Here is a partial list of the organizations that Blackstone supports through organized employee engagement.
Blackstone Helps NAACP Find New Home In New York City 3/25/10
NAACP – In February, Blackstone was honored by the NAACP at the official ribbon cutting ceremonies for the opening of their new offices in New York City. Thanks to the work of Steve Schwarzman, Tony James, Jon Gray, Peter Rose and Adam Goldberg, Blackstone made Class A office space available to the NAACP rent-free for four years. (The NAACP was housed in temporary space after losing their offices in the World Trade Center tragedy.) Blackstone was also the single largest contributor to the NAACP's Centennial Fund. Tony James, Jon Gray and Peter Rose represented Blackstone at the ribbon cutting.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Teams of Blackstone employees have participated in several fund-raising activities under the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. The proceeds are used to help identify cures for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma and myeloma, improving the quality of life for patients and their families. For example, a Blackstone bicycle team completed 100 miles around Lake Tahoe and raised $200,000 for the program. We also fielded a team to compete in a half/full marathon on Long Island, raising nearly $40,000. Blackstone employees also raised more than $10,000 for Light the Night, a fund-raiser in which groups of cancer survivors and supporters met at New York’s South Street Seaport and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to raise awareness and funds to support blood cancer research.
City Harvest – Blackstone participates in Skip Lunch Fight Hunger, a one-day citywide initiative sponsored by City Harvest, which encourages employees to donate what they would normally spend on lunch to help fight hunger. For the second consecutive year, Blackstone placed among the top 10 fund-raising teams. Groups of our volunteers also work with Greenmarket Food Rescue to help collect excess food from the vendors and load it onto City Harvest trucks for use by food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the city.
United Way – Each year, the New York office and all Senior Managing Directors participate in the United Way campaign. As one of the top 25 United Way campaigns in New York City, we have raised more than $500,000 in each of the past three years. Our participation rate is 80%, compared to the industry average of 40%. In 2009, Blackstone employees assembled 1,000 activity kits with school supplies to be distributed to students enrolled in United Way of New York City's Community Achievement Project in the Schools (CAPS) program. The 1,000 bags were sent to Community Mediation Services, Inc., which has a special focus on youth development through leadership and mentoring in schools and the community, and provides drop-out prevention and college readiness services for at-risk students in five schools in the borough of Queens.
Futures and Options – Blackstone hosted a career exploration event for 25 high school students from Futures and Options, a not-for-profit educational program based in Lower Manhattan. This organization places New York City high school juniors and seniors in supervised, paid semester internships. Futures and Options’ educators prepare the students for jobs through a structured orientation program, arrange internships, then monitor the students and provide college guidance sessions. At the career exploration event, professionals from several Blackstone business groups spoke to the students about the firm, as well as the education, attitude and work ethic necessary to be successful in business.
PENCIL – Working with PENCIL, an organization that fosters relationships between business leaders and New York City public schools, Blackstone has adopted the Eagle Academy for Young Men. Based in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Eagle Academy currently serves young men in the 6th to 12th grades. Blackstone and its employees have worked alongside Eagle faculty to develop programming. We also brought 15 of Eagle’s students to our New York offices to listen to and learn from some of our professionals, including Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman, and then arranged for the students to speak with employees in Mumbai, London and China to see how a global firm works. As a follow-up, several Blackstone employees are e-mentoring the young men. Individual business units starting with IT will also “adopt” the school for a year in succession to offer their services, expertise and guidance in their areas.
First Day NY – This program helps children from New York City shelters get the new school year off to a strong start. Blackstone Alternative Asset Management sponsored 75 pupils through First Day NY. To build excitement about starting and staying in school, each child was equipped with a new backpack, a complete first-day-of-school outfit, school supplies, a specially chosen book and an encouraging note from their individual sponsor. In total, the organization reached 318 children in three city shelters for the start of the 2009 school year.
Prep for Prep – Each summer Blackstone hosts an intern from Prep for Prep, a program that develops young leaders by providing opportunities for education and personal growth. Since 1978, Prep for Prep has identified promising New York City students from modest economic backgrounds and prepared them for placement at independent schools in the city and throughout the Northeast. Once placed, Prep offers the support and encouragement needed to ensure the academic accomplishment and success of each student.
Habitat for Humanity - New York City – Several Blackstone employees volunteered as construction workers at Habitat for Humanity - New York City building sites in two neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York during 2007 and 2008. Projects were located at Halsey Street/Marcus Garvey Boulevard in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Atlantic Avenue/Eastern Parkway in Ocean Hill-Brownsville. Blackstone also contributed $20,000 to support Habitat’s efforts in the New York area.