It’s National Volunteer Week and to celebrate, I’m turning the Straight Talk reins over to Michael Tipton, the head of Community Relations at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and president of our Blue Cross Foundation.
Here at Blue Cross, living out our mission “to improve the health and lives of Louisianians” is not just about what we do in delivering health care to our members – it’s also about the ways we make our communities stronger through volunteer work, nonprofit service and civic leadership. Turns out, our folks did quite a lot of that in 2021, and I’m going to let Michael tell you about it. – Mike
The past two years have been exceedingly challenging in Louisiana — the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of devastating hurricanes, an unexpected ice storm that did tens of millions of dollars in damage.
In the movies, a hero shows up to make it right. But in the real world, heroism is a crowd-sourced job. It takes many hands to make sure everyone has enough to eat, a safe place to sleep, and the opportunities that they deserve.
Our 2021 Community Partnerships report is about those everyday people doing extraordinary good – both Blue Cross employees and the community partners around the state who work hard to improve the health and lives of all Louisianians.
We’re proud of our colleagues at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, who stepped up despite the challenges of renewed lockdowns and natural disasters to make a difference in their communities. Working together, they gave:
- 30,000+ hours of community service
- Nearly $1 million in charitable financial gifts out of their own pockets
- Another $1 million in goods donated to drives for school supplies, uniforms, disaster kits, military boxes and more
Blue Cross and its Foundation also invest millions each year into nonprofits who provide essential services. In 2021:
- The company made $1.3 million in charitable investments
- The Foundation made $8.4 million in grants to Louisiana nonprofits
Our community partners made excellent use of that funding, including:
- Providing 24 million points of service, including 51,000 health screenings, millions of meals delivered, and showing up for the thousands of Louisianians devastated by storms
- Piloted groundbreaking programs providing mental health services, family resiliency and access to care
- Trained thousands of health care workers to enter the workforce and solve for critical shortages, with a particular focus on equity and representation
- Laid the groundwork for long-term community recovery from COVID and disasters
There’s so much to share and cover – take a look at our online report at www.BCBSLAFoundation.org/2021report to get a deeper look.
We are grateful for everyone who continues to show up for friends, family and communities in these challenging times. We have been knocked around – but Louisiana is tough because of its people.
If you ever want to discuss partnering with us, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
- Michael Tipton