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Mars Volunteers Step Up to Make a Difference in 2017

12/22/2017

There are many ways to make a difference in the world, whether it’s part of your work or an after-hours pursuit. We are humbled and proud of all of our Associates who volunteer throughout the year—either on their own time or as part of the Mars Volunteer Program.

Every year, Mars Associates get two days paid time off to volunteer with their colleagues for a cause or a community they care about. We are always thrilled and touched by the stories of Associates using this company-sponsored time to bring their passion, knowledge and skills to people and communities around the world.

As we approach the end of 2017, we look back at some of the stories of Associates making a difference in the lives of people and pets.

Associates at Banfield Pet Hospital impacted more than 144,000 people and pets through the Mars Volunteer Program. Associates volunteered their skills in caring for pets in need, through veterinary medicine or by working at nonprofits that need help. This year, Banfield Associates volunteered on projects ranging from landscaping at animal shelters, renovation projects at local dog parks, packing pet food at food banks and free preventive care clinics for vulnerable pets.

A group of Mars volunteers from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition gardened at the Leicester Animal Aid shelter and visited local schools to speak to children about responsible pet ownership.

A team of veterinary specialists from BluePearl Veterinary Partners and Pet Partners, LLC traveled to Costa Rica to provide continuing education to local veterinarians and give medical care and vaccines to hundreds of shelter dogs.

Mars Fishcare (API Fishcare) Associates from Chalfont, PA, volunteered at two local organizations, Aark Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center and Last Chance Ranch, making landscaping improvements and enhancing living quarters for the animals.

Jo Gale, a Waltham Associate, along with six other Associates from different parts of the world lent their expertise to help run pop-up veterinary clinics in Louisiana as part of the Mars Ambassador Program, providing free preventative care to more than 150 pets and low-income pet owners.

“Many happy tears were shed from seeing joyful owners so grateful for the treatment their pets received. But though the scratches have faded, the friendships built and memories made will last well beyond that humid week in November.” – Jo, Science Engagement & Communications Manager, Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition

Driving Change Globally

Terance Garrett, demand planning manager at Mars, embarked on a journey of paying it forward while he was in high school and has kept that momentum going—on his own time and as part of the Mars Volunteer Program. Over the years, he has worked tirelessly and passionately with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to coordinate events, helped to write curricula for farmers with Cove Alliance Uganda, packaged food with Second Harvest, tutored through Chicago Public Schools, and helped build homes through Habit for Humanity. He cites the Mars Volunteer Program as one of the reasons he was drawn to working for the company.

“It was such a joy to see the looks on the children’s faces as they received their winter accessories. I believe it takes a village to raise a child, as it did with me.” – Terance

All across the world, Mars Associates like Terance are following their hearts and driving change.

In China, our Mars Wrigley Confectionery Associates helped organize oral care classes to put brighter smiles on children’s faces.

In Brazil, our Associates provided career training, food workshops and computer classes to people within our value chain, giving them invaluable knowledge and equipping them with new skills to better thrive.

Over at Mars Belgium, 40 Associates spent a day cleaning up the city of Zaventem, restoring its beauty for all to see.

Through Dyadis, a Mars Belgium-founded charity organization that trains and donates assistance dogs for people with disabilities, Mars volunteers helped organize the special “hand-over” event for 27 dogs and their grateful new owners.

Mars Netherlands teamed up with the Dutch national food bank and is currently donating packages of food to the 5,500 households in the southern region of the country that rely on it. Over 300 Associates have already signed up to help.

Stepping Up During Disasters

When natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes hit communities around the world, Mars Associates were ready and willing to step up to help.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria’s devastating impact on Puerto Rico, Mars volunteers spent long days and nights ensuring pet owners and their pets were given the help they needed. Banfield reopened many of its hospitals to provide free care while also donating over $50,000 in medical supplies to hard-to-access clinics.

When a deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico City and surrounding states, over 140 Mars Associates in Mexico volunteered across the country to assist those who were affected.

After Hurricane Harvey hit this year, Mars Food Associates jumped into action to help the relief effort. Through our partnership with Operation Gratitude, they donated enough rice for over 85,000 people.

In Greenville, Mississippi, when a local food bank was impacted by a neighboring fire, compromising its capacity, local Mars Food Volunteers raced to clean up the fire damage and make sure the food bank was back at full capacity.

And finally, our Wrigley Company Foundation was recognized by the American Red Cross during its annual telethon in Chicago thanks to our caring Associates for helping communities around the world in great times of need.

This year has tested the passion, resilience and empathy of Mars Associates like never before. We are deeply grateful for their efforts and for taking it upon themselves to heal, protect, and care for communities and pets across the globe.

We are #ProudlyMars.