How the Blue Crew Volunteer Program Shows Love

by / Wednesday, 22 February 2017 / Published in Community
Blue Crew

Independence Blue Crew volunteers at Share Food Program.

Showing love to the community is a vital part of who I am. I often say that service is in my DNA. As a kid from the neighborhood in West Philadelphia, I learned to show love to my community through service. Volunteering to do something good for someone other than yourself was a life lesson that I have carried with me since then. I believe that love and service can change a community and can strengthen ties between neighbors. I am blessed to work for a company that encourages associates to serve our community and bring a love of the community to work every day.

Independence Blue Cross is passionate about our neighbors’ well-being and committed to making a positive impact in the communities where we live, work, and play. Since 2001, our Blue Crew volunteer program has been a hallmark of this commitment. Through the engagement of our associates, here’s what we accomplished in 2016:

2016 by the Numbers

From rolling up our sleeves and serving meals to families at Ronald McDonald Houses, to supporting a nonprofit’s annual gala so that a greater portion of the funds raised directly benefit the charity, to working in the garden of Share Food Program, our volunteers give back in many ways.

  • In 2016, nearly 1,050 Blue Crew volunteers donated over 8,300 hours, valued at $188,000, as calculated by the Independent Sector.
  • Blue Crew volunteers participated in 243 service projects that benefited 85 nonprofit organizations.
  • Compared to 2015, associate volunteer participation increased by 6% and Blue Crew volunteer hours increased by 10%.

Collections and Drives

Thanks to the generosity of our associates, we supported 24 collections and drives in 2016 that raised over $17,000 for local nonprofit organizations!

#GivingTuesdsay

For employees who were interested in giving back but found it hard to dedicate time outside of the office, we offered more onsite volunteer projects in 2016 — 43 in total!

Medal of Honor Grove Signature Project

To recognize the service and sacrifice of our military heroes, the Blue Crew led a community service project at the Medal of Honor Grove in Valley Forge. More than 60 volunteers helped to clean the state obelisks and beautify the grounds of the 52-acre park.

Celebrating 15 Years of Service!

The Blue Crew celebrated our 15th anniversary in April 2016, with 31 volunteer projects and special initiatives across the region, including partnering with Latinos con Proposito to renovate the Sheppard Elementary School library in North Philadelphia.

  • More than 80 associates and their family members volunteered a combined 250 hours to finish the project.
  • The work included painting and lighting, as well as the creation of a Spanish-language section.
  • It was made even more rewarding upon learning that the Sheppard School had not had a library in over 15 years!

I am proud to work alongside our associates who are out there making a difference in the community. We’re thrilled with what we accomplished in 2016, and we are excited to show the community even more love in 2017!

 

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Lorina Marshall-Blake is President of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation and Vice President, Community Affairs, Independence Blue Cross. Marshall-Blake helped define the IBC Foundation’s mission of leading solutions for healthier communities when it was launched in 2011. Under Marshall-Blake’s leadership, the $60 million IBC Foundation has established itself as a philanthropic force locally, earning the 2014 Corporate Foundation of the Year award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Philadelphia Chapter. An expert in Philanthropy, Corporate Management, Public Relations and Communications, Marshall-Blake says, “We are meant to serve. We must reach back and give back.” She is an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and has been honored for her leadership and community service by numerous organizations such as the NAACP, Girl Scouts of Eastern PA, Philadelphia Tribune, League of Women Voters, Philadelphia Business Journal, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. She also serves as a spokesperson for the local chapter of the American Heart Association.

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