Care for Our Community
— UPDATED NOVEMBER 2023 —
Giving back to the communities where our employees live and work has long been at the core of Hallmark’s vision of creating a more emotionally connected world. As we recover from a global pandemic and witness its unequal impact on our most vulnerable neighbors, our call to care for our community is even more pressing.
Hallmark’s charitable giving priorities include children, youth and families, education, arts and culture, essential services, and civic affairs. In 2022, our businesses recorded more than $6.6 million in total charitable contributions to support nonprofits that are focused on these areas. Employees also gave of their time and skills by donating more than 31,000 volunteer hours to organizations supporting causes that are near to their hearts.
This year’s stories demonstrate how we’ve extended our culture of caring and creativity to the communities we call home. From successful United Way campaigns to acts of kindness among our employees, we’re proud to see the ways our businesses showed up for our communities in 2022.
Hallmark and Crayola Employees Donate More Than 31,000 Volunteer Hours
Hallmarkers and Crayolians have a long history of showing up for their communities and of giving one of their most valuable assets: their time. In 2022, employees across our businesses once again rolled up their sleeves and spent more than 31,000 hours volunteering. They planted trees and packed boxes. They served on boards and shared their skills. They donned purple shirts and even crayon costumes when the situations called for it.
After many volunteer programs were paused or socially distanced for two years due to COVID-19, employees were energized by the return of more in-person volunteer opportunities in 2022. Employees came together once again for time-honored traditions of giving, including the annual AIDS Walk and cleanup efforts during Wild Saturday at the Kansas City Zoo.
Many Hallmark employees maximized their service through participation in our Volunteer Involvement Pays (VIP) program, which provides grants to qualifying nonprofits based on the number of volunteer hours served. In 2022, Hallmark awarded 192 of these grants worth $82,000 total to organizations that are important to our employees.
Hallmarkers and Crayolians know firsthand that when you care enough, you can change the world—and in 2022, they changed the world one volunteer hour at a time. ♦
Hallmark and Crayola Exceed Goals and Raise $2.5MM for United Way
In both Kansas City and the Lehigh Valley, the United Way is in its ability to serve their communities. Supporting this organization is one of the most impactful ways we give back to the regions in which we operate, and Hallmark and Crayola showed up for this vital organization in a big way in 2022. Through employee donations and a company match, both brands raised a total of $2.5 million for the United Ways of Greater Kansas City and Greater Lehigh Valley.
Hallmark raised $1.44 million to assist Kansas Citians across a six-county region—exceeding both the 2022 goal and the 2021 pledge drive results. Hallmarkers also joined the United Way at Kauffman Stadium to kick off the campaign with a Kansas City Royals game and tailgate for pledge contributors.
Crayola also exceeded its after raising an impressive $1.07 million. The company served as the presenting sponsor for the United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley’s Day of Caring, the largest single-day volunteer effort in the region, bringing together over 700 local volunteers and 50 nonprofits.
Both brands remain among the top contributors to the United Way in their respective regions and partner with the organization on an ongoing basis to address critical needs in their communities. ♦
Hallmarkers in Europe Help Ukrainian Refugees
A Hallmark warehouse in The Netherlands usually holds only seasonal goods intended for sale in continental Europe. But in April 2022, it also served as the storage space for much-needed supplies destined for Ukrainian refugees.
In April, Hallmark employees gathered 1,300 pounds (575 kg) of food and relief supplies for Ukrainian citizens affected by the war in their country. The donations ended up in Berehove, Ukraine—near the border with Poland—where many refugees from Kiev have relocated. Additionally, Hallmarkers collected donated clothing to help Ukrainian refugees who have made their way to The Netherlands.
Hallmark logistics manager Perry Menken helped organize the donation effort. “The joy in the eyes of the Ukrainians was so great that all the trouble, adversity, and short nights along with it were dwarfed,” he said. ♦
Hallmarkers Team Up for AIDS Walks
Each year, AIDS Walk events across the country gather thousands of supporters who raise funds to combat HIV/AIDS and promote awareness and prevention. Across Hallmark’s businesses, three teams of participants in New York, Los Angeles, and Kansas City took part in their respective AIDS Walks in 2022, raising more than $20,000 collectively! In fact, the group in Kansas City was the top fundraising team in its event and Hallmark served as a corporate sponsor. The Hallmark Media teams in NYC and L.A. also volunteered in pantries to help package food and hygiene products to be donated to people with HIV/AIDS. ♦
Caring Capes Wrap Children’s Mercy Patients in Love
Prior to her retirement from Hallmark, senior designer Susie Cozad was inspired to share her craft with the children and families at Kansas City children’s hospital—and Caring Capes was born.
Caring Capes are child-size capes that comfort and empower patients during hospital stays. The capes are specifically designed to be worn while receiving treatments and recovering from illness. The outsides of the capes are colorful and upbeat, featuring an interactive activity that the patient and caregiver can do together to help pass the time. The undersides of the capes have fleece to help keep patients warm, as they are often cold when going through treatments like chemo.
In 2022, Hallmarkers used their creative talent to sew 100 capes with poem cards for children receiving a range of care at Children’s Mercy Hospital. The response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive, with hospital workers remarking on children’s instant love for the capes. ♦
Crayolians Brighten up the Holidays
Crayolians made the holiday season a little more fun and hopeful for members of their community as the year came to a close. The Crayola Children’s Holiday Party has been a special tradition for more than 20 years, and employees and their families were thrilled to bring the event back in person for the first time since 2019. Held at Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania, the event featured Crayolians dressed as costume characters, visits with Santa, and several other festivities for families to enjoy.
To continue the spirit of the season, members of Crayola’s employee resource groups wrapped and filled 152 shoe boxes with gifts, health and beauty items, hats and gloves, and Crayola products to support Holiday Hope Chests. The Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley then distributes the Holiday Hope Chests to children in the community to give them extra smiles during the holidays. ♦
Helping Children in Crisis
Hallmarkers at our Metamora, Illinois, facility pitched in to help kids with back-to-school needs. Members of the diversity, equity, and inclusion council volunteered with Heartline and Heart House, a nonprofit agency and emergency shelter for women and children, to support the annual “Operation Backpack” program. They filled backpacks with grade-specific school supplies—from binders, calculators, and Crayola products—to make sure all children are prepared to learn and thrive in the classroom. In 2022, Heartline supported 180 children from eight area school districts. ♦
In August 2022 Crown Media Family Networks was renamed Hallmark Media.