All posts by Erin Carlin

The Rite Aid Foundation Awards Nearly $2 Million to Folds of Honor Scholarship Recipients Through Kidcents

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The Rite Aid Foundation announced today that 390 students have been selected as 2019 Folds of Honor Educational Scholarship recipients through its KidCents program. This year’s scholarships, which total more than $1.9 million, begin a three-year, $6 million commitment to Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to children and spouses of fallen or disabled service members.

This new three-year commitment is The Rite Aid Foundation’s third contribution to Folds of Honor. Since 2015, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded $7.2 million to the organization, including $1.3 million in 2015 and another three-year, $6 million commitment in 2016.

“Folds of Honor could not ask for a more dedicated partner than The Rite Aid Foundation. We are extremely grateful for their tremendous support and commitment to our cause over the last four years,” said Major Dan Rooney, founder, Folds of Honor. “The Rite Aid Foundation and Rite Aid’s associates across the nation have taken on our mission as their own and worked tirelessly to honor the sacrifices made by our service men and women, and their families.”

Rite Aid associates will recognize select scholarship recipients during in-store celebration events over the next several weeks.

Chris Kirchner Receives The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidChamp Award – The Rite Aid Foundation

Rite Aid’s Bryan Everett, Tracy Henderson, David Mahan, Mark Kramer and Margherita Cardello present Chris Kirchner (second from left) with the KidChamp Award.
Rite Aid’s Bryan Everett, Tracy Henderson, David Mahan, Mark Kramer and Margherita Cardello present Chris Kirchner (second from left) with the KidChamp Award.

The Rite Aid Foundation awarded Chris Kirchner, executive director of the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, its KidChamp Award for her advocacy and outreach to ensure healing and justice for sexually abused children in Philadelphia. Ms. Kirchner, who is the 6th to receive a KidChamp award, was recognized during a special ceremony in Philadelphia.

PCA is Philadelphia’s only child advocacy center for sexually abused children. The nonprofit organization brings together a team of professionals to allow abused children to tell their stories using a coordinated process in a safe and welcoming facility. When a report of child sexual abuse is made in Philadelphia, PCA’s intake team coordinates the investigation with a multi-disciplinary team approach, working closely with representatives from the Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, the Department of Human Services, and mental health and medical professionals on behalf of the victim.

Three years after PCA opened in 1989, Ms. Kirchner took on the role as the Alliance’s executive director. Initially, PCA was housed in a 3,300 square foot space in West Philadelphia with only one forensic interview room that allowed for only one child and family to be seen at a time. Ms. Kirchner made it her mission to advocate for a larger site and ensure PCA could serve every child who has faced sexual abuse.

In 2010, the facility moved to a larger space in Center City that served 100 children a month. Still, Ms. Kirchner continued to advocate for an even larger site so PCA could serve even more children who have faced sexual abuse.

After seeing the incredible work Ms. Kirchner and PCA had accomplished, the City of Philadelphia built the state-of-the-art Philadelphia Safety Collaborative facility in 2013 to co-locate PCA and all partner agencies. This larger facility now allows for 250 children to be served a month.

Chris Kirchner, executive director of the Philadelphia Children's Alliance, accepts the KidChamp award.
Chris Kirchner, executive director of the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, accepts the KidChamp award.

As part of her role at PCA, Ms. Kirchner also oversees the Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (NRCAC), a federal grant project that provides training and technical assistance to communities in the northeastern United States that are interested in developing or maintaining a Child Advocacy Center. In addition, she and members of her management team lead trainings locally and nationally about the topic of child sexual abuse and the importance of a collaborative response.

“It is truly an honor to be presented with this KidChamp Award. I am incredibly thankful to The Rite Aid Foundation and KidCents for their support of PCA and our efforts to provide a safe space where children can heal and begin to reclaim their lives,” said Ms. Kirchner. “Our work has helped change how we approach sexual abuse cases for children. I’m so very proud of what we have accomplished and promise to continue advocating to ensure these children continue to get the support and care they deserve.”

Thank you, Chris, for all you do to ensure healing and justice for kids in our communities!
Thank you, Chris, for all you do to ensure healing and justice for kids in our communities!

In recognition of her service, Ms. Kirchner received a $10,000 donation to the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance from The Rite Aid Foundation and a $500 Rite Aid gift card during a special ceremony at Philadelphia Children’s Alliance.

Congratulations to Chris, a true KidChamp!

The Rite Aid Foundation Announces Additional $6 Million Commitment to Folds of Honor – The Rite Aid Foundation

Folds of Honor Founder Major Dan Rooney and Rite Aid SVP of Category   Management and Marketing Bill Renz celebrate The Rite Aid Foundation’s latest   contribution to Folds of Honor.
Folds of Honor Founder Major Dan Rooney and Rite Aid SVP of Category
Management and Marketing Bill Renz celebrate The Rite Aid Foundation’s latest
contribution to Folds of Honor.

During Memorial Day weekend, The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program announced an additional three-year, $6 million commitment to Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to children of military service members who have been killed or seriously wounded while serving our country.

This is The Rite Aid Foundation’s third contribution to Folds of Honor. Since 2015, the Foundation has awarded more than $13 million to the organization, including $1.3 million in 2015 and another three-year $6 million commitment in 2016. As a result of those commitments, the Foundation has awarded nearly 1,600 scholarships to the children of military heroes.

Bill Renz, senior vice president of category management and marketing and a member of The Rite Aid Foundation Board, announced the latest donation alongside Major Dan Rooney, Folds of Honor founder, during the Patriot Cup Invitational, the organization’s annual golf tournament and gala celebrating the nation’s heroes and raising funds for Folds of Honor.

“Since 2015, Rite Aid has been an incredible and steadfast partner for Folds of Honor and we are incredibly thankful for their continuous support,” said Major Dan Rooney. “Time and time again, Rite Aid has proven themselves a caring neighbor to our nation’s fallen or disabled service men and women and their families. We cannot thank them enough for their tremendous support in helping the children of our military heroes gain access to better educational opportunities, and ultimately, brighter futures.”

Louie Castriota Receives The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidChamp Award – The Rite Aid Foundation

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Rite Aid’s Tracy Henderson, Susan Henderson, Bryan Everett, Bill Renz, and Gayle Rife present KidChamp award to Louie Castriota and his daughter Brooke Castriota.

The Rite Aid Foundation announced that Louie Castriota, founder and chairman of the board of Leg Up Farm, in Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, has been awarded its KidChamp Award for his innovative vision and unwavering commitment to provide children with special needs a comprehensive, convenient and centralized location to receive specialized therapy. Mr. Castriota is the 5th to receive a KidChamp award and was presented the award today in a special ceremony by Tracy Henderson, director of The Rite Aid Foundation and charitable giving initiatives and members of The Rite Aid Foundation’s Board of Directors: Bryan Everett, Chief Operating Officer; Susan Henderson, Chief Communications Officer; and Bill Renz, Senior Vice President, Category Management & Marketing.

Mr. Castriota and his wife, Laurie, first had the idea to open Leg Up Farm as a therapeutic riding center in 1997, merging their love of animals and children. Six months after their vision came to fruition, their daughter Brooke, was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, which causes both cognitive and motor function delays.

As they searched for the best treatment options for Brooke, the Castriotas found services spread-out and lacking in integration and convenience. That prompted them to significantly widen their vision for Leg Up Farm and create a facility that was unlike any in the nation.

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Aerial view of Leg Up Farm

Mr. Castriota, officially opened Leg Up Farm in 2010, raising more than $10 million in funding through a combination of private contributions, public fundraising events, and federal, state and foundation grants. Leg Up Farm is the only facility in the country to provide physical, occupational, speech, and aquatic therapy, counseling, therapeutic horseback riding, nutritional, education and recreational programming all under one roof. Since opening its doors, Leg Up Farm has increased capacity. To date, the facility has served more than 2,700 children with special needs and their families.

“I am truly honored to receive the KidChamp Award and I’d like to thank The Rite Aid Foundation and KidCents for supporting our efforts to provide life-changing services to children impacted by special needs and their families,” said Mr. Castriota. “Providing a comprehensive array of services in a convenient, affordable and easily accessible location is critical to improving the overall health and wellbeing of the children we serve. At Leg Up Farm, we give kids the courage to dream. We can’t thank The Rite Aid Foundation enough for helping us make those dreams come true.”

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Louie Castriota, founder and chairman of the board of Leg Up Farm accepts the KidChamp award

In recognition of his service, Mr. Castriota received a $10,000 donation to Leg Up Farm from The Rite Aid Foundation and $500 in Rite Aid gift cards during a special ceremony at Leg Up Farm.

Congratulations to Louie, a true KidChamp!

The Rite Aid Foundation Launches New Cycle of KidCents Regional Grants – The Rite Aid Foundation

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The Rite Aid Foundation announced today that Letters of Interest are now being accepted for the second cycle of KidCents Regional Grants, which support nonprofit organizations with programs that serve children and improve the quality of life in Rite Aid communities.

The KidCents Regional Grant Program provides grants of $15,000-$30,000 and significantly expands the reach of KidCents by funding specific out-of-school time programs for youths in K-12 that support one of KidCents’ primary focus areas of improving the health and wellbeing of children. For the second grant cycle, organizations must offer out-of-school time programs that improve nutrition, physical fitness or academic success. In addition, the programs must contain an educational component.

“The Rite Aid Foundation created the KidCents Regional Grant Program to further advance our efforts to address critical children’s health and wellbeing issues in our communities by helping our nonprofit partners implement innovative programs that make a lasting and meaningful difference in the lives of children,” said Tracy Henderson, director of The Rite Aid Foundation and charitable giving initiatives. “Our first cycle of grants was so successful, we’ve expanded the program to support even more communities.”

Charitable organizations that have been in existence for at least one year, have a service area in targeted Rite Aid communities and are in good financial standing are eligible to apply.  For additional information about the program or to submit a Letter of Interest online visit www. riteaid.com/grants

The deadline for submitting a Letter of Interest is May 17, 2019. If The Rite Aid Foundation is interested in pursuing a proposed project, a representative will contact the charity to discuss the possibility of submitting a full online grant application. Submitting an online application does not guarantee funding. Grant recipients will be notified beginning in September.

The Rite Aid Foundation Launches Prescription Drug Safety Program in Portland-area Schools – The Rite Aid Foundation

The Rite Aid Foundation Launches Prescription Drug Safety Program in Portland-area Schools

In an effort to continue to address abuse and misuse of drugs by adolescents in the country, The Rite Aid Foundation is bringing the Prescription Drug Safety program to Portland-area high schools. At a press event at Centennial High School today, the Rite Aid Foundation formally launched the program with Centennial School District, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer and community leaders.

01-EverFiPortland_EDIT-KidCentsBlog_1280x87002-EverFiPortland_EDIT-KidCentsBlogEverFiPortland_EDIT-Facebook_1080x1080As part of its mission to create safe and healthy environments for children and teens, The Rite Aid Foundation, through its KidCents program, has made a $1.7 million commitment to the Prescription Drug Safety program, which is expected to reach more than 400 high schools.

Centennial High School is implementing the six-lesson online Prescription Drug Safety program as part of its health education program. Over the next year, at least 20 high schools in Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties will be launching the program.

“The rise of prescription drug misuse and abuse is one of the fastest-growing drug problems in the United States, and it’s having an adverse effect on the physical and mental health of our nation’s young people,” said Tracy Henderson, director of The Rite Aid Foundation and charitable giving initiatives. “We are proud to bring this important prevention program to Oregon students to educate them on the risks of prescription drug misuse and abuse and help combat this growing epidemic.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2016, 3.6 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 reported misusing opioids, over twice as high as older adolescents. While the number of deaths from opioids are decreasing, the rate of overdose among adolescents is increasing. In Oregon, a state audit recently completed by Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, revealed Oregon ranks sixth for teen opioid drug use.

“The opioid crisis continues to harm communities large and small across America,” said U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), a member of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Health.  “Every day that we delay addressing this epidemic, communities decline, families unravel, and lives are lost.  We need to help our children understand prescription drug abuse and misuse in order to prevent it before it starts.”