Giving Is Good for Our Company’s Soul

Posted on Mar 23rd 2021 by Susan Towler

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Giving back to our communities is ingrained in us as a company. One of the main ways Florida Blue does that is through our partnership with the United Way. Our records show it officially began in 1964, but community support has been important to us for most of our 77-year history. It is a cornerstone of our culture of giving and volunteerism, which ties directly to our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health.

Florida Blue has partnered with United Way for 57 years and we have been the largest contributor to the United Way of Northeast Florida for the past 20 years. We are proud to be a “United Way company” and look forward to supporting them for many years to come.

Our annual 30-day employee giving campaign is one of the primary ways we demonstrate our commitment to giving. We make it easy for employees to donate to their local United Way and to Lift by GuideWell, our relief fund for fellow employees.

This year’s campaign will run from March 15 through April 9. We are providing a $2 for $1 company match on all employee contributions as we did last year with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This allows employees to triple their giving impact. In 2020, employees’ generosity resulted in $280,000 for the Lift program and more than $1.37million to 68 local United Way chapters across the country where they work and live. With the company match, the overall total was over $4 million! These contributions were critical for those whose needs were exacerbated by the pandemic.

Last year, one of our employees really exemplified the compassion that lies at the heart of our giving efforts. He and his wife donated their stimulus checks to our giving campaign to support their local United Way. He said he was thankful his family had not been adversely impacted by the pandemic and wanted to support those who weren’t as fortunate. They felt good knowing that with our company match, his family’s $2,900 donation became $8,700!

Our employees know their United Way contributions will give hope to someone who is barely holding on — by feeding a family, keeping the lights on, preventing an eviction, promoting literacy or providing clothing and transportation for a job interview. Many of our employees have shared their own moving stories of how a United Way agency was there for them at some time in their lives.

Prior to the pandemic, our employees averaged 60,000 volunteer hours annually to causes that are important to them. They serve on boards for charities, feed the hungry and walk, run and ride miles to raise funds and awareness for worthy causes. They are devoted to our mission and continuously step up to give back to their communities with their time, talent (skill) and treasure (dollars), despite being unable to volunteer in person during this time. Being “community-minded” is one of the top three reasons they cite for joining our company because they want to work with others who understand the value of giving back and being part of a bigger cause.

Being there for one another, our members and the communities we serve is at the core of who we are as a company. Our employees understand the power of collective giving, so it’s no surprise that they come together to support people in need and meaningful causes. It’s in our soul.

Filed under: Community  

Susan Towler

Susan B. Towler, APR, is vice president of the Florida Blue Foundation, the philanthropic affiliate of Florida Blue. She is also executive director of corporate social responsibility for Florida Blue and has responsibility for the company’s philanthropic strategy.

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