St. Louis companies doing the most good

By Tom Kovach, Major Gifts Director, Midland Division

In an August 13 New York Times Op-Ed piece (“First Make Money. Also Do Good”) by Steve Lohr, he quotes an argument made by Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman decades ago. Mr. Friedman called social responsibility programs — including corporate social responsibility– “hypocritical window-dressing” in a 1970 article for the New York Times Magazine.

Express Scripts employees load a Salvation Army van with school supplies collected for Fanning Middle School students.

The buzz words Corporate Social Responsibility (also known as CSR) do not apply to St. Louis corporations who support The Salvation Army and other worthy causes. St. Louis corporations and individuals are generous from a corporate donation and an employee volunteer opportunity perspective.

In essence, CSR should be really coined a “shared value.” Several Saint Louis corporations who are involved in supporting The Salvation Army extend more than a handshake and a check to our organization. They offer their own army of employees who become volunteers at critical phases for The Salvation Army Midland Division. For example, U.S. Bank is a thoughtful donor yet provides a slew of volunteer opportunities for employees. Let me share you with you the incredible support we receive from U.S. Bank employees. They are excited to assist The Salvation Army. Volunteer opportunities were available for U.S Bank employees to answer phones during a Salvation Army and Fox 2/Channel 11 fund drive. A number of U.S. Bank employees even took time out of their own schedule to help remove debris by hand after the 4/22 storms.

Another example is Express Scripts. Not only did Express Scripts offer up their parking lot as a destination for our community to donate non-perishable items for Joplin, employees hold competitions amongst themselves to see who can donate the most items. In fact, Express Scripts employees took the time recently to donate school supplies for Fanning Middle School students in the Saint Louis Public School district. Express Scripts employees deeply care about the communities they work and live in including assisting the Salvation Army’s Family Haven program.

U.S. Bank and Express Scripts are just a sampling of St. Louis corporations who believe in the shared values. Our community is fortunate St. Louis corporations are not in the business of basic corporate social responsibility or automatic CSR. They have employees who are involved in volunteer opportunities that extend a heart to god and a hand to mankind. Blessed are they who have shared value belief values to help fulfill The Salvation Army’s motto of “Doing The Most Good”.

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  • St Louis Ford  On September 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    These are all great examples of local St Louis local businesses who have made a big difference in the community. These companies are going beyond what is expected and putting in the extra mile, which is greatly appreciated.

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