Wawa continues its support for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia through a $5 million philanthropic gift.
The Wawa Foundation has funded a new Wawa Volunteer Center, which is now open at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The Center was funded by a $5 million philanthropic gift from The Wawa Foundation.
The hospital’s existing volunteer program – which in 2015 saw 500 volunteers deliver more than 30,000 service hours – has now officially been re-named the Wawa Volunteer Program. The event featured opening remarks by CHOP and Wawa executives, as well as a grateful patient family. CHOP also awarded Steve Wenzel, a Wawa employee and 25-year hospital volunteer, its Outstanding Volunteer Award.
“Wawa’s legacy of support for CHOP began 160 years ago, when, in 1856, a Wood family member was part of CHOP’s original board of directors,” said Madeline Bell, president and CEO of CHOP. “It’s incredible to see the evolution of our relationship together. Since then, the company has raised more than $3 million to support programs in the Department of Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy; established the Wawa Endowed Chair in International Adoption; given charitable grants to fund programs related to the NICU and HIV/AIDS and donated multiple products vital to our clinical programs. Today, we are thrilled to build our relationship with The Wawa Foundation and are extremely grateful for their generous gift to support our volunteers.”
Community relationships have been at the heart of Wawa’s purpose since its founding, from championing important causes, to in-store fundraising, to volunteering at community events.
“Wawa’s purpose has always been to go beyond filling customers’ orders to fulfilling lives every day, and the Wawa Volunteer Program at CHOP is a perfect example of that,” said Chris Gheysens, president and CEO of Wawa. “We truly believe that each of our associates, and now each of the Wawa volunteers at CHOP, plays a special role in improving the lives of the people in our region, and to be able to give back to children and families in this way is something we’re excited to be a part of.”
CHOP also dedicated a newly constructed, 1,500-square-foot Wawa Volunteer Center in its Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care, located on the hospital’s Raymond G. Perelman Campus. Future plans made possible by The Wawa Foundation’s $5 million gift include multiple Wawa Coffee & Care Carts; an expanded CHOP hospitality and wayfinding corps; additional volunteer programs at CHOP Care Network locations throughout the region and more.
“The Wawa Volunteer Program at CHOP enables us to give back in a way that goes beyond a financial donation to one that also allows our associates to be a part of the program by volunteering,” said Jay Culotta, president of The Wawa Foundation. “Our associates are a huge part of who we are at Wawa, and to see so many jump at the chance to give back to their community shows how much everyone at Wawa cares about helping our neighbors. And, supporting the mission of CHOP has always been part of the Wawa way, so we can’t think of a better fit for our culture.”