Blue Shield of California, its employees and the Blue Shield of California Foundation have contributed more than $140,000 to the Haiti relief effort so far. Blue Shield is providing matching gifts up to $100,000 for donations made by Blue Shield employees to the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders USA, Inc. between January 12, 2010 and February 28, 2010.
"As a not-for-profit health plan, Blue Shield supports employee volunteerism and community involvement, and we earmark a portion of our annual budget for charitable giving," said Ronda Wilkin, Manager of Community Relations. "We sympathize greatly with the victims and survivors of the earthquake and we're gratified that our employees are choosing to help."
Several Blue Shield of California employees have been personally affected by the tragedy. Therese Hightower, Blue Shield of California's Director of Talent Acquisition, recently learned her 22-year-old niece, Molly Hightower, died in the January 12 earthquake. Molly was a volunteer in Haiti with Friends of the Orphans - an aid organization for orphaned and abandoned children. "Molly volunteered in Haiti because she couldn't find a place more in need. I miss her greatly, but I am proud of her for accomplishing so much and leaving a legacy of giving and volunteerism behind," said Therese Hightower. "I plan on traveling there with my family when we can assist with the rebuilding efforts...I urge everyone to focus on helping Haiti."
To date, Blue Shield of California employees have contributed more than $60,000, with an additional $60,000 matched by the company. The Blue Shield of California Foundation has also made a $25,000 donation. Blue Shield invites all Californians to participate in aid efforts by making contributions to the American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders USA, Inc. , or any official relief organization supporting victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Background on Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan dedicated to providing Californians with access to high quality care at an affordable price. Founded in 1939, it now has 3.4 million members, 4,800 employees, one of the largest provider networks and more than 20 office locations, providing a wide range of commercial and government products throughout the state. The company has contributed $100 million over the past three years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation to fund nonprofit organizations that improve access to quality health care in California. Contact your local agent or broker for more information about Blue Shield products and services, or visit the Blue Shield web site at www.blueshieldca.com.