HDR Foundation Aids in Providing Breast Milk to Infants, Sea Expeditions to Students

From nautical voyages to a breast milk bank, the HDR Foundation has once again taken a unique approach to giving with its latest donations.

The foundation awarded financial support to two nonprofit organizations during the company’s second round of small grants this summer. Those nonprofits were the Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Salish Sea Expeditions in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Opening in November, Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank will provide medically fragile infants with pasteurized breast milk. The milk comes from screened donors and is used when the biological mother’s milk is unavailable. The HDR Foundation is excited to help in these efforts, which is a simple and highly effective way to decrease infant mortality rates, prevent lifelong disabilities and lower healthcare costs. The milk bank’s funding will be used to purchase three commercial-grade freezers and a temperature monitoring system to store the milk.

Brian Leshko, national bridge inspection program leader at HDR, was the employee sponsor of the grant application for Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank, where his wife, a pediatrician in Pittsburgh, is a founding member and the medical director. “I am proud of the HDR Foundation for recognizing this outstanding opportunity to support a much-needed program that will improve the quality of life of premature babies in our community,” Leshko said.

The other grant winner, Salish Sea Expeditions, provides innovative marine science education programs that annually serve about 700 students from fifth grade and up. The program teaches scientific principles as students navigate Puget Sound on a 61-foot sailing vessel. The HDR Foundation’s grant will be used for the design and installation of a caged “carousel” style system of oceanographic water quality monitors. The gear will enable students to conduct more sophisticated projects and will allow staff to gather accurate data.

The HDR Foundation is focused on helping 501(c)(3) organizations that aid the community in areas of HDR’s expertise—education, healthcare and healthy communities, or a healthy environment—with preference given to organizations at which HDR employees are involved. Proposals for small grants that are $15,000 or less are considered twice a year while large grants exceeding $15,000 are considered once annually. Organizations may apply online to the HDR Foundation.

About HDR

HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what's possible since 1917. We specialize in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services. With nearly 10,000 employees in more than 225 locations around the world, we think global and act local.

Caption: The HDR Foundation gave a grant to Salish Sea Expeditions, an innovative marine science education program that annually serves about 700 students from fifth grade and up.