Our Volunteers Build Strong Communities

Posted on May 3rd 2019 by Stephanie Demchik-Pascual

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National Volunteer Week is a way to recognize and celebrate the individuals who give selflessly to help others in and out of the communities.

We are committed to helping our communities achieve better health, and National Volunteer week and it gives us an opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service. The power of volunteers is paramount—they build stronger communities and are a force that can help transform the world.

Volunteering can be richly rewarding in many ways. You can give something back, help people in need, learn or share a skill, make a friend. And there’s no shortage of nonprofits that can use your help. Still, your time is valuable, and it’s smart to use it in a way that delivers the most benefits.

Over the last year, our Florida Blue Volunteers have:

  • Granted a holiday wish to almost 200 children and families.
  • Donated nearly 16,000 pounds of Thanksgiving meals.
  • Enabled more than 1,200 kids to go back to school prepared.
  • Helped 94 employees get back on their feet.
  • Volunteered more than 60,000 hours.

We appreciate our employees for coming together to tackle tough challenges and build stronger, more resilient communities where we live and work. During this year’s National Volunteer Week (April 7-13), we took time to celebrate those who helped further our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health.

We recognize our volunteers of the years in partnership with Multiplying Good (formerly the Jefferson Awards Foundation).

Our runner up volunteer of the year is Latricia Taylor.

Latricia, business analyst, Commercial Insurance Markets, volunteers with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to promote drunk and buzzed driving awareness. She became involved with the organization after she lost her daughter, Chasity, to a car accident involving a drunk driver in Nov. 2014.

A dedicated wife, mother and grandmother, Latricia speaks publicly for MADD. Through individual lectures and panel discussions, she creates awareness about drunk driving and talks about the impact her daughter’s death has had on her family. She also attends community events that promote the dangers of driving drunk and buzzed.

One of the community events that Latricia participates in every year is the MADD walk. The money raised in MADD walks is used to help eliminate drunk driving through equal parts prevention and invention, like ignition interlock devices, etc.

Alongside her volunteer work with MADD, Latricia also co-founded the Chasity Taylor Foundation in memory of her daughter and to turn the tragedy of losing her daughter into hope by helping other families. While she created the Chasity Taylor foundation to promote awareness, the foundation has also served the Jacksonville community through scholarships, give-back programs and financial literacy.

This year's Florida Blue Volunteer of the Year Award goes to … Sabine Thompson!

Sabine, a compliance analyst, works remotely from Phoenix, Arizona and volunteers in her community with The Welcome to America Project (WTAP). As a WTAP volunteer, Sabine delivers clothing and household items to help refugee families from places such as Congo, Eritrea, Burundi, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Syria, Somalia, and Myanmar to establish their safe homes in the United States. 

An avid traveler and photographer, Sabine volunteers well beyond her local community, and typically uses her vacation time to volunteer wherever she goes. Sabine has supported disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico (after Hurricane Maria), South Texas (following Hurricanes Maria and Harvey), North Carolina (when Hurricane Florence struck), and during a business trip to Jacksonville, she made time to help with roof repairs and clean up after Hurricane Irma. If that weren't enough, she also went to Guerneville, CA to help after the Russian River flooding. 

Sabine has even volunteered (and helped deliver a baby!) at the Edward Francis Small Hospital in Banjul, the capital city of Gambia, a small West African country.  

Sabine speaks multiple languages, but she says her best communication skill is to just smile. "It simply lets people know that I am there to help,” she said.

Filed under: Community  

Stephanie Demchik-Pascual

Stephanie Demchik-Pascual recently relocated back to the Orlando area from Philadelphia and now works as an internal communications consultant at Florida Blue. Stephanie first came to the Orlando area in 1999 to participate in the Disney College Program. She is happy to back enjoying the sun and year-round warm weather. Stephanie has an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communications from Drexel University. She has a passion for Corporate Social Responsibility and enjoys volunteering and being the difference.

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