide. Albertsons is one of 29 Fortune 500 companies and civic leaders partnering with the Hands On Network on an ambitious campaign to mobilize 6.4 million volunteers over the next two years, representing a 10 percent increase in volunteerism nationwide and increasing corporate employee efforts by 10 percent. Several of the projects that Albertsons volunteers contributed to in September were connected to the Corporate Month of Service.
Early this month, Albertsons was recognized by President George W. Bush for its commitment to contribute $10 million in cash, food, and general merchandise to the Red Cross hurricane relief efforts for victims in the Gulf Coast. "The good works of Albertsons demonstrate the character and great strength of our nation," the president said in his personal note to the company.
In addition to its $10 million contribution, Albertsons has collected more than $2.6 million from customers and associates to contribute to the relief effort, and has also launched Project Restore, which is a program designed to adopt 100 displaced families from the devastated areas. The company's adoption effort will involve providing support including relocation, jobs, clothing, and other services, based on each family's needs. The company also plans to pursue additional volunteer service programs that will aim to assist hurricane victims as they work to rebuild their communities.
The "Month of Caring" is part of the Albertsons' CORUS program, which was launched in the spring of 2003. CORUS represents the heart (COR) of the volunteer efforts of Albertsons associates (US). The program is designed to mobilize associates' volunteer efforts in their communities, while providing new opportunities for organized associate volunteer activities. The program is driven by 170 local CORUS chapters and involves representatives from all of the company's store banners throughout the country.
Last year the CORUS program contributed more than 1.4 million volunteer hours to support thousands of local causes that fall within Albertsons' designated charitable focus areas of hunger relief, education and the development of youth, health and nutrition, and environmental stewardship. This year Johnston has challenged the company's associates to undertake 1.8 million volunteer efforts nationwide.
Albertsons is one of the world's largest food and drug retailers. The company's divisions and subsidiaries operate approximately 2,500 stores in 37 states across the United States and employ approximately 240,000 associates. Its banners include Albertsons, Acme, Shaw's, Jewel-Osco, Sav-on Drugs, Osco Drug, and Star Markets, as well as Super Saver and Bristol Farms, which are operated independently.