Employee Volunteers Support Rhode Island Families in Crisis during Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island 5th Annual Day of Service

More than 70 percent of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) employees will support local families in crisis during Blue across Rhode Island, the state’s largest employee day of service. Seven participating organizations, across thirteen project sites, directly impact local families in moments of crisis, from birth and child hospitalization to families in shelters and facing hunger.
“Rhode Island isn’t only where we work, it’s where most of us  live, so when we talk about supporting this community, it’s personal to us,” said Carolyn Belisle, Managing Director of Community Relations for BCBSRI. “We know that our customers and our neighbors face challenges from time to time. Fortunately, Rhode Island has an amazing sector of social service organizations on the front lines ready and able to help our neighbors during some of these challenges. Through Blue across Rhode Island, we’re able to lend a helping hand to those agencies who are always there for Rhode Islanders when they need the support the most.” 
During the fifth annual Blue across Rhode Island day of service on Friday, September 23, roughly 600 BCBSRI employees at every level will participate in the event. Projects are designed to create a lasting impact, and activities will include:
· Helping provide 27,000 nutritiously fortified meals to hungry families across the state with The Outreach Program and We Share Hope.
· Fulfilling our 2,000th footwear order as a Blue across Rhode Island team with the Gotta Have Sole Foundation, a Cranston based organization that provides shoes to children living in homeless shelters.
· Organizing supplies of diapers, baby wipes and layette kits into care packages for families in need Newport County with The Changing Table.  
· Creating play areas for the Community Care Alliance, which provides services to Rhode Island families and individuals experiencing economic uncertainty, mental illness, addiction, housing issues and other trauma-related concerns. 
· Developing birthday kits for children served by the Confetti Foundation, which helps hospitalized children and their families celebrate birthdays even while battling illnesses. 
· Refreshing the temporary housing facilities used by homeless or at-risk individuals and families at the Crossroads Family Center.
· Tackling a number of projects with the March of Dimes in support of families experiencing the preterm birth of a child. Volunteers will assemble Parent Care Kits given upon admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU); create Halloween costumes for NICU babies; and put together memory boxes for families who experience a loss.
In addition to volunteer support, each project site will receive a financial contribution of $5,000 from BCBSRI. Recognized nationally as a “Best in Class” volunteer initiative, Blue across Rhode Island is both a signature event for BCBSRI employees, and an invaluable day for the organizations it has supported over the years. Since the inaugural event in 2012, more than 70 percent of employees have provided nearly 15,000 volunteer hours.  In total, the company has donated $180,000 in funding to 36 agencies dedicated to helping Rhode Islanders live better, healthier lives. Project site locations by city/town:
Cranston - Gotta Have Sole
Newport - The Changing Table
Providence - Crossroads Family Center, March of Dimes
Woonsocket - Community Care Alliance
BCBSRI Headquarters - Confetti Foundation, The Outreach Program and We Share Hope
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