Changing Tomorrow Day unites Astellas employees worldwide through meaningful community service

On a typical weekday, Stacy Stone, associate director of commercial technology at Astellas, spends her time in the company’s Americas headquarters in Northbrook, IL, in front of her computer, surrounded by office supplies, books and pictures of her family. 

But one day, Stacy didn’t come to the office to work as usual. Instead, she kissed her husband and three small children goodbye and did something she’d never done before. She spent the day with colleagues packing nutritious meals for the needy. 

“I’ve always loved volunteering and giving back to the community,” she said, taking a break from packing meals, “but I never had the opportunity to do so through my job.”

Stacy, alongside 200 colleagues, packed more than 30,000 meals that will be distributed by Stop Hunger Now, a Raleigh, NC-based organization dedicated to ending world hunger.  Around the world, hundreds of other Astellas employees participated in a wide variety of volunteer opportunities as part of Astellas’ Changing Tomorrow Day. The initiative is a worldwide day of volunteering that gives the company’s more than 17,000 employees a meaningful opportunity not only to do something good in their communities, but also to do something good together. 

Changing Tomorrow Day – which actually takes place on different days in different regions – is one of the most anticipated employee activities every year, a fact that contributed to the company being named among the top 500 places to work by Forbes magazine for the third consecutive year. It’s also a reflection of the company’s desire to create a culture of engagement, one that allows employees like Stacy to make a powerful difference in the communities where they work and live.

In 2016, more than 6,600 Astellas employees around the globe volunteered a total of 17,089 hours at 250 locations across 30 countries. They conducted a wide range of volunteer activities centered on promoting healthcare and maintaining a healthy environment.

For example, Astellas Poland’s Changing Tomorrow Day activities included arranging for a mobile ambulance to come to the office for a blood drive (the office’s fourth). In Ireland, employees supported an organization that runs camps for children living with serious illnesses, by helping to garden, paint and clean their facilities.

In Singapore, employees volunteered at a children’s cancer center, providing a fun, hands-on experience teaching the children how to bake cupcakes in the shape of hamburgers.  In Japan, Astellas’ global headquarters, teams volunteered at a nursing home in Tsukuda, and the company has already embarked on its 2017 efforts with employees conducting their annual community street clean up in Tokyo.

Changing tomorrow is more than just the name of a day. It represents the company’s strong determination to continue its efforts as long as there are people suffering from disease, and to help achieve a brighter future for all patients fighting illness.

“Astellas likes to give back to the community,” Benny Hui, medical science liaison at Astellas Pharma Canada, said, standing amid the volunteers busy sorting and packing items in Vancouver, where 200 Astellas employees from across the U.S., Canada and Brazil joined forces to benefit the Urban Native Youth Association. “It’s an honor to be a part of a company that believes in those values.”