March 9, 2022
Des Moines, IA — Through The Wellmark Foundation's BluesCare GivingSM program, grants and special project funding, nonprofits across Iowa and South Dakota received $3.9 million to boost community health improvement efforts and support local causes in 2021. In addition, more than 750 Wellmark employees provided nearly 28,000 volunteer hours for qualifying nonprofits.
The Wellmark Foundation's BluesCare Giving program allows Wellmark employees to log their volunteer hours that earn them monetary donations to direct to qualifying nonprofit organizations of their choice. Employees may also request a matching gift for personal contributions or donate directly using payroll deduction. Through the BluesCare Giving options, The Wellmark Foundation contributed more than $1.4 million, as directed by employees, for their local nonprofits in 2021.
"Wellmark employees continue to step up and give their time and money to support organizations they are passionate about," said Mary Lawyer, executive director of The Wellmark Foundation. "From animal fostering and community service projects to coaching youth sports, sewing blankets, and serving on a committee, we're proud of the many ways employees choose to be a part of building strong, healthy communities across Iowa and South Dakota."
More than 700 nonprofits across Iowa and South Dakota received funds provided through the BluesCare Giving program.
"We appreciate all that the Wellmark employee volunteers do for our ReStore," said Brittany Bandstra, volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls, South Dakota. "We are also thankful for The Wellmark Foundation, which has donated so much to non-profits in the area through BluesCare Giving. These last few years have been difficult for so many reasons and we are blessed to have this support."
Wellmark employees volunteered 230 hours of their time to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls in 2021.
"The generosity of Wellmark employees and The Wellmark Foundation have helped us to extend our reach and serve more children and families in new ways," said Courtney Goodrich, president of the Kiwanis Club of Adel, Iowa. "With this contribution and our Wellmark volunteers, we can continue to support youth programming, the local food pantry, recreational projects and more within our community."
Wellmark volunteers logged 252 hours for the Kiwanis Club of Adel that, along with matching gifts, provided the organization with $14,000 in 2021.
A few additional organizations supported by the work of Wellmark employees, and The Wellmark Foundation include the Food Bank of Iowa which received $43,925, the United Way of Central Iowa receiving $31,576 and Animal Lifeline of Iowa where employees spent more than 970 hours volunteering and provided the organization with $28,472.
Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) Grants and Special Projects
Last year, The Wellmark Foundation's MATCH grants and special project funding also awarded $2.5 million to more than 50 communities and organizations. All projects funded will help individuals, families and communities achieve better health, through access to healthy foods, providing places to be physically active and supporting positive health outcomes.
Funds are typically awarded to projects offering a sustainable and long-lasting impact for communities including accessible trails and sidewalks, community gardens, playgrounds, greenhouses, and garden-to-table projects.
Since its inception in 1991, The Wellmark Foundation has awarded nearly $58 million in grant and project funding to initiatives that positively impact the well-being of Iowans and South Dakotans.