By: Christine Zavaskas
January 7, 2014
More Than 2,500 Hours of Community Service Provided Across the Region
Wilkes-Barre, Pa. — Employees from a northeastern Pennsylvania company put their spirit of service into action last year by completing dozens of community service projects throughout the region.
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 community facilities, spruce up outdoors and provide services to preschool children and seniors.
During 2013, 502 BCNEPA Caring Corps volunteers logged 2,559 hours of community service while completing 35 local projects. Using figures from the Points of Light Foundation, the value of this volunteer service is estimated to have saved local organizations $56,656.
One Luzerne County nonprofit that benefited from Caring Corps volunteers was The Lands at Hillside Farms. BCNEPA volunteers helped the organization in the spring by trimming bushes, weeding flower beds, and completing other maintenance projects. Volunteers went back in the fall to help prepare the farm for winter.
“The Lands at Hillside Farms does not exist without volunteers, and Blue Cross employees have become a large part of our volunteer base. They have been coming to the farm to volunteer for several years and they help us make it a better place. Every year I look forward to having them, because I know I’m getting people who really care and do quality work for us,” said Guy Kroll, director of events and volunteers at The Lands at Hillside Farms.
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 nine 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 regional 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 540,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations it serves.