GSK & SAFE in the Bitterroot

GlaxoSmithKline employee Christian Pruitt (left) stands with employees of SAFE in the Bitterroot, who thanked GSK for their $10,000 donation. The money will be used to support all of SAFE programs making a positive difference in lives of families and individuals affected by domestic and sexual violence.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) awarded SAFE in the Bitterroot $10,000 on Black Friday.

The global pharmaceutical company, that delvers billions of healthcare products a year, selected 20 local nonprofits across the United States and gave them each an Impact Award for making communities healthier. GSK employees selected local nonprofits that are helping their neighbors to live healthier lives through nutrition, physical activity, education and a variety of social services.

Stacey Umhey, executive director of SAFE, said she is grateful to GSK for the donation.

“It’s really exciting because they only gave 20 awards for the whole country and SAFE in Hamilton, Montana, was one of them and we are really honored,” she said.

Marti Skold-Jordan, GSK manager of U.S. community partnerships, runs the philanthropy for GSK and the Impact Awards that have been going on for 22-years.

She called from North Carolina on Thursday and said this is the first time GSK has expanded the awards nationally — beyond headquarters in Philadelphia and North Carolina.

“Our employees love to be engaged in our nonprofit program, our community partnerships and our charitable giving so we thought we would give our employees the chance to tell us about some organizations that we may not know about and highlight them for the work they have done,” she said. “These awards are for great work being done, grassroots in communities. These are small to midsize organizations making such a huge impact.”

Skold-Jordan said GSK feels it is important to do everything possible to help the communities where their plants are based.

Employees at GSK in Hamilton championed the process and nominated SAFE and the good work they do for the community.

“We had incredible nominations and several people that nominated SAFE,” Skold-Jordan said. “It is truly an organization that is making a difference and changing lives.”

SAFE was started in 1987 by local Soroptimist Club working with YWCA of Missoula to keep families safe from domestic violence. It has grown to include emergency shelter, outreach services, transitional housing, community coordination and domestic and sexual violence prevention.

SAFE in the Bitterroot is celebrating 30-years of service this year.

Umhey said SAFE is thrilled to have $10,000 for their budget.

“We serve 400 people a year, roughly, and every year to make that happen we have to fundraise over $200,000 just from our community and this $10,000 takes us a lot closer to our annual budget goal,” Umhey said. “It will go to support all of our programs — hooray and thank you to GSK.”

SAFE is hosting a benefit luncheon at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 4, to inspire the community with stories of courage, hope and how donations impact lives in Ravalli County and help toward the goal of ending domestic and sexual violence.

The luncheon is at noon at Bitterroot River Inn, 139 Bitterroot Plaza Drive Hamilton. RSVP to 406- 363-2793 or safe@safeinthebitterroot.org.