COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Setting yet another record for its largest-ever donation, truck drivers and other associates of Averitt Express raised $1,000,001 in 2019 that was recently donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
It marked the fifth consecutive year Averitt associates have either matched or set a record in their donation to St. Jude. The amount is also the largest-ever employee-giving contribution to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, eclipsing the previous record of $750,001 that was also held by Averitt.
“This donation is a team effort, and I’m humbled by our team’s giving spirit that makes it possible,” said Gary Sasser, Averitt’s chairman and chief executive officer. “It’s also a great example of what St. Jude founder Danny Thomas once said – ‘I’d rather have a million people give me a dollar than one give me a million.’”
The donation was fueled by weekly contributions from Averitt associates as part of Averitt Cares for Kids, the company’s charitable associate-giving program. More than 96% of Averitt associates participate, giving $1 per week to help St. Jude and other important causes. Additionally, the company makes contributions to Averitt Cares for Kids in recognition of associates' accomplishments, participation in community service projects, and life events.
“An important theme for our team is ‘The Power of One’ – it represents the positive impact all of us can make as we work together toward a common goal,” Sasser added. “That’s why the extra dollar in our donation is so important to our team. I’m proud of the way we’ve worked together to accomplish this milestone, and I’m even more excited to see how we’ll make a bigger difference in the future.”
Since Averitt Cares for Kids began in 1987, it has contributed close to $11 million overall to numerous charities, including more than $8 million to St. Jude.
Averitt Cares for Kids completed a $1.5 million endowment to help fund the initial construction of the St. Jude Leukemia and Lymphoma Clinic, where the majority of St. Jude patients are treated. Averitt associates’ most recent contribution will continue to support the innovative research and lifesaving care at St. Jude, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Clinic.
Photo: Fort Myers service center director Isaiah Woodard (right) spends some time with a St. Jude Children's Research Hospital patient during a recent visit to St. Jude.