Norfolk Southern is committed to helping the community of East Palestine recover and thrive. In addition to the financial support provided by our Family Assistance Center, the following commitments are some of the ways NS is further investing in the citizens, businesses, and life of this community.
The Bulldog Legacy Scholarship is back
Applications will be accepted Feb. 26 – March 22, 2024.
NS to fund $25 million in upgrades to the East Palestine City Park
Norfolk Southern will fund more than $25 million for upgrades and improvements to the East Palestine City Park. Enhancements to the park include a new aquatic center, three new playgrounds, upgraded baseball fields, a new amphitheater, and more. The improvements will benefit the entire community for years to come.
NS CEO Alan Shaw named four East Palestine high schoolers as the first recipients of the 2023 Bulldog Legacy Scholarship. They were selected for this scholarship for distinguishing themselves through their academic achievements and commitment to making a positive impact on their community.
NS partnered with Compco and United Way of Columbiana County to put on the Road2Recovery event, which raised more than $140,000 for various youth organizations in East Palestine.
NS organized a Summer Kick-off event June 11 at the park for the East Palestine youth and surrounding communities. More than 1,000 community members attended to enjoy bounce houses, live music, games, giveaways, and more.
Held an appreciation “Wing Bash” for EP first responders. Utilized local restaurants and vendors to support their revenue.
Completed the mulching of the elementary school playground.
Provided 50 haircut vouchers to a local church to support a local hair salon that lost revenue.
Paid the annual dues for an app used by the Order of the Eagles, an organization that sits 3,000 ft from the derailment site. Funds for the app are normally donated by local businesses.
Held an appreciation dinner for PA first responders and provided a thank you gift. Over 80 first responders attended.
Norfolk Southern supported the East Palestine Community Foundation with a $300,000 donation. The Community Foundation coordinates support for a wide range of nonprofit organizations, including churches, schools, and the East Palestine Firefighters Association. The foundation also supports community-wide projects such as the children’s splash pad at the community pool, the disc golf course at the East Palestine City Park and the annual Fourth of July fireworks display presented by firefighters.
To help support East Palestine for the long-term, Norfolk Southern donated $250,000 to The Way Station, an Ohio-based nonprofit delivering aid to the East Palestine community. This donation will help The Way Station establish a larger, permanent location in the area and hire additional staff, including a social worker.
NS committed $9.1M to Pennsylvania community support to cover costs incurred by state agencies and local fire departments that responded to the derailment. Included in that total is a $1 million community relief fund established for businesses and residents in Pennsylvania communities near East Palestine who lost revenue as a result of the incident.
To better support first responders, Norfolk Southern will create a new regional training center in Ohio for first responders. Additionally, we will expand our Operation Awareness & Response (OAR) program, which travels our 22-state network and trains first responders on how to respond safely to rail incidents.
CEO Alan Shaw created a scholarship endowment fund for East Palestine High School seniors. Established with his $445,000 donation, it will award scholarships annually toward four-year universities or two-year vocational school for ongoing education.
Reimbursed and committed to the East Palestine Fire Department over $3M for fire equipment used in the derailment response.
Donated $300K to support the district’s academics, athletics, extra-curricular activities, and its long-term contingency planning regarding the impacts of the derailment for the East Palestine school district
Funded administrative support services for the East Palestine Fire Department
Purchased 100 floral arrangements from a local florist to replace lost business; arrangements to be distributed to residents of local nursing home and assisted living facility
Contracted local landscaper to replace the mulch at the East Palestine Elementary school playground; project expected to be complete by March 13
Provided coach buses to transport the East Palestine High School basketball team to their playoff game in Perry; used a local vendor to create signs and coordinated with the East Palestine fire and police departments to see the team out of town
Delivered an additional 21 pallets of water to the community
Created a Community Liaison position and hired a local NS employee and East Palestine resident to gather community input from residents and local businesses and oversee distribution of $1M
Established $1M Community Fund to support immediate community needs in East Palestine
Coordinated and funded cleaning and air monitoring services for the East Palestine Elementary and High Schools
Provided more than 100 air purifiers for residents to use in their homes
Provided $220,000 to the East Palestine fire department to replace self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) air packs, which allow firefighters to breathe compressed air when responding to fires
Purchased cases of water from a local vendor for community distribution
Donated $25K to American Red Cross disaster relief fund to provide immediate support for day-one shelters
On June 17, community leaders and NS organized a Day of Service. Around 200 community members and NS employees came together to encourage citizens to give back to their hometown.
NS unveiled plans to donate the company’s historic East Palestine Train Depot to the village. NS will restore and upgrade the exterior of the building and will provide a $100,000 grant to support the village’s continued development of the space.
To provide some fun for the community, NS sponsored the annual East Palestine street fair by making the fair and rides free for the public and adding five additional attractions than previous years.
NS partnered with the East Palestine PTO to donate book vending machines to the East Palestine School District.
NS coordinated therapy bunnies to visit more than 300 students and teachers at East Palestine Elementary School.
NS hosted a special appreciation event to thank East Palestine first responders.
Provided 10 kindles to the East Palestine Elementary literacy night fundraiser to help increase the amount raised.
NS delivering 100 bouquets from a local florist to residents of local assisted living facilities.
NS has committed more than $2.7 million to the East Palestine Fire Department.