Walgreen Co., CVS Caremark Corp. and Rite Aid Corp. are donating funds to disaster relief efforts in Japan, which is scrambling to recover from the devastation brought by the earthquake and tsunami that struck last week as well as damage to nuclear power plants that threaten a catastrophic radiation leak.


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Drug chains step up with relief aid for Japan

March 17th, 2011

NEW YORK – Walgreen Co., CVS Caremark Corp. and Rite Aid Corp. are donating funds to disaster relief efforts in Japan, which is scrambling to recover from the devastation brought by the earthquake and tsunami that struck last week as well as damage to nuclear power plants that threaten a catastrophic radiation leak.

Walgreens said Wednesday that it's donating $150,000 to the American Red Cross in response to the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11. The company also will match employee donations up to $100,000.

"Our employees have expressed their desire to lend assistance and support to those who’ve lost so much in this catastrophe," stated Chuck Greener, Walgreens' vice president of corporate affairs and communications. "Though many miles away, our hearts go out to those who have been affected by this disaster, and we're doing what we can to help the Red Cross reach those who need it most. We're sending our dollars, and we're sending our thoughts and prayers to everyone touched by this tragedy."

Also on Wednesday, Rite Aid announced today that The Rite Aid Foundation is making a $50,000 donation to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake fund to help the victims, families and communities affected by the disaster.

"Our hearts go out to the victims, families and communities affected by this devastating tragedy," commented Mary Sammons, president of the Rite Aid Foundation. "We are proud to partner with the American Red Cross and assist them in their mission of helping the people of Japan in their time of need."

Added Michael Brown, vice president of corporate and foundation giving at the American Red Cross, "This contribution from The Rite Aid Foundation could not come at a more critical time. Assistance from our corporate and humanitarian partners is key as we meet the needs of earthquake survivors."

CVS Caremark on Tuesday stepped up with a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross in support of the relief efforts in Japan. The company said its potential total donation could climb up to $300,000 through the matching of employee donations.

The company added that it's working with the Red Cross to establish a dedicated online donation portal for any of its 200,000 employees who want to contribute. The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust will match employee donations up to $100,000.

"With the impact of this terrible event still occurring and given the potential for serious long-term health challenges across northeastern Japan, we are providing support to the American Red Cross as it helps the Japanese Red Cross provide first aid, emotional support and relief items to those who have been displaced," stated Eileen Howard Boone, vice president of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust.

The American Red Cross' Brown commented, "This contribution from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is critically important as we work to provide help and hope to survivors of the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami. In times of disaster, assistance from our corporate partners is key to our ability to fulfill our humanitarian mission."

According to published reports, the disaster in Japan has killed about 6,500 people and injured several thousand more, and more than 10,000 people are missing. Approximately 450,000 people are homeless as a result of the quake and tsunami, more than 300,000 households are without power and roughly 1 million have no water.

Four of six nuclear reactors at a facility in northeastern Japan also sustained severe damage, including fires, explosions or partial meltdowns. With international assistance, Japan is working feverishly to cool down the reactors and the storage pools where used uranium rods are kept, as well as to mitigate levels of radiation that leaked into the environment as a result of the damage.

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