"Caring Corps" volunteers provided more than 3,400 hours of service
January 13, 2011, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. — Employees from one Northeastern Pennsylvania company put their spirit of service into action by completing dozens of community service projects throughout the region last year.
Known as the "Caring Corps," volunteers from Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) helped local nonprofit agencies serve meals at food banks, conduct health fairs, clean and paint playgrounds and community facilities, and give children extra homework and reading support.
In fact, during 2010 more than 900 BCNEPA Caring Corps volunteers logged 3,420 hours of community service hours, while completing 41 local projects. The estimated value of this volunteer service to local organizations totaled more than $69,000 in 2010.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania is one agency grateful for Caring Corps support. Caring Corps volunteers help the Club with its annual Back-To-School Health Fair each August, providing free health screenings for under-served children who might not otherwise get an annual check-up.
"When we hold our Back-To-School Health Fair, the benefit to our organization from Caring Corps volunteers is immeasurable," said Tricia DiBiasi Thomas, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Each year, she says, about 20 Caring Corps volunteers start at 7:30 a.m. to prepare for and help organize the event.
"We have a small staff, so to get ready for more than 200 children is an undertaking," said DiBiasi Thomas. "We could not hold this event without our Blue Cross volunteers, and we are thankful for their service."
BCNEPA has always encouraged volunteer service by employees with a company policy that allows full- and part-time employees to take paid time off to assist nonprofit agencies. By creating the Caring Corps nearly six years ago, BCNEPA took the next step to engage employees in service by actively coordinating volunteer projects for employees to do in groups.
"The Caring Corps benefits everyone involved," said Cynthia A. Yevich, BCNEPA’s senior director of community and foundation affairs. "It reinforces our corporate commitment to the community. It gives our employees the chance to develop leadership and team-building skills. It increases employee morale through the personal satisfaction that comes from knowing you’re making a difference. And it provides hundreds of hours of service to help nonprofits address the unmet needs of the individuals they serve."
About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania
Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to more than 550,000 individuals in 13 counties in Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide innovative wellness solutions that increase access to high-quality, affordable health care and promote personal accountability.