Amgen Foundation awards 1st $1M in post-María rebuilding grants
Amgen Foundation, the philanthropic arm of biomanufacturing company Amgen, recently awarded the first $1 million in grants as part of its rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico.
Right after Hurricane María, the Amgen Foundation committed $3 million in immediate relief and up to $2 million to support reconstruction initiatives as part of the relief efforts and its commitment to community recovery efforts.
Rebuilding funds will support the reconstruction of educational, recreational and academic facilities, as well as materials and equipment necessary for the following academic institutions: Juana Sánchez Montessori School, Roberto Silva School, and Pedro Bosh School, all located in the municipality of Juncos.
As part of the program, the entity will also provide a grant to the Mayagüez and Humacao campuses of the University of Puerto Rico to rebuild and improve student science laboratories and academic facilities.
The Foundation is currently evaluating where to focus the second $1 million in rebuilding grants, officials said.
“Amgen has been part of the development and economic growth of Puerto Rico for the past 26 years, and we have formed a close bond with the island and our community in Juncos,” said Kerry Ingalls, vice president of operations of Amgen in Puerto Rico.
“At a time when the island faces great challenges, Amgen has been ready to offer a helping hand from the first day. First with our employees, and then with the municipal administration of Juncos and other community-based entities that have been assisting the communities most in need,” Ingalls said.
Last year and three days after the Island was impacted by Hurricane María, Amgen donated $3 million to support immediate relief efforts for victims. The first contributions of this pledge went to Direct Relief, International Medical Corps, and Americares. Now, the Foundation has turned its attention to longer-term rebuilding efforts, with a particular focus on the educational system.
Also, Amgen activated the company’s Staff Disaster Relief Fund to support its employees through financial assistance for shelter, medical attention, clothing, and other critical relief.
The company also provided its 2,072 employees in Puerto Rico with supplies that included non-perishable food, bottled water, basic needs, fuel, among many others. All these efforts from Amgen and its Foundation back the recovery and reconstruction initiatives for the benefit to the Puerto Rican communities.
Likewise, the company supported private and government entities in their recovery efforts after Hurricane María’s strike nearly a year ago. The biopharmaceutical company distributed supplies, food, and fuel to hospital facilities and relief centers for hurricane victims of the East region.
Similarly, the company delivered shipments of drinking water to the municipality of Juncos, for communities without water service and the municipal fire station. Amgen supplied fuel, mainly diesel, for the operation of generators at several hospital facilities, dialysis centers, and even supermarkets, Puerto Rico Police stations, and drinking water processing facilities of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, among other public entities.