Helping disadvantaged young people is the core focus of RELX Cares, our global community programme which supports employee volunteering. It’s also a key concern of RX Global US in Norwalk, Connecticut, which has been supporting local charity Kids In Crisis (KIC) for nearly eight years – and continues to do so through Covid.
Kids in Crisis’ (KIC) mission is to ensure the well-being of children through vital 24-hour crisis services including outreach programmes in schools and communities and therapeutic emergency shelter for children ages 9-17. From cleaning up the shelter to volunteering at KIC annual fundraisers and collecting holiday gifts for the children served by KIC, Reed’s Norwalk team has been diligent with the time and energy provided to KIC with hands-on help.
Twice a year, RELX holds what they call “donations rounds” where Cares Champions across the globe nominate charity partners they are working with for a grant. This year, due to Covid and its effects on the financial health of all of our charity partners, RELX decided that outright donations would be made to all the winning grant recipients from the past two years instead of having them go through the usual application process. The donation budget was split amongst 36 global charity partners, with each one receiving $7,500.
Kids in Crisis, a frequent grant winner, was extremely grateful for this emergency relief which helps to continue to support its Teen Talk Program (now Virtual!) at Brien McMahon High School, a public high school that serves a majority of disadvantaged students in Norwalk. Teen Talk provides specially trained, Masters level mental health counselors in area middle and high schools to identify at risk students who need help with personal, family and school related challenges.
More recently, KIC added “Lighthouse” to its list of services, providing a welcoming, safe, inclusive space where LGBTQ youth and their allies meet weekly. RX Global’ Cares programme sponsors monthly pizza dinners at these meetings and one of their members serves as a facilitator.
“It is Kids In Crisis’ commitment to provide safe spaces for children, many of whom struggle with mental health and family conflict issues, that drives the level of engagement of our employees,” believes Christine Seiden, Manager of Corporate Responsibility at RX Global US and Cares Champion. “It’s really as simple as that. And I know that each time a Norwalk employee has their first experience volunteering with Kids In Crisis it won’t be their last.”