Through its corporate nonprofit foundation, Rite Aid is donating another $100,000 to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and is slated to launch a national in-store fundraising program.

Rite Aid, Hurricane Sandy, Rite Aid Foundation, in-store fundraising program, donation, Empire State Relief Fund, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, John Standley, drug stores, drug chain, Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, RA50 wellness events

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Rite Aid steps up Sandy relief, including in-store donations

November 13th, 2012

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Through its corporate nonprofit foundation, Rite Aid is donating another $100,000 to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and is slated to launch a national in-store fundraising program.

The drug chain said Tuesday that the Rite Aid Foundation will award grants of $50,000 to the Empire State Relief Fund, announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, established by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. 

On Nov. 23 — Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year — Rite Aid plans to have a chainwide, in-store customer and associate fundraising program in place to provide more support to the hurricane relief efforts.

Plans call for the program to launch first in areas most affected by the storm and then roll out across its 4,600-plus stores by Black Friday. Running until Dec. 15, the program will allow customers to donate an amount of their choice at the register at any Rite Aid drug store. Rite Aid employees in the company's corporate and field offices and distribution centers will also be able to participate.

"So many of our customers and associates have asked what they can do to help the people of New York and New Jersey rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy," Rite Aid chairman and chief executive officer John Standley said in a statement. "By launching our in-store fundraising program during the busiest shopping time of the year for our stores, we can draw on the higher store traffic and the sense of giving surrounding the holiday season to raise as much as we can to help those in need."

All funds raised will be donated in equal amounts to the Empire State Relief Fund and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, Rite Aid said.

The Rite Aid Foundation made a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross for Sandy relief efforts on Oct. 31 and provided four truckloads of bottled water valued at $30,000 to residents in devastated areas.

In a statement, Cuomo thanked Rite Aid as one of the first corporations to announce support for his state's hurricane relief fund.

"Rite Aid's contributions and the creation of a national in-store fundraising program during their busiest time of year show they are standing with New Yorkers as they start to rebuild," Cuomo commented. "Rite Aid understands that in the aftermath of this devastating storm, the need for assistance will be felt for months — even years — to come."

New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie, who is chairing New Jersey's hurricane relief fund, stated, "The donation from the Rite Aid Foundation as well as the funds donated by Rite Aid customers in-store will enable us to help our citizens today and in the longer term as we all work together to rebuild. We deeply appreciate their giving back to the communities they serve in this way."

Rite Aid said that as part of its "RA50" campaign to mark its 50th anniversary, it had planned to host the final events of the initiative's 12-city tour in New York City on Nov. 14 to 16. But since Hurricane Sandy, the company has redeployed its RA50 wellness events and product donations to the communities hardest hit by the storm.

On Wednesday, Rite Aid plans to deliver a truckload of donated products — including first aid, baby care, personal care, hygiene and cleaning supplies — to the Breezy Point Cooperative at the Fort Tilden Army Reserve Center in Rockaway Point, N.Y. The cooperative is serving as a resource center for displaced families in the Rockaways-Breezy Point area.

And then on Thursday, Rite Aid will provide another truckload of donated products to pop-up shops set up by the North Shore LIJ Health System. Located at the Staten Island University Hospital in Staten Island, N.Y., and at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore on New York's Long Island, the stores were created as a place where employees of the health system whose homes have been damaged or destroyed can shop free for staple daily living items.