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Making Connections in Our Communities

Making Connections in Our Communities

During National Volunteer Week, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma employees find many ways to contribute.

Everyone has a way to give back to their community that brings out their personal strengths.

For one person, it's reading to children. For others, it might be putting together disaster relief packages or buying hats and socks for the homeless.

To help our employees explore many kinds of service, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) participates in National Volunteer Week.

Each BCBSOK location adopts one organization and finds a variety of ways our employees can help that organization serve the community.

In 2018, Tulsa-area employees worked with The Tristesse Grief Center Learn more about third-party links. This nonprofit organization offers counseling, training, education, memorial events and support groups to help Oklahomans cope with loss.

Some employees donated items for the Tristesse Grief Center's Camp Erin® Tulsa, an overnight camp for kids and teens who are grieving the death of someone close to them. Donations included puzzles, games, coloring books and other summer camp items. Employees also visited the grief center to create signs and decorations for the summer camp.

Others wrote personal cards for Mother's Day and Father's Day to parents who had lost a child.

To learn how the organization supports the Tulsa community, some employees attended a lunch-and-learn program led by The Tristesse Grief Center staff.

"The work we do touches everyone at some point in their life," says Carolyn Yoder, Community Relations Director of The Grief Center. "Being able to share our story with BCBSOK employees and benefit from their generosity helps us spread the word to Tulsans who are in need of grief support services and helps us take care of the clients we already serve."

BCBSOK matches dollars for volunteer time committed to community partners. That means the grief center will also benefit from a $20 match for each hour dedicated to writing cards, decorating signs and other activities.

By providing volunteer opportunities for every employee to find their place, BCBSOK continues to see high engagement in community service. Nearly 50% of our 1,100 employees log at least one volunteer hour every year. And that number continues to rise as people find a way to give that works for them.