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BlueCross BlueShield Employees 'Pay it Forward,' Donating $70,000 to 28 Local Charities

May 04, 2017

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York employees donated a total of $70,000 to 28 local charities ($2,500 each) today during a presentation at the company’s corporate headquarters.

The health plan’s employees fundraise throughout the year for the organization’s Red Stocking Fund.  Established in 1955, the name of the fund was derived from the literal use of red stockings to collect charitable donations around the holiday season. Today, the largest contribution comes from casual Friday donations, in addition to payroll deduction, personal contributions and a number of other year-round fundraising efforts anchored by the employee-led “BlueCrew.”

This year, the total number of charities awarded increased from 20 to 28 - a record number in the health plan’s Red Stocking Fund history.  In addition to the Red Stocking Fund, the health plan’s employees volunteered more than 1,000 volunteer hours in the community in 2016.

“Investing in initiatives that enhance the health of the people who live here is at the core of who we are as a community-based health plan,” said Dave Anderson, President and CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. “Our employees embrace our values by paying it forward through thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours each year.”

Employees are given the opportunity to select the Red Stocking Fund’s receiving charities from a long list of worthy 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations each year. Representatives from each of the 28 selected charities were presented with a $2,500 donation at today’s ceremony.

Photos from today’s event can be viewed here.

The 2017 recipients:

Alzheimer's Association, Western New York Chapter: Advances research to end Alzheimer's and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the condition.

American Cancer Society of Western New York: The organization’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

American Diabetes Association of Buffalo:  The organization’s mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Western New York: Dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County: Provides mentoring services to youth between the ages of five to 18 through key programs that positively impact the educational outcomes of their little brothers and sisters.

Black Dog Second Chance Rescue: This organization's mission is to find the right homes for the dogs in their care and match the best dog with the best family.

Breast Cancer Network of Western New York: Provides education, advocacy, and support for people affected by breast cancer.

City of Buffalo Animal Shelter: Promotes the health and welfare of animals in the care of the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter.

Buffalo City Mission: Offers long-term recovery programs, counseling, work and life-skills training, education assistance and health-care services for homeless men, women and families committed to turning their lives around.

Camp Good Days and Special Times: Camp Good Days provides services for: children with cancer, children who have a parent or sibling with cancer and/or children who have lost a parent or sibling to cancer.

Carly’s Club at Roswell Park: Offers support programs to make life more manageable for children diagnosed with cancer and their families, and to raise funds for pediatric cancer research seeking cures at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Cradle Beach Camp: Serves the needs of children with disabilities and those who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds from Western New York.

Diamonds in the Ruff Animal Rescue: Protects the welfare of animals by finding caring foster or adoptive families for each animal they rescue.

Down Syndrome Parents Group of Western New York: An organization dedicated to raising awareness of Down Syndrome while enhancing the lives of people with the condition.

Friends of the Night People: Provides food, clothing, medical care, counseling, and hope to those in need.

Hospice Foundation of WNY: Provides medical care, emotional and spiritual support to people and their families facing life-limiting illnesses.

Make-A- Wish Western New York: Grants wishes to children between the ages of 2 ½ and 18 who are coping with a life-threatening disease.

Mercy Flight of Western New York: Provides airborne medical transportation and supporting services, ensuring rapid, safe, and cost-effective delivery of expert emergency response personnel, patients, organs, and supplies.

Ronald McDonald House: The mission of RMHC is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and wellbeing of children.

Roswell Park Alliance Foundation: This organizations mission is to understand, prevent and cure cancer.

Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped: Its mission is to challenge individuals with special needs and volunteer partners to experience the success, pride, freedom, and joy of therapeutic ice-skating while achieving personal growth.

SPCA Serving Erie County: A charitable community resource dedicated to protecting and providing shelter and comfort to all animals in need.

St. Jude Medical Center: Continuously improves the health and quality of life of people in the communities we serve by offering the highest quality care with compassion and respect.

St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy: A mission supported solely by volunteers who commit themselves to serve the poor.

Ten Lives Club: Committed to providing shelter to abused, stray, and surrendered family pets that would otherwise have no place to go or be euthanized.

The Kevin Guest House: Provides a comfortable and supportive home away from home for patients and their families.

Western New York Heroes: Provides veterans, members of the armed services, and the widows and children of deceased veterans with access to essential services, financial assistance and resources that support their lives and sustain their dignity.

Wings Flight of Hope: The mission of Wings Flights of Hope Inc. is to help people in need of free air transportation for medical and humanitarian purposes.