Company-wide day of service will provide community support for 15 organizations statewide

PROVIDENCE, RI (September 2, 2020) –With a focus on safety, social distancing and service, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) will again embark on its annual day of service this fall to help nonprofit partners whose missions are so critical to the fabric of a healthy and vibrant community  – brought into even sharper focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the ninth annual Blue across Rhode Island day of service on September 25, BCBSRI will partner with 15 nonprofit organizations across the state that work to support the health and well-being of Rhode Islanders.

While BCBSRI’s workforce continues to work remotely, following guidance from state and federal health officials, some BCBSRI employees have signed up to provide support for tasks including curating outdoor spaces, packaging footwear for children struggling with homelessness, revitalizing community gardens, and conducting impactful projects virtually. Each project site will host a limited number of BCBSRI volunteers, who will follow all COVID-19 safety precautions and social distancing guidelines.

“Volunteerism in a pandemic is much more complicated, but it’s also more critically important to the Rhode Islanders in need who benefit from the services these organizations provide,” said Carolyn Belisle, BCBSRI managing director of community relations. “We’ve adjusted our employee volunteerism efforts to adhere to all safety guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to this day of service each year and – even though we have to limit our volunteers to a smaller number this year – we are committed to working with our community partners across the state to provide help.”

In addition to volunteer support, project sites will receive a financial contribution of $5,000 from BCBSRI to support their critical work. Since the inaugural Blue across Rhode Island in 2012, employees have provided more than 27,000 volunteer hours and the company has donated $380,000 in funding to nearly 60 agencies around the state.

Recognized nationally as a “Best in Class” volunteer initiative, Blue across Rhode Island has become not only a signature event for BCBSRI employees, but also an invaluable resource for the organizations and those involved – making a lasting impact on the lives of more than 115,000 people throughout the state.

The local organizations selected for Blue across Rhode Island 2020 and the projects BCBSRI employees will work on include:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Warwick – Warwick
    • Gardening and planting the outdoor spaces at the Norwood and Oakland Beach locations, as well as beautifying an art room and other indoor spaces to inspire the next generation of creators.
  • Child & Family – Middletown
    • Gardening and cleanup of outdoor play spaces, interior cleaning and organization of supportive housing spaces serving families.
  • Family Service of Rhode Island – Providence
    • Assembling and providing contact-free delivery of “Be Safe” kits to Rhode Islanders in need, as well as hosting a Facebook Live telethon to raise funding.  
  • Federal Hill House – Providence
    • Organizing the donation room, revitalizing the community garden, and creating enriching play spaces for families.
  • Foster Forward – East Providence
    • Assembling welcome kits for youth aging out of foster care to bring into their new homes, building a storage space for young adults aging out of foster care to hold belongings, and stocking the food pantry
  • Gotta Have Sole Foundation – Cranston
    • Packaging footwear for children experiencing homelessness and writing messages of hope for children to give them confidence to participate in sports, school and social experiences alongside their peers.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Providence – Providence
    • Helping with construction at a new house to plaster, paint and install cabinets to make affordable housing a reality for a local family.
  • Highlander Charter School – Warren
    • Providing an outdoor learning experience for the students by creating a venue on campus to grow plants and foster pollination.
  • House of Hope Community Development Corporation – Warwick
    • Increasing storage and organization spaces, as well as landscaping outdoor spaces. Assembling welcome kits for formerly homeless Rhode Islanders moving into new housing.
  • March of Dimes Foundation – Providence
    • Handcrafting items for babies and their families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
  • Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island – statewide
    • Virtual volunteer project – handcrafting no sew blankets created for the homebound seniors served by the home delivery program at Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island.
  • Playworks New England – Providence
    • Helping Webster Avenue Elementary School (a RecessRocksinRI participant) by creating and providing play supplies to increase opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play once children can safely return to the school.
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul Rhode Island – Cranston
    • Preparing “Necessities for Neighbors” boxes for Rhode Islanders in need, preparing clothing for donation, and beautifying the Cranston location’s exterior.
  • Woonsocket YMCA – Woonsocket
    • Rejuvenating the fitness center and teen room, outdoor landscaping, and painting new play area activities for the children.

For more information about Blue across Rhode Island and all of BCBSRI’s efforts to support the health and well-being of the Rhode Island community, visit BCBSRI’s community investment page.