By: Anthony Matrisciano
January 10, 2012
Pictured at The Lands at Hillside Farms, from left, are Blue Cross volunteers Deborah DeVito and Tina Zannetti.
More than 1,700 hours of community service provided across the region
January 10, 2012, 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.
During 2011, 450 BCNEPA Caring Corps volunteers logged 1,753 hours of community service while completing 30 local projects. Using figures from the Points of Light Foundation, the value of this volunteer service is estimated to have saved local organizations more than $35,000.
One nonprofit that benefited from Caring Corps volunteers was The Lands at Hillside Farms. BCNEPA employees visited the historic 412-acre educational dairy farm twice in 2011 to assist with beautification projects.
“We are fortunate to have dedicated volunteers helping us, and the Caring Corps volunteers from Blue Cross were some of the most helpful,” said Suzanne Kelly, director of development and marketing at The Lands at Hillside Farms. According to Kelly, Caring Corps volunteers “eagerly rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to improve the landscape,” planting flowers, raking leaves and completing other clean-up work as part of their projects.
“Their hard work really made an impact on the farm,” continued Kelly. “We can tell that they really want to make a difference, and we hope to see the Caring Corps again in 2012.”
BCNEPA has always encouraged volunteer service by employees through 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 seven 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 corporate 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.