Blog: An Impact Ignited by One

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Blog: An Impact Ignited by One

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1 employee's passion inspired an entire company, via @AllianceData & @EpsilonMktg:
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 11:35am


Making a difference in the communities where our co-workers live and work is something we’re constantly saying at Alliance Data, and while we know we’re repeating ourselves, we can’t help it. It’s not just a line. Our goal really is to make a difference. More than a decade ago, Alliance Data began its partnership with Children’s Medical Center in Dallas to help us further this mission. The partnership has flourished over the past decade with $2 million contributed for capital growth resources, injury prevention program development and opportunities that allow our associates to get involved in key community events.

Because the partnership has been so successful, we are looking for opportunities to expand our support of children’s health in other markets. Most recently, as we were drawn to Colorado where associates in our Epsilon office have come together in support of Children’s Hospital Colorado for the past four years.

Alliance Data executives were inspired, and during a trip late last fall to visit associates from Epsilon and Alliance Data Retail Services in the Denver area, our president and chief executive officer Ed Heffernan, presented Children’s Hospital Colorado with $150,000, with the bulk of the gift earmarked for the hospital’s new Multidisciplinary Clinics, estimated to open in May 2015. Check out the video below to see how one person’s passion inspired the rest of our company.

The partnership was fueled by one Epsilon associate’s passion for the hospital, Heather Schichtel. Her journey with the hospital began when her daughter, Samantha, lost her courageous battle to mitochondrial disease.

In 2009, Heather and her family decided to participate in the Courage Classic, an annual bicycle tour fundraiser for Children’s Hospital Colorado, which takes place over three days in Copper Mountain, Colorado. Inspired by Heather’s passion and commitment to the hospital where her daughter was cared for, associates rallied behind her, and in 2011, Epsilon joined Heather in raising money for the nonprofit and created Summits for Samantha/Team Epsilon. That year, the team raised an outstanding $83,000.

In 2014, Heather learned that Children’s Hospital Colorado needed at least $12,000 in donations to sustain mitochondrial research at the Colorado clinic. Inspired and impassioned by the task, Heather and her colleagues banded together once again and began fundraising and preparing for the 2014 race. The grassroots effort took on a life of its own, as employees began volunteering to work at the aid station and donated food and beverages to fuel the racers throughout their three-day journey.

Sixty-five riders and 19 volunteers, including 11 Epsilon associates and their friends and family, started their journey to raise funds. Not only did they complete the ride, but they also raised over $110,000 for Children’s Hospital Colorado — nearly 10 times the amount required to continue funding research. Overall, Summits for Samantha/Team Epsilon was the 6th most successful fundraising group in the entire 2014 Courage Classic.

It’s just one of the many examples that illustrate our associates’ passion for their communities. They donate countless hours and dollars to help people and organizations in need. More than just words, it’s part of our DNA.


Danielle Ricketts is a Corporate Affairs Specialist at Alliance Data. Her role is the best in the biz, or so she says. Each day she has the opportunity to share with internal and external audiences the amazing efforts Alliance Data is taking to protect data, give back to the community, reward and engage associates, and lessen its impact on the environment.  

Nincy Mathew is a Marketing Communications Specialist at Alliance Data. She spends the better part of her day shining a spotlight on associates doing great things inside and outside of the workplace and reminding them why Alliance Data is the place to be. Her favorite things include puns, chocolate, and of course, Baylor football.

Keywords: Philanthropy | Alliance Data | Children's Hospital Colorado | Children's Medical Center in Dallas | Health | Volunteerism & Community Engagement