JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – November 9, 2018 – CSX (NASDAQ: CSX) today unveiled CSX Pride in Service, a new corporate community investment program to honor and serve those who serve our country and communities – our nation’s veterans, active military, and first responders.
CSX Pride in Service will connect service members, first responders, and their families to the resources and support they need through partnerships with several not-for-profit organizations – Blue Star Families, First Responders Children’s Foundation, Operation Gratitude, Operation Homefront, and Wounded Warrior Project. This multi-million dollar commitment and collaborative approach will positively impact more than 100,000 heroes and their families over the next two years.
“CSX is proud to partner with these leading organizations to give back to those who have sacrificed so much in their service to this country and their communities,” said CSX President and CEO James M. Foote. “Service is and always has been part of our DNA; we exist to serve customers who depend on CSX to run their businesses. With the CSX Pride in Service program, we look forward to extending our service culture and commitment from our customers to the communities where we operate.”
At the foundation of CSX Pride in Service is CSX’s own commitment to service, which plays a critical role in the nation’s economy. For more than 200 years, CSX has served its customers by connecting them to the goods and materials they need, when they need them. Deepening its connection with this cause, CSX proudly employs more than 3,700 veterans, active-duty military and first responders.
“Nearly one in five of our employees is serving or has served their country or community, and we are honored they choose to work for CSX,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer Diana Sorfleet. “Their commitment and dedication is worthy of our deepest appreciation, and it’s a privilege to channel that gratitude into a program that helps meet the needs of the broader military and first responder communities.”
In the U.S., there are 43 million members of the military community and 2.3 million first responders, who risk their lives to serve and protect our country and communities. While the job itself is difficult and dangerous, the hardships that often come with deployments, frequent relocations, and injuries on the job can leave these heroes and their families feeling disconnected and unsupported.
CSX Pride in Service was developed to help connect service men, women and family members with the support they need in three primary areas.
CSX Pride in Service will provide critical financial assistance to hundreds of families across CSX’s 23-state footprint. This will include scholarships to children of fallen or injured service members, grants that cover a range of expenses for families that may be struggling, and assistance during some of life’s most challenging transitions.
To combat isolation and disconnection from the broader community, CSX Pride in Service will work to establish support networks that bridge the divide between service members and civilians in key communities across the CSX network, starting with our hometown of Jacksonville, Fla. By offering free or low-cost family events, activities, support groups, clubs and other various programs, military families can focus on building relationships and engaging with the broader community.
To show our immense respect and appreciation to those who serve, CSX employees will come together regularly for volunteer opportunities and service projects, such as writing letters and building care packages to active military, veterans and first responders.
To learn more about CSX Pride in Service, visit www.csx.com/prideinservice.
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For nearly 190 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).
Founded in 2009, Blue Star Families tells the story of military life and brokers solutions to military families’ challenges to decrease their sense of isolation and increase their wellbeing. Blue Star Families brings neighbors together to address military families’ challenges in the belief that communities are strongest when the families of those who protect us are thriving. Blue Star Families envisions a nation where anyone who wants to serve their country can do so without sacrificing the wellbeing of his or her family. As the largest community-based military family nonprofit in the country, Blue Star Families has established over 30 locations nationwide.
Blue Star Families’ groundbreaking research develops innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges of military family life and creates stronger communities. Blue Star Families’ connected communities support more than 1 million military family members annually, providing career development, caregiver support, educational programming and supportive community connections.
In the 16 years since the First Responders Children's Foundation was established, the responsibilities put upon our uniformed heroes have grown exponentially. First Responders Children’s Foundation works with families and agencies across the country, including police and fire departments, the DEA, FBI, Homeland Security, Secret Service, Forest Service, Border Patrol, Court Officers, EMS and all other forms of first responders to support and uplift first responder families should tragedy strike. First Responders Children’s Foundation is keenly aware that the impact of the loss or injury of a parent can last a lifetime. First responders count on First Responders Children’s Foundation to put their families first in times of need – just as they put all of us first every time they go to work.
Demonstrating that actions speak louder than words, Operation Gratitude, a 501(c)(3) organization, provides tangible ways to strengthen communities and bring together grateful civilians with the men and women in uniform who serve and protect them. Through customized Care Package programs, Operation Gratitude has provided opportunities for countless Americans to say “Thank You” to more than 2.1 million of our nation’s Heroes since 2003. On September 11, 2018, Operation Gratitude launched the BRIDGE CouncilTM, joining forces with corporate and civic leaders to further bridge the civilian-service divide with a grassroots movement focused on hands-on volunteerism, expressions of gratitude, and meaningful engagements in communities across America. Awarded a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum rating from Guidestar, 94 percent of Operation Gratitude’s expenditures go directly to programs that annually support more than 300,000 Service Members, their families at home, Veterans, and First Responders. To learn more, visit www.operationgratitude.com.
Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is transforming the way America’s injured veterans are empowered, employed, and engaged in our communities. WWP’s free services in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care change the lives of millions of warriors and their families. Since 2003, WWP has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambitions. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), top rated by Charity Navigator, and holding a GuideStar Platinum rating. To get involved and learn how WWP connects, serves, and empowers, visit http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.
Bryan Tucker, Vice President of Corporate Communications – CSX
Chaitali S. Patel, Chief External Affairs Officer – Blue Star Families
Dawne Troupe, Co-Executive Director – First Responders Children’s Foundation
Kevin Schmiegel, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.) and CEO – Operation Gratitude
Margi Kirst, Chief Development Officer – Operation Homefront
Courtney Davidson, Corporate Partnerships – Wounded Warrior Project