More than 1,500 Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) employees around the globe will participate in the company's second annual “Care Deeply Volunteer Day,” which kicks off today. The day of service is part of Biogen Idec's philanthropic focus on patients, science education and supporting local community needs. During last year’s pilot “Care Deeply Volunteer Day,” employees volunteered more than 3,500 hours in communities around the world. This year, Biogen Idec is expanding its volunteer sites and efforts with employees participating in 80 projects in 22 countries including Italy, Spain, Poland, Australia, Brazil and China. It’s estimated that volunteers will nearly double the number of hours served, to a total of more than 7,000. Employees have the option to use a work day as a day of service and devote their time to causes such as preparing and serving meals to the homeless, working at local elementary schools, sorting clothes for the underprivileged, working with patients and other community-based projects. “Care Deeply Volunteer Day connects our employees in a meaningful way to our commitment to improve the lives of patients and the communities in which they live,” said George A. Scangos, Ph.D., CEO, Biogen Idec. “These experiences are a powerful reminder of the importance of the potential we have to make a meaningful difference in our communities and can spur increased employee volunteerism throughout the year.” This year’s activities are based on local needs and will focus on fighting hunger, supporting youth, improving the environment, helping families in need and patient outreach. Scangos will spend the day volunteering at the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester where he and other employees will host and run four learning labs, correlating with the Massachusetts Department of Education Science Standards, as part of an interactive science fair for students. Examples of other projects include:
- In Raleigh, NC, Biogen Idec employees will volunteer at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (IFFS). Volunteers will harvest crops at a local farm supporting IFFS’ mission to make healthy, nutritious food available to people experiencing hardship.
- In Cambridge, Mass., volunteers will work with the Cambridge Community Center painting walls and murals, as well as maintaining other parts of the facility used for after-school programming for youth from Cambridge, Somerville, Boston and surrounding communities.
- In São Paolo, Brazil, volunteers will plant vegetables in a community garden developed by Cities without Hunger. The garden supplies members of the community with nutritious food and also provides them with job and income generation through selling the produce harvested. After working in the garden, volunteers will visit a local senior home, sharing food from the garden and other necessities donated by employees.
- In Beijing, China, employees from Singapore, Japan, Australia and India will volunteer with the “China Dolls Center for Rare Disorders.” In honor of the "Music and Photo Day," employees will join children with rare diseases to decorate picture frames in helping to raise funds for the organization.
- In Zug, Switzerland, employees will volunteer at the Zentrum Elisabeth Multiple Sclerosis Center and have the opportunity to join patients for an outing.
About Biogen IdecThrough cutting-edge science and medicine, Biogen Idec discovers, develops and delivers to patients worldwide innovative therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia and autoimmune disorders. Founded in 1978, Biogen Idec is the world’s oldest independent biotechnology company. Patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis therapies and the company generates more than $5 billion in annual revenues. For product labeling, press releases and additional information about the company, please visit www.biogenidec.com.