Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Since Dec. 21, 1992, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundationhas honored the sentiment behind those words.
From its start 20 years ago, as the Louisiana Child Caring Foundation, the Foundation has touched the lives of millions of Louisiana residents with more than $25 million in charitable giving.
And we couldn’t have done it without you, our generous and caring community partners. On our birthday, I want to say a heartfelt “Thank You” for all that you have done to benefit the people of our state. I’d also like to share with you some of the ways you’ve helped us make a difference over the past 20 years.
Louisiana Caring Program for Children
Since its inception, the Foundation has had a strong focus on improving the lives of Louisiana’s children. Through our Caring Program for Children, the Foundation held four annual golf tournaments to raise money to help provide healthcare to low-income children. That successful initiative still benefits children as the state-runLouisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program, or LaCHIP.
The Angel Award
Now in its 18th year, The Angel Award has granted more than $1.4 million to 143 volunteers across the state who have helped the children of their communities.
In partnership with the LSU AgCenter, Smart Bodies has helped prevent childhood obesity by integrating classroom activities with hands-on learning about building smart bodies and developing active minds. Since 2005 more than $1.8 million have been used to implement Smart Bodies in more than 800 schools, serving more than 300,000 students, in every parish across Louisiana.
As a community partner, the Foundation joins forces with local nonprofits to improve health and education throughout Louisiana. Each year, the Foundation supports approximately 250 local organizations with close to $2 million in annual funding.
In times of disaster, the Foundation helps increase resources available to humanitarian relief organizations, like the American Red Cross and United Way, by connecting citizens and our employees to donation opportunities. A few examples of how we have helped are: disaster relief to communities impacted by hurricanes, flooding, and the recent oil spill.
The Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana
This statewide grant program, the first of its kind, aims to reduce Louisiana’s rising obesity rate by providing funding to innovative partnerships that promote healthy lifestyles. Twelve projects – representing 500 agencies across the state – will receive $10.2 million in Foundation grants, which have sparked $16.8 million in matching funds from other community organizations. All told, the Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana Program will implement nearly $30 million in healthy living initiatives and is estimated to impact more than 1.7 million Louisiana adults and children.
This is just a snapshot of our 20 outstanding years of giving back to the community. And we couldn’t have done it without the support of you, our dedicated community partners. Though we have seen many changes through the years, I am proud to say that the Foundation has never lost sight of its overarching mission – building a healthier Louisiana.
Christy Reeves, executive director, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation