Recognizing Our Volunteers: Service to Community a Core Value at Blue Cross

Julie Bitely

| 3 min read

Blue Cross employees at a cleanup event
“The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” - Helen Keller
At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we believe in giving back to the communities we work and live in. Our employees take this to heart every year, donning their blue volunteer shirts to assist organizations across the state fulfill their missions. During National Volunteer Week, taking place April 19-25, we want to honor and recognize our employees who show up, give freely of their time and make a difference. In 2019, more than 6,000 employees contributed 18,273 volunteer hours to 53 organizations. Many volunteer opportunities focused on diverse populations in underserved communities.
Equally Blue ERN members and their supporters march at the 2018 Motor City Pride event.
Equally Blue ERN members and their supporters march at the 2018 Motor City Pride event.
“When there is a call for service, our Blue Cross employees do not hesitate to step up and take action,” said Bridget Hurd, senior director, Diversity and Inclusion. “Whether it is coming together to help non-profits and community residents or if it is leading an internal employee resource network, our employees make giving of themselves and of their time a priority.” Many times, opportunities are identified by our employee resource network (ERNs) volunteer leaders. The BCBSM ERN program is comprised of ten common interest groups where members develop professionally, engage and serve as allies. ERN leaders connect volunteers with external opportunities to donate time to causes they’re passionate about. Last year, our Equally Blue ERN members volunteered at the Motor City PRIDE Festival, offering trivia related to LGBTQ+ issues, history and health disparities. Members of our POWER ERN volunteered time teaching Intro to Programming as part of the national Computer Science Education Week’s Hour of Code and helped Girl Scouts earn their cybersecurity badge.
BCBSM Employee volunteers
BCBSM employees volunteered at a CyberGIRL event last year.
Volunteer opportunities are also identified by our Community Responsibility team, which works to connect community-focused organizations with volunteer hours and resources. Last year volunteers worked to clean up a nature trail and soccer field at Balduck Park as part of our announcement of a $5 million commitment to the East Warren/Cadieux Corridor neighborhood in Detroit (see feature image above). Employees also volunteered resources throughout the year. Employees statewide generously donated more than 6,000 breakfast items to a Summer Cereal Drive designed to help feed kids during their summer break. Through an annual holiday drive, more than 2,500 hats, mittens and coats were donated, along with 11,075 food items and 593 school supplies. “The sheer number of hours our employees donate every year speaks to their commitment to the communities we do business in. Because of their giving nature, Blue Cross is able to partner with and support the missions of many deserving community organizations statewide,” said Suzanne Miller Allen, director, Community Responsibility. Thank you to all our amazing employee volunteers and volunteers everywhere who make good things happen in their communities. Related:
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association