The Wawa Foundation has donated $6.15 million to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in an effort to elevate and expand the hospital’s Wawa Volunteer Services program.
The gift will establish a Wawa Coffee and Care Cart, currently operating on CHOP’s Philadelphia campus, at CHOP’s second inpatient hospital, the Middleman Family Pavilion in King of Prussia, Pa., in July 2023. The gift will also enable the purchase and upgrade of coffee makers, single-serve brewing systems, pods and other accessories to provide a warm drink to employees, patient families and visitors.
Additionally, the gift will provide funding for the reception area of a Family Resource Center in the new patient tower on CHOP’s Philadelphia campus, scheduled to open in 2028.
“We celebrate National Volunteer Month not only in April, but throughout the year, as our volunteers are integral to how we serve and care for our patients and their families,” said Matthew Bennett, senior director of patient and family services at CHOP. “Volunteers, along with their commitment and passion, are a key component to us as an organization. As part of the Wawa Volunteer Services program, volunteers offer those in the hospital cups of coffee, tea and hot chocolate, and a variety of cold Wawa juices and teas through the Wawa Coffee and Care Cart, helping to bring comfort during what can be a difficult time. In addition to making a valuable impact on patient families, having a Wawa Coffee and Care Cart at our King of Prussia Campus will greatly expand the volunteer opportunities available on our newest campus.”
In addition to supporting infrastructure enhancements and improving the volunteer experience, The Wawa Foundation’s gift will enhance the patient family experience through a Family Resource Center in CHOP’s new patient tower on the Philadelphia campus opening in 2028. To recognize this investment, the welcome area of the Family Resource Center will incorporate The Wawa Foundation’s name.
“We are thrilled to build on our long-standing partnership with CHOP at their hospital in Philadelphia, while expanding volunteer services to the Middleman Family Pavilion in King of Prussia to fulfill more lives in our community,” said Maria Kalogredis, chair of The Wawa Foundation. “It truly warms our hearts to connect with and play even a minor role in providing the simple comfort of beverages to patients and families to make their stay a little brighter.”
While Wawa Volunteer Services at CHOP was established in 2016, Wawa’s legacy of support for CHOP began more than 165 years ago. Since 1855, Wawa and CHOP have shared a steadfast commitment to compassionate care for children and an emphasis on serving the entire family. Across eight generations, the Wood family and Wawa have helped CHOP shape, grow and transform.
Wawa and The Wawa Foundation have provided more than $17.5 million in support to various departments across the hospital enterprise, including the volunteer program, Division of Orthopaedics, Adolescent Medicine and Department of Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy. Today, hundreds of volunteers work alongside CHOP care teams to provide comfort, connection and resources during stressful times. The Wawa Coffee and Care Cart has created millions of smiles over the last 20 years and is currently on track to serve more than 160,000 drinks each year. Upon its unveiling in King of Prussia in July, the Wawa Coffee and Care Cart will round through Middleman Family Pavilion as well as at CHOP’s Specialty Care and Urgent Care centers.
“Anyone who has pushed the Wawa Coffee and Care Cart knows that the simple gesture of offering a beverage with a smile makes a world of difference for families in difficult situations,” said Kenneth Luu, director of Wawa volunteer services and engagement at CHOP. “The Wawa Foundation’s investment will empower us to deliver a seamless, inclusive, family-centered experience to everyone who enters our doors. Launching a cart at our Middleman Family Pavilion will be a key element in ensuring the finest patient care experience at every step of a family’s healthcare journey.”
The Wawa Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Wawa Inc. to support the company’s charitable giving and philanthropic activities.