Merck Canada Extends Community Action Day across Canada

Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton to benefit from Merck's initiative

KIRKLAND, QC, May 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Less than one year after the inaugural Merck Canada Community Action Day at the company's headquarters in Montreal, the event is going national.

Today, more than 120 Merck employees will be leaving their regular work and heading out in communities across Canada to volunteer their efforts in a variety of ways at 16 non-profit community organizations. The Community Action Day initiative is an important way for Merck employees to work together in a collective effort for a common project: supporting those most in need in their local communities.

One of the places they will be volunteering is Camp Bosco, a family vacation camp for disadvantaged families near Valleyfield, Quebec. Twenty Merck Canada headquarters employees have chosen to spend the day doing spring cleaning of the daycare, chapel, kitchen, walking trails and painting of outdoor furniture.

"The efforts of the Merck employees made a real difference to us last year, so we welcome them back again this year with open arms," said Diane Veuhoff of West Island Citizen Advocacy, a group that connects volunteers with individuals who need help for any number of reasons, such as physical or developmental disability. Last year, the Merck volunteers cooked 43 meals for the residents of the Church Apartment Program and this year they're extending their help to include packing and gardening. "A small organization such as ours really benefits from this type of initiative and we thank Merck very much for making this possible. The employees are so keen and energetic. It's a delight to have them."

The feeling goes both ways. "I got a lot of satisfaction volunteering last year at Accueil Bonneau," said Susan Hammond, Medical Affairs Coordinator. "Not only was it great to know we were helping out a really good cause, I learned a lot about what the group does and what a huge difference it makes in the community."

"We wanted to help out Operations Friendships Seniors Society, because they do such important work in our community," said Martin Staub, a Merck employee in Edmonton, Alberta. "My colleagues and I are very excited to spend the day giving them a hand preparing and serving meals. We're very pleased the Merck Community Action Day is spreading across the country and that more employees have the opportunities to participate, in the communities where they live and work."

The Merck Community Action Day is part of the company's global vision that encourages and values employees' voluntary involvement. "It's very gratifying to see how our colleagues across Canada have embraced this way of giving back to our local communities," said Carlos Dourado, President and Managing Director of Merck Canada.

About Merck

Today's Merck is working to help the world be well. Merck is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines, consumer and animal health products. In Canada, Merck markets over 530 pharmaceutical, consumer and animal health products and is a leader in a broad range of areas such as cardiology, immunology, infectious diseases, respiratory, vaccines, women's health and sun care, and is focused on expanding offerings in other areas, including virology, oncology and diabetes.

Merck is one of the top 25 R&D investors in Canada, with an investment of $95.4 million in 2009. Merck also has a large manufacturing facility in Quebec dedicated to the annual production of some 35 million units including the Claritin® and Aerius® brands. Based in Montreal, Quebec, Merck employs over 1,600 people across Canada. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit www.merck.ca.

SOURCE MERCK

For further information:

Marc Osborne
MERCK
(514) 428-3275   
Emmanuelle Vatel
HKDP Communications and public affairs
(514) 395-0375, ext 234

 

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