New Jersey Drug Company Makes Two Big Donations To Coast Charities - - The News for South Mississippi

New Jersey Drug Company Makes Two Big Donations To Coast Charities

Two South Mississippi charitable organizations received a financial shot in the arm Wednesday. The Gulf Coast Community Foundation and St. Vincent de Paul Community Pharmacy each received checks for $50,000 thanks to leaders at a New Jersey pharmaceutical company.

Drug companies and their lobbyists are no strangers to lawmakers. But when representatives from Schering-Plough talked to South Mississippi lawmakers recently, they asked what they could do to help in the hurricane recovery effort.  

"We reached out to the community and the legislators saying, 'Where is the need still the greatest a year later,'" says Schering-Plough spokesperson Kay Shipley.  

Their immediate answer was Biloxi's St. Vincent de Paul Community Pharmacy.  

"It's an absolutely perfect fit," State Representative Danny Guice of Ocean Springs said.  

The company is donating $50,000 to support the pharmacy's current mission to provide medicines to those who can't afford it, and a planned expansion of that mission to Hancock County.  

"People who have to spend all their time rebuilding don't need to come over here and spend two and three or five hours of their time, when they can be working and possibly creating some progress for their lives back in Hancock County," says Pharmacy Volunteer Phyllis Cosentino.

Pharmacy volunteers say the number of people they're serving is almost back to the pre-Katrina levels of 350 to 375 per week. Since reopening in March, officials estimate they've distributed approximately $300,000 worth of medicine.

Schering-Plough is also donating $50,000 to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation's Build Back the Coast Fund. They say it's just their way to show that they, and the rest of the world, won't ever forget Hurricane Katrina's still suffering victims.  

"A year later, there's still such a great need," says Shipley. "I would hope that others would come, see what's here, and not forget that even though it was a year ago, there's a lot of work to be done."

It's work that can only be done through the healing power of charitable giving and the outside world's ongoing support of South Mississippi.

by Don Culpepper

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