Wellmark honored employees today who selflessly dedicated their time to nonprofit causes and community events in 2011 through the BluesCare GivingSM Program. Cumulatively, more than 38,000 volunteer hours were logged. The Wellmark Foundation, through matching gifts and recognition of Wellmark employee volunteer time, gave $1.6 million. This represents a dramatic increase in program usage from 2010, which totaled 16,000 volunteer hours.
“Every day, our employees work hard to ensure our members in Iowa and South Dakota have access to the health care they need,” said John Forsyth, Wellmark chairman and chief executive officer, in an announcement of the total. “These same employees demonstrate the same commitment to the communities where they live and work, whether through financial support or by volunteering time and talents. I am extremely proud to work with such a committed group of people.”
Representatives from organizations that benefited from the help of Wellmark employees spoke at the event as well, including Amanda the Panda Executive Director Charlie Kiesling and American Cancer Society Community Relations Manager Laura Miller.
Under the BluesCare Giving Program, Wellmark offers employees the opportunity to have their personal gifts to nonprofit organizations matched, and also provides the ability to make gift designations to nonprofits of their choice through their personal volunteer efforts as documented by nonprofits. The Wellmark Foundation provides funding for the matching gifts and recognition of volunteer time.
Iowa and South Dakota are ranked second and fifth respectively in percentage of the population that volunteers according to Volunteering in America and the Corporation of National & Community Service http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/rankings.cfm. The BluesCare Giving Program participation exemplifies this volunteer spirit. Wellmark employees volunteered with diverse nonprofits throughout Iowa and South Dakota and provided financial support to more than 600 different nonprofit organizations in 2011. The program more than doubled the volunteer totals from the previous year with more than 62 percent of Wellmark employees across Iowa and South Dakota participating in some facet of the initiative.
“Wellmark recognizes our employees can be a vital part in supporting our local communities, and it just makes sense for them to dedicate their energy and passion to supporting nonprofits here in Iowa and South Dakota,” said Forsyth. “We’re extraordinarily proud of BluesCare Giving. Moving forward, this initiative will continue to be a signature program to support and advance volunteering with nonprofits in our two states.”
For more information on the BluesCare Giving, please visit www.wellmark.com/giving.