When you ask Tony Taliaferro why he volunteers, the answer is simple: “Because people need help.”
After 25 years with Independence Blue Cross (IBX) and ten years serving the community with the Blue Crew, Taliaferro, now vice president, deputy general counsel, became a member of the Blue Crew Advisory Board. In this role, he reviews future opportunities for our associate volunteer group to offer their helping hands. And if there’s one thing Independence has plenty of, it’s helping hands.
Volunteering, Tony says, is in the fiber of the company. “It’s our identity,” he says, “and promoted as who we are. It reflects our mission.”
Making time to give
Tony’s favorite Blue Crew opportunities include the Ronald McDonald House, Hope Lodge, and St John’s Hospice, a men’s shelter at 13th and Race Streets in Philadelphia where he assists with meals once a month. It may not be easy to find the time, but he strongly believes that “it’s important for those who agree to participate in an advisory board to participate.”
Volunteering was, he says, “an expectation in the Taliaferro household.” But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun, too. One of the first things you see when you walk into Tony’s office is a picture of him and his three children volunteering with the Blue Crew during the United Way Days of Caring — all four of them wearing matching turtlenecks and smiles. His children, now in their 20s, are still big on volunteering.
Building bonds with your work family
Tony finds that volunteering builds bonds among his work family, as well. It gives coworkers “the opportunity to connect and share, and to contribute to the benefit of others that you don’t typically have in other responsibilities.”
“It brings another dimension to your working relationships and an additional value to what it means to be part of IBX.”
“When you have the opportunity to do good,” Tony adds, “it’s great. When you have the opportunity to do good with others, it’s even better.”
We’re profiling members of the advisory board for our Independence Blue Cross Corporate Volunteer Program — the Blue Crew. Blue Crew Advisory Board members lead individual projects, promote volunteerism, and evaluate and select the organizations, projects, and events our Blue Crew supports. Know an organization or a local event that could use enthusiastic volunteers? Contact the Blue Crew.