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April 12, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa — Wellmark employees continued to demonstrate their commitment to community involvement and social responsibility by volunteering their time to nonprofit causes and community events in 2015 through the BluesCare GivingSM program. The Wellmark Foundation, through matching gifts and recognition grants of Wellmark employee volunteer time of nearly 40,000 hours, gave $1.799 million to more than 650 nonprofit organizations in Iowa and South Dakota.

"The Wellmark Foundation provides the vital support Scouting and so many of our community organizations need to succeed," said Robert Hopper, chief executive officer of Boy Scouts of America Mid-Iowa Council. "BluesCare Giving funds are used to support Scouting’s wide-ranging programs of citizenship, fitness, character and leadership in and between every Iowa community. Giving positive direction to 20,000 Scouts and volunteer leaders is a daunting task — one made easier by so many generous Wellmark employees."

Under the BluesCare Giving program, when a Wellmark employee accumulates a minimum of four hours of volunteer time with qualifying nonprofit organizations, the employee can make designations from The Wellmark Foundation to nonprofits of their choice, as a recognition of their volunteerism. The Wellmark Foundation also matches employees’ personal monetary gifts to nonprofit organizations.

"For the last five years, Wellmark staff members have volunteered to fill thousands of bags of food for children who are at-risk of going hungry on the weekend," said Allison Struck, Feeding South Dakota BackPack program coordinator. "Feeding South Dakota wouldn’t be able to operate on such a large scale in the Sioux Empire if we didn’t have great community partners like The Wellmark Foundation."

The top-five organizations where employees volunteered in 2015 included:

  • Boy Scouts of America in Iowa and South Dakota
  • Safe Home Rescue
  • Meals from the Heartland
  • Des Moines Area Religious Council Emergency Food Pantry
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

South Dakota ranks ninth and Iowa ranks 10th in the percentage of population that volunteers the most according to Volunteering in America and Corporation for National & Community Service External Site. The BluesCare Giving program participation exemplifies this volunteer spirit.

Since 2011, more than 205,000 hours have been logged by employees and $6.2 million has been distributed to more than 1,100 nonprofits under the BluesCare Giving program.

For more information on BluesCare Giving, please visit Wellmark.com/foundation External Site.