Chicago is home to many big companies and international corporations, but one stands above the rest when it comes to making wishes come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions. GATX Corporation began supporting the Make-A-Wish® Illinois through employee giving in 1996. The company and its employees have given more than $1 million dollars to support the organization's mission to grant wishes to children in Illinois, making them the largest single corporate donor to Make-A-Wish Illinois.
"I am thrilled that GATX's employees continue to support this organization in such an enthusiastic way. It is heartwarming to see the positive impact Make-A-Wish has on these on these children and their families. My only wish is that we could do more," said Brian Kenney, CEO of GATX.
While a good part of the employee giving comes from elected payroll deductions, GATX uses the charitable giving as an opportunity to have fun and build morale with their more than 300 employees based in Chicago. In years past, teams of GATX employees spent a day fanned out around the city in a competition reminiscent of television's "The Apprentice" to see who could raise the most money and they have held auctions, jail a co-worker, pie in the face and games like "Are You Smarter than a CEO/CFO."
Staying connected to the mission of the charitable organization is important for GATX leadership and employees. The company hosts a few wish children each year for wish parties where they invite the wish family into their office for a festive lunchtime gathering that includes employees. Additionally, many GATX employees also volunteer for Make-A-Wish as wish granters.
"In working with GATX over these past several years, we've found a very compassionate group of people who have helped to change so many lives through their support of our wish-granting efforts," said Stephanie Springs, Chief Executive Officer Make-A-Wish Illinois. "This is truly an example of a caring corporate partnership. With their help, we look forward to granting wishes to Illinois children for many, many more years to come."