Thursday, September 14, 2017

Corporate social responsibility, the KCS way

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Corporate social responsibility, the KCS way Kansas City Southern

From Nov. 24 through Dec. 19, Kansas City Southern will be operating its annual Holiday Express train, which will stop in 22 communities in six states on 26 dates. This will be the 17th annual excursion for the train, which will be led by KCS’ iconic Southern Belle business train.

At each stop, visitors can board the festive six-car train, visit with Santa and his elves and tour the interior of three cars. Each event is free and open to the public. More important, the Holiday Express has a charitable component. This year, KCS will work with The Salvation Army to target communities along the route most impacted by Hurricane Harvey for additional support, including Victoria, El Campo, Kendleton and Beaumont, Tex. For these communities, The KCS Charitable Fund will make a supplemental donation to provide additional support as they recover from the hurricane. KCS and its employees have already donated more than $100,000 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey relief.

KCS Southern BelleOver the past 16 years, the Holiday Express has raised well over $1 million to purchase gift cards, which are donated to The Salvation Army at each scheduled stop. These gift cards are used to purchase warm clothing and other necessities for children in need in the local community.

The KCS Holiday Express “was built on the tradition of the Santa Train, which ran on a segment of the network bought by KCS in 1997,” the railroad said. “In 2000, a group of warm-hearted KCS employees noticed that the Santa Train was the only Christmas some kids had, and that some kids did not have essential items like coats, hats and gloves, so they committed to elevating the project. In 2001, volunteers transformed a retired freight train to the experience that communities throughout KCS’ U.S. service territory enjoy today.”

The Holiday Express includes “Rudy,” a smiling locomotive that’s actually a modified tank car (and that resembles another railroad “personality,” Thomas the Tank Engine); a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread box car; an elves’ workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. Each car is dressed in lights.

“In 2017, KCS celebrates 130 years of doing business and the 17th annual KCS Holiday Express. As a company, we value family and community, which is why we are pleased to continue this long-standing tradition of making the holidays a little brighter in communities where we live and work,” said President and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “This year, we want to give extra attention to the communities along the route impacted by Hurricane Harvey.”

Those interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the 2017 KCS Holiday Express fundraising campaign may do so by visiting http://www.kcsouthern.com/corporate-responsibility/giving/holiday-express or by clicking HERE. The campaign will close Oct. 31.

Download the Holiday Express schedule at the link below.

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