Lilly Celebrated Second Annual Global Day of Service

Indianapolis, IN (May 18, 2009)- On May 20, red T-shirts once again blanketed communities across the globe as thousands of Eli Lilly and Company employees from New Zealand to California donated their time and energy to improve the health and well-being of their hometowns in celebration of the company’s second annual Global Day of Service. 9,500 employees participated in more than 50 local projects.

Last year, more than 20,000 Lilly employees from more than 50 global locations participated, making Lilly’s Global Day of Service one of the world’s largest-ever corporate volunteerism events to take place on a single day. In Indianapolis, Lilly’s corporate headquarters, last year’s event was a catalyst that generated nearly 30,000 hours of volunteer time in a single day toward community improvement projects in Central Indiana.
“From our company’s earliest days, giving back to our communities has been an important part of our mission. In addition, providing meaningful opportunities for employee volunteerism and community service is critically important in the recruitment, retention, and engagement of a talented workforce,” said Chairman, President, and CEO John Lechleiter, Ph.D. “For Lilly, this is essential to our success, particularly at a time when we must work to fundamentally transform our business. During these difficult economic times, we believe that thoughtful investments in corporate social responsibility, including the Global Day of Service, are not only the right thing to do for our communities, they also make very good business sense.”
Among the many projects that took place outside the U.S., employees in Singapore are partnered with their local national park to assist with restoration efforts on an island off the coast of Singapore. Employees cleaned up trash and debris to help preserve the local ecosystem and marine life. In Poland, employees renovated outdoor play areas, buildings and gardens at seven orphanages.
And in Indianapolis, more than 9,500 Lilly employees joined Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB) and 60 local organizations to complete more than 50 community improvement projects within the city. In addition to KIB, local partners include the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Indy Parks, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis, Boy Scouts of America, United Way of Central Indiana, and Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS).
The signature project in 2008 was the 1,230-foot-long mural located on Madison Ave., which was awarded the Guinness World Record(tm) for longest paint-by-number in the world. This year’s signature project was a massive interstate interchange project that will prepare Lilly, KIB, INDOT, and hopefully others to complete five additional interchange projects in 2010.
Nearly 1,500 volunteers completely transformed a key gateway into the city at the I-70 and Holt Road interchange. According to KIB, improving the I-70 corridor from the airport to downtown has been an aspiration of many community leaders for a long time.
“We have a wonderful new airport and a vibrant downtown, and it’s important that the major corridor running between them reinforce a positive image of our community,” said KIB President David Forsell. “It represents another opportunity to clearly state that Indianapolis is a great place to live, work and do business.”
Other examples of Indianapolis projects included:
* More than 3,000 volunteers assisted with enhancing school grounds for play and environmental learning at more than 25 schools, including the installation of two KaBOOM! playgrounds.
* Nearly 500 volunteers continued the second phase of a project that began last year to restore the waterway along Pleasant Run Parkway by planting more than 400 trees and shrubs.
* More than 800 volunteers painted murals in Broad Ripple, along Morris Street and White River Parkway, and at the Indianapolis Zoo.
* Approximately 500 volunteers, including Lilly Chairman, President, and CEO John Lechleiter, helped build two Habitat for Humanity homes, which were officially dedicated to the new homeowners on May 20.
* Approximately 1,500 volunteers walked a mile to raise funds for Lilly’s Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Partnership.
“We’ve built upon last year’s success and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from our employees and community partners around the world to take this Day of Service to the next level,” said Rob Smith, director of corporate responsibility at Lilly. “We believe this volunteer event represents a wonderful opportunity for organizations and individuals to come together in common cause to improve the communities in which we live and work. We look forward to even greater participation in the years to come.”
Lilly’s Global Day of Service is the signature event for the company’s “Hands and Hearts” program, which was launched in 2007 to enhance and encourage employee involvement with nonprofit organizations. In 2008, Lilly’s philanthropic contributions totaled approximately $350 million, 80 percent of which was product donations for patient assistance programs, the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, and international humanitarian causes.
About Lilly
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world’s most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at
About Keep Indianapolis Beautiful:
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. is the proud organizing partner of the Lilly Global Day of Service in Indianapolis. KIB’s mission is to unite people to beautify the city, improve the environment, and foster pride in the community. KIB has a proven track record of 30 years of partnership with neighborhoods, the public sector, local philanthropists and corporate Indianapolis. Each year, KIB supports an average of 500 community improvement projects with 30,000 volunteers. Since 1995, KIB has helped its neighbors plant more than 12,000 trees, and has been supported by more than one thousand individual donors toward those efforts. The Lilly Day of Service is a perfect example of how KIB is the “go to” organization for community and environment improvement. For more information or to volunteer, call 317.264.7555 or visit
Related Resources:
Global Day of Service 2009 Indianapolis Projects
Global Day of Service 2008 Photos and Video