When you hear “Hyundai,” what likely comes to mind is the Korean automaker–which first arrived in the U.S. over 30 years ago. What may not come to mind, however, is Hyundai’s legacy of giving back to the communities in which it operates across the globe. Hyundai believes in doing what’s right for humanity and as the automaker’s Orange County neighbor, CHOC has experienced this firsthand. Hyundai has been an invaluable partner and it continues to help CHOC create a better and brighter future for children and their families in our community, and beyond.
A Mission to Eradicate Childhood Cancer
In 2013, Hyundai’s long-standing commitment to find a cure for pediatric cancer led to the founding of the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC, which consistently ranks among the top pediatric programs according to U.S. News and World Report.
Through Hyundai’s partnership, CHOC has been able to develop the latest cancer treatments and cures. The Hyundai Cancer Institute applies leading-edge science to the study of pediatric cancers, specifically in the field of genomic research. Hyundai’s generous gift is what brought genomic sequencing to CHOC before it was commercially available across the nation, making the Hyundai Cancer Institute one of the early leaders in the molecular interrogation of pediatric cancer.
“Hyundai’s mission is to eradicate pediatric cancer, and partnering with CHOC was a natural choice,” Dana White, Chief Communications Officer for Hyundai, affirms. “CHOC has done so much incredible research and has been so innovative. It’s Hyundai’s privilege to partner with CHOC.”
Hyundai’s scope of caring does not stop at pediatric cancer. Their culture of giving inspires its leaders and employees to take action and support CHOC through volunteering, toy drives and fundraisers.
One group of Hyundai employees raised $10,000 for CHOC through the “Hands on Hope” competition. And for nearly a decade, CHOC has been one of the primary recipients of Hyundai Hope On Wheels’ annual 5k fun run. Also, for over 10 years, they have supported the CHOC Gala by donating a vehicle for the auction. Furthermore, for the past five years, Hyundai Motor America’s Chief Legal Counsel, Jerry Flannery, has served on the CHOC Foundation board of directors, providing invaluable insight and support.
Hyundai’s passion and dedication to CHOC patients is incredibly inspiring and continually renews our commitment to help children heal.
Giving Back during a Pandemic
As a global company, Hyundai, which is headquartered in Seoul, was perfectly poised to benefit from South Korea’s expertise and experience in managing COVID-19 during the early stages of the pandemic. They adopted South Korea’s efficient use of drive-thru testing and helped establish 23 drive-thru testing centers across the U.S., including one at CHOC.
When the pandemic hit the U.S., Hyundai gave CHOC $200,000 for COVID-19 testing and supplied CHOC with precious testing kits, which were unavailable at the time. With this support, CHOC established an outdoor evaluation center (OEC).
The OEC allows CHOC to test patients for COVID-19—the tests are analyzed in-house to provide same-day results. This development enabled CHOC to clear children for critical elective procedures, which was especially crucial when procedures were abruptly canceled with the initial announcement of social distancing orders.
Additionally, a local Hyundai dealership provided CHOC with three vehicles. CHOC uses these vehicles to distribute supplies to our tent locations, transport low-income families to and from the hospital and deliver patient medications from our outpatient pharmacy. Since April 2020, our pharmacy team has made over 1,200 deliveries to our patients.
Hyundai’s quick response to the pandemic has benefited not only our community, but vulnerable communities around the nation.
When asked if the pandemic has changed Hyundai’s perspective on how and why they give back, White responded, “I think it’s only reinforced our commitment to ensuring we’re doing everything we can to be as relevant and purposeful to the needs of varying communities—particularly, children, and children with cancer and their families.” White adds, that it has only made Hyundai “more mindful of all the ways we can be helpful.”
“Progress for Humanity”
Hyundai’s many years of support, as well as their recent contributions toward CHOC’s response to COVID-19, has been transformative to CHOC. Their humble leadership and dedicated employees continue to make a significant impact in the lives of CHOC patients and families. Hyundai’s incredible financial support and outstanding community involvement has allowed CHOC to do infinitely more for children than we could have done on our own.
It is clear Hyundai’s mantra, “Progress for Humanity,” is built into their history and informs their journey and future goals.
Hyundai believes children are our hope and future, which is why the majority of Hyundai’s philanthropy is geared towards pediatric cancer research, “but it’s always been about being a true part of the community and fulfilling the needs [of the community],” White emphasizes.